Advanced search

Grammar school exam to put ds forward or not?

(22 Posts)
cheekymonk Wed 08-Oct-14 11:40:29

I know this is contentious on here but looking for genuine advice. We have moved to Bham/solihull area and the school system seems a total minefield!!! My ds is bright and wants to achieve. I want him to make most of all opportunities he can. He is on year 5and level 5 for English and reading and high level 4 for other subjects. The non selective schools are good here but the super selective that ds and I went to see was fabulous! The pupils were so lovely and animated, the facilities, the head teacher I was so impressed BUT it would be a long day for ds, he loved the school but hates the idea of making new friends again. I have explained all the kids are going to different schools as his teacher told me. I asked her if she thought ds was up to it and she said he would need some tuition. Where do I start with the bond books etc? Do I even put ds forward for it? Finding it hard to know what to do :/

Jellyandjam Wed 08-Oct-14 12:06:13

First you need to know which type of 11 plus your chosen school does i.e. Verbal reasoning, non verbal reasoning, maths etc. once you know that then you can get some practise papers/book - Bond and GL do them. Have a go at some of them and it should give you an idea how he will do/ whether tutoring would be needed etc and whether you want to go forward with that and also an important factor will be whether your DS wants to do it and will be motivated to do it.
Hope that is of some help.

MillyMollyMama Wed 08-Oct-14 12:52:23

Does your school have previous pupils that have gone to the Grammar school? Could they be honest about how your DS compares? Also lots of parents presumably employ tutors to help boost exam scores. Would you do this? I saw a TV programme about children applying for Birmingham/West Midlands Grammar schools a while back and all of them had intense tutoring from parents or paid tutors. Not much fun for some. The obvious bright sparks got the places. Agree with Jelly that you need to know what the entrance exams are like and how your DS can be prepared for them.

cheekymonk Wed 08-Oct-14 13:21:46

Thank you some stuff to think about...

cheekymonk Wed 08-Oct-14 17:09:53

This is the criteria_
The reading comprehension section is similar to work children will encounter in school. The section consists of a single piece of text followed by a series of multiple-choice questions. It covers a range of reading skills such as direct retrieval of facts, inference and vocabulary.

The verbal reasoning and literacy skills sections test a range of skills. These include knowledge of vocabulary, contextual understanding of words and sentence construction. The level of vocabulary used is designed to stretch and challenge children; however varied reading and a wide vocabulary will assist children in accessing the test.

The non-verbal reasoning sections involve using skills such as identifying similarities and differences between shapes and patterns; solving problems using visual reasoning and looking at sequences and relationships between objects.

The mathematics section is based on topics covered up to and including the Year 5 curriculum. The test is centred on standard classroom practice and can include questions focusing on the four attainment targets in mathematics: Using and applying mathematics, Number, Shape, Space and Measures and Handling data. Children will be required to read word problems in a given context and then apply their mathematical knowledge to a range of situations rather than just answer a series of computations.

cheekymonk Wed 08-Oct-14 17:16:23

Bond How to do 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning
Bond How to do 11+ English
Bond How to do 11+ maths
Bond How to do 11+ verbal reasoning
Bond the parents guide to 11+
Bond the secrets of comprehension
I was going to buy these of amazon- are they the rights ones do you think? Comes to almost £50...
Many thanks


cheekymonk Wed 08-Oct-14 17:20:05

I think children have gone on to Grammar. I would get toturing to help ds on the way but not to heap masses of pressure on him. Was talking to a pupil today at another school (also looking at primaries for dd) and he had just passed grammar school exam and said he was going to camp Hill. He said the exam wasn't easy but wasn't genius level either. Said he had 1 hours tutoring a week which i don't think is unreasonable at all- would be happy with that for ds. Thanks for input smile

cheekymonk Wed 08-Oct-14 17:24:17

a tutor I met also recommended the CGP books...

cheekymonk Wed 08-Oct-14 19:49:24


poisonedbypen Wed 08-Oct-14 19:55:56

I think you might be better off on the 11 plus forum. They have lists of what is needed for each area & people will advise you.

cheekymonk Wed 08-Oct-14 21:26:45

Ok will try and find thank you

poisonedbypen Wed 08-Oct-14 23:26:03
There is a forum & then other bits about different regions, mail order etc

cheekymonk Thu 09-Oct-14 15:11:21

Got it thanks

VanillaHoney Thu 09-Oct-14 18:07:35

Both my DD's passed the 11+. Only done DIY tutoring at home. First find out what your exam board is. (NFER, CEM...). Be careful when you order practice books, I ordered CGP for my DD2 and never used them. They were so difficult I think she would have run for the hills!!! She passed comfortably by the way. When starting if is often a good idea to get the practice materials for slightly younger children so your DC can get her head around the question types and built confidence. A tutor group where children practice in small groups is also a good alternative to a tutor or could combine with DIY.
Good luck in your journey!

khale4 Thu 09-Oct-14 18:36:52

Hi cheekymonk,

I've been tutoring for the 11+ for some years although not in your area (so I'm not too familiar with the specific exam). Assuming your area is anything like the 3 11+ areas I've worked in, I can say that your son will need either a significant amount of help from home or a tutor. Many of the 11+ exams contain reasoning which is not covered in schools. They also - regardless of what they say on their websites - have content that is well above Year 5 level.

I would tend to agree with VanillaHoney on the practice papers - I wouldn't attempt them yet as they'll be too advanced. The How to Do… Bond books will also contain material that will be too advanced for your son at this stage. The best books to get would be to get books in all subjects at the level below your son's age. Given your son's current levels, this would mean the 8-9 in English and Maths. For Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning, I would advise getting the 7-8 books. They will provide an introduction to reasoning so that your son can grasp the core concepts before moving on to more difficult material.

If you are working with him from home, then be sure to mark the questions once he's completed them, give him a chance to re-look at the questions to see if he can get them right the second time, and if not, go over them with him.

After a month or two you should have a good idea of whether you can do this yourself at home. However, if you go to a tutor, I wouldn't leave it any later than January to start. Many students prepare for the 11+ 2 years in advance and you'll lose your sanity if you try to cram everything in at the last minute.

Good luck and hope this helps!

cheekymonk Thu 09-Oct-14 20:08:05

Thank you both for those last comments- very helpful. reading between the lines Khale4 would you say my son's levels aren't high enough to consider putting him forward??

VanillaHoney Thu 09-Oct-14 20:23:27

In our area it is normally advised to look for a 5C or slightly higher at the end if year 5. Having said that in DD's school a fair few kids with goid 5s at the end of year 5 did not pass and some DC with 4s did. When you start maths revision it may be a good idea to see if there are any gaps. I also found it useful look at questions and ask your DC how they would work it out and talk the question through.

cheekymonk Sun 10-May-15 15:44:05

We are going for it! Anyone else?

PettsWoodParadise Sun 10-May-15 18:06:53

I think you will find lots in the same position. We are going for Kent and Bromley grammar this Sept. check out the helpful pages on elevenplusforum dot co dot uk which give guidance, past scores etc. good luck!

Zodlebud Sun 10-May-15 19:43:02

Tutoring aside. You loved the school, he loved the school. Why would you not try so long as everybody's expectations err on the side of caution? I failed the Birmingham 11+ but went to a cracking school which saw me go on to Cambridge. If you have a good backup choice then go for it with bells on because what do you have to lose????

Pop1ns Sun 10-May-15 20:42:20

Do mock tests at schools or tuition centres to gauge potential and if good go for it.

TheoreticalOrder Sun 10-May-15 20:59:43

What Zodlebud said. No one ever told me to enter DS or that he was capable of getting into and fitting in at a super selective. He had L5s at the end of Y5, we prepped him with papers etc and he rose to the challenge.

Nothing to lose, good luck.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now