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11+ tutoring - did you keep it a secret? y/n - why?

(23 Posts)
reallifegetsintheway Mon 19-Jan-15 20:20:17

Just that really- did you keep it a secret? If so - why? If not, why not?
I curious to people's thoughts.

MN164 Mon 19-Jan-15 21:29:57

We didn't keep it a secret and we happily shared the tutor with anyone who asked. Other parents seemed cagey and perhaps embarrassed by their use of a tutor.

The idea that withholding a tutor from other parents will give your child an advantage is not only mean spirited but foolish. Tutors can make a child shine, but they can't turn mud into gold.

Taffeta Mon 19-Jan-15 21:48:09

No, nearly everyone that took the 11+ had one, and many had the same tutor, who happily tells all who is on his books.

I have recommended him on to four people who have asked me.

I had a conversation with a few parents who had self tutored about why I had chosen to get a tutor rather than do it myself. They know my DS and understood my reasons. at least that's what they said to my face, and tbh that's all I care about.

reallifegetsintheway Mon 19-Jan-15 22:10:11

But are you both open because it had a successful outcome? I am edging towards keeping it a secret- partly my nature I think. Maybe I am thinking of self-preservation for DD if unsuccessful?

TheFirstOfHerName Mon 19-Jan-15 22:59:51

I tutored DS1 and DS2 myself. I didn't advertise the fact, but was open with anyone who asked, and shared ideas, information and resources with anyone who asked.

muffinmonster Tue 20-Jan-15 08:35:01

Unsuccesssful outcome with DD, successful with DS. Didn't keep it a secret in either case and was quite willing to share tutor details.

Seeline Tue 20-Jan-15 08:47:18

You may keep it secret but I doubt the kids will. I was inclined not to discuss it with other parents because I thought it might put extra pressure on the DCs when it came to actually sitting the exams. Also because we had indies as well as grammars on the list of possibles, which don't go down well with everyone at our primary. However, certainly with DD, she seemed to know everyone who had a tutor in her class (whether for 11+ reasons, or extra help), who had the same tutor, and which one she should be going to (based on a biscuit index grin ).

mertonmama Tue 20-Jan-15 09:00:37

DS1 and DS2 both tutored and both successful. DD also tutored, waiting on results.

Completely open about tutoring from the start and happy to share tutor details with friends. Reluctant to share tutor details with people I don't know though as tutor has limited capacity and says she is winding down.

It would be impossible to keep a secret anyway as the same tutor appears to have half the year 6s and a fair number if year 5s!

amidaiwish Tue 20-Jan-15 11:23:37

no not a secretbut because only a small proportion (max 20%) from DDs primary are applying to independent secondary it does seem to be an issue from some parents. we are not in grammar borough but many of the indie secondaries are very tough to get into

"if they need tutoring to get in they will struggle when they are there"
"if they need a tutor it is the wrong school for them"
"your dd is already top of the class in x why are you trying to make them even more ahead of the others"
"the top group / level 6's are just those who have been tutored, it's not fair"

so it can really piss some other parents off (who are not going for selective secondaries and so no need to tutor) so for that reason i don't broadcast it unneccessarily.

NewYearsHangoversHurtAlot Tue 20-Jan-15 16:09:31

My MIL is a y6 teacher so will be working with my dc on exam technique but we've specifically asked her not to cover taught material as if dc doesn't know something then it's clearly not the school for them!

In our county we are told if your child is a solid level 5 they stand a good chance of passing. Dc started y5 at this level so they stand a good chance.

We've happily shared mil's details with her agreement. Why shouldn't we?!

Taffeta Tue 20-Jan-15 16:46:06

We did have a successful outcome, but it was common knowledge to all that were interested whilst it was going on as well.

Out of a year group of 45, I think about 35 took it, and 15 passed. Everyone was open about tutoring. It's just not that big a deal round here. apart from the kid that had 4 tutors, didn't go to play dates or parties for years and was tutored for two years

SmileAndNod Tue 20-Jan-15 16:54:06

Just two years taffeta? Boys I know have been tortured since year 3. I'm debating whether to ask DSs teacher whether I should consider it or whether she will laugh me out of the classroom for being bonkers

SmileAndNod Tue 20-Jan-15 16:55:04

Tutored not tortured FFS. Though thinking about it, it could be the same thing grin

Taffeta Tue 20-Jan-15 17:11:17

There's a Freudian slip, if ever I saw one grin

I suppose it depends on the exam they are taking. In Kent, the top 21% pass. I would imagine anyone requiring 3 years of tutoring to pass the Kent test would also need tutoring all through secondary.

wheresthebeach Tue 20-Jan-15 20:44:16

No grammars here, but loads do private. Most talk about tutoring as the kids talk in the playground so everyone ends up knowing anyway. Those who deny it, when their kids happily tell you that they can't come to a playdate on Wed as they've their tutor..well...look a bit silly.

Essexmum69 Tue 20-Jan-15 22:28:14

Didn't use a tutor but didnt announce to anyone that they were going to sit the exam, we wanted to keep the whole thing low key. We also refused permission for the result to be shared with the primary school (it was a tick box yes/no on the application form) so if they majorly messed up on the day no one else would know.
In DDs case she met a class mate at the exam, but DS didnt, the other boys from his school were in the other sitting.
At our primary it just doesnt seem to be discussed, very few children sit the exam so it isn't a playground topic.

Seeline Wed 21-Jan-15 09:40:09

I think in terms of 11+ tutoring, it does depend on the area you are in. If you are in a grammar area, and lots of kids sit the exams, then I suspect it is quite normal for tutors to be used. In my area, we a re close to some super-selective grammars where the competition is ridiculous. To even admit to trying for them is greeted with scepticism - it is not 'done' to admit that your DC maybe bright enough to try. If you have to use a tutor to do it then you are clearly out of your mind. The only other reason for 11+ tutoring is for the indies - which is even worse in a lot of peoples' minds.

MrsCakesPrecognition Thu 22-Jan-15 00:44:49

I wasn't secretive and would have happily shared information with other parents but I never raised the subject myself as I know people don't want to hear. So the only people who knew were some very close friends and the parents of DDs close friends.

My natural instinct is (with hindsight) to shout from the rooftops that parents should consider entering their children for 11+, that DD is not exceptional and there are other children in her year group who could have had a good stab at if they were interested. I really want to dispel some of the mystique, rumours and secrecy around it all. But I don't see how I can without people thinking I'm showing off.

So I will continue with my policy of only replying to direct questions.

opalfire Thu 22-Jan-15 08:39:29

I live in a grammar area but not everyone chooses to sit the entrance exams. When DS was in Year 5 most people in our state school that wanted to try for the grammars used tutors for an hour a week in the year prior to entrance exams. Some tutors were so highly rated that children were put 'on the list' in year 2 or 3! Others used Bond books and supported children themselves. No secrecy as we have several prep schools in the area where children are 'hot-housed' from Year 2 with 11+ preparation. The general consensus was that parents would use tutoring to 'level the playing field a little'.

Nowadays several of the local schools do breakfast or evening clubs in the latter half of Year 5 for those sitting the entrance exams so the situation might change.

Lucyccfc Thu 22-Jan-15 21:48:07

I have kept my DS's tutoring very quiet, but probably for very different reasons than others.

We are not in a Grammar area and the area we live (deprived) people would never consider a private/independent grammar. I would be looked at as if I was stark raving mad getting a tutor, never mind considering private. When I mentioned it to DS's Head Teacher, she looked shocked and said 'why would you want to do that'. It's just not the done thing where I live and I would/will be accused of being a snob and thinking I am better than other people.

If DS gets into the Grammar we have looked at, he will have to hide his blazer under his coat lol.

Seeline Fri 23-Jan-15 08:51:01

Lucy - it's difficult isn't it trying to swim against the tide? Good luck to your DS.
BTW - as no doubt you will know from other MN threads, hiding blazers under coats in secondary school is not an option as no one wears coats grin

showersinger Sat 24-Jan-15 18:37:38

I tutored DS myself. I didn't keep it secret but most parents in primary seemed to. There was a sort of embarrassment about wanting something "better" than the local comprehensive. A sort of inverted snobbery.

3bunnies Sat 24-Jan-15 19:03:28

We haven't kept it a secret but I am clear that the point is not just to pass the test (grammar area), but to have a solid foundation for whichever school she goes to. If she doesn't pass then at least she should have a more complete understanding of primary maths and English which might place her in higher sets at the other school she would like to go to. Besides so many others are being tutored in her class that you almost need it to keep up in yr5. She has commented that a few children who aren't being tutored are struggling more than they were because they haven't encountered concepts before. I do feel that it is unfair and not a level playing field but don't want to put my beliefs before dd's chances.

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