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Daughter going to local grammar school, can anyone tell me about the curriculum?

(94 Posts)
LadyMaryofDownt0n Sun 03-Jul-16 00:13:45

As title, first child going to grammar school/seminary ed & I haven't a clue what lies ahead. I know the subjects but not what's being taught exactly. I'd like to know so I can help did plan ahead.

She likes learning & i am keen for her to keep the momentum over summer.

Ladymuck Sun 03-Jul-16 00:25:21

Your school should have a curriculum document on their website - this would be a good starting place.

LadyMaryofDownt0n Sun 03-Jul-16 07:56:00

I can't find it there, I've looked twice. I'll maybe give them a call.

SoupDragon Sun 03-Jul-16 08:01:17

I think I would get her to do still like reading different books and reviewing them and other more general "learning" things.

Personally I don't see there being any benefit in working on what she will be working on in September, there will be plenty of different educational things you can do that won't result in boredom/false appearance of advancement in September.

228agreenend Sun 03-Jul-16 08:09:33

The best preparation you can give her to make sure she reads regularly.

has she had her induction days yet? They will tell her what she is expected to do.

I agree with soup, theses no need to do formal school work over the holidays. Do fun stuff and let her relax. There's plenty of time for academia in the future. If you want to,do learning stuff, go to museums or take up a new hobby. I know it can be a bit scary starting grammar school, and you want her prepared, but the best way is to her relaxed, not stressed about work.

TeaBelle Sun 03-Jul-16 08:12:08

Life skills are more important than the academic stuff so work on organisation, team work, confidence, ability to find books in the library, do independent homework and use public transport safley

Iwantacampervan Sun 03-Jul-16 09:10:00

I would concentrate on the practical things like practising the route to school (using a bus or train etc.), tying ties (if necessary), ensure she knows how school timetables work (although every school seems to print them off in a different format). Encourage reading and keep up with times tables and have fun.

JustRichmal Sun 03-Jul-16 09:17:32

If you do wish to teach your dd over summer, get her to write out a timetable with you of what days you will do some work and what days she will have purely as holiday. This is so she can see she will be having days just free and it will not be all work. I am planning doing 20 days of work 4 hours with dd, who will be going into year 9. This is less than half of the holidays. Dd would rather do this than not as she is now at an age when she wants to achieve. Also, from experience, some of those 20 days dd will not feel like working on the day and you simply have to let those days go or all the other days when she would have wanted to work will become a chore she has to do. I expect she will do 15 to 18 days in the end.
For resources, you could try KS3 revision books and workbooks.
Your local library for factual books.
On line: Khan Academy, Hegartymaths
You Tube: Crash Course (Beyond KS3, but fun to watch)
BBC bitesize.
Websites: UKMT, nrich
Going into year 7, I think it does not really matters what she learns, so long as she enjoys it. Dd likes maths and so this is what she will mainly be doing.
You could also try doing Dance Mat Typing on the BBC website, as this is a skill which will come in useful.
It is also important to get a good balance of doing fun things on the free days. If it is a choice between getting housework done or taking her den building in the park, the park has to win.

goodbyestranger Sun 03-Jul-16 10:16:07

Any half-way decent grammar school headteacher would tell you to lay off over the summer and let your DD enjoy herself doing whatever it is she likes doing. She absolutely doesn't need to do a thing. Never heard of this kind of prep and I'm quite a seasoned grammar school parent.

JustRichmal Sun 03-Jul-16 16:12:08

Surely it is up to each parent how best to raise their children and it is they who know their children best. I just asked dd, and she says it gets a bit boring just doing nothing and she quite likes doing maths as well.
For lots of children, learning is something they like doing.

bojorojo Sun 03-Jul-16 16:17:52

Grammar school/seminary??? Surely you know what is taught??? Why have you agreed to this if you do not know what it is all about? Plan ahead for what? My DDs just turned up to their schools. Apart from uniform, no planning needed.

Muskey Sun 03-Jul-16 16:26:15

Talk to her about being organised. I thought dd was an organised child I was extremely mistaken and it took until Christmas for dd to get her act together

PotteringAlong Sun 03-Jul-16 16:27:59

She's 11. You could just let her run outside and play...

goodbyestranger Sun 03-Jul-16 16:47:55

JustRichmal it's not normal for parents to issue extra schoolwork in the holidays and it's just that sort of approach to schooling which can trigger all sorts of problems for the child. I assume that your DD is at a grammar school too but all I can say is that you must be in a tiny minority and I very much doubt that your approach will guarantee or even aid achievement - very possibly the opposite, at least ultimately.

goodbyestranger Sun 03-Jul-16 16:50:25

Incidentally OP all kids 'lose momentum' over the long summer holidays but it doesn't take any time at all to get it back.

JustRichmal Sun 03-Jul-16 20:18:08

I don't think anyone has a magic formula for the best way to bring up a child, so if you don't want your child to do work over the summer holidays then don't. I don't think being told I am not following the crowd will be enough to to persuade me I am wrong.

BertrandRussell Sun 03-Jul-16 20:21:08

Are you in the UK?

goodbyestranger Sun 03-Jul-16 22:28:29

JustRichmal the OP is a new parent to grammar school so it may be helpful to her to get the normal parental version of what's required for a child to settle happily into Y7, rather than an extreme take on the thing. Her DD is far more likely to succeed at a grammar without a parent piling on pressure under the guise of merely providing materials for an eager to learn/ achieve child. Nothing needs to be done in the holidays except for possibly the holidays immediately preceding public exams and most certainly not in the holidays prior to the transition to secondary school.

JustRichmal Mon 04-Jul-16 07:50:22

One of the great things about these forums is freedom of speech, which means that if you post something you get a variety of views by people who assume you are intelligent enough to make your own mind up.

goodbyestranger Mon 04-Jul-16 08:30:09

JustRichmal, OP didn't ask about your own rather unusual approach, she seemed to want to know what was the norm for DC about to start grammar. You're quite right, obviously, about each parent being free to do what they want. I'm simply observing that it's very, very much the exception to do any 'formal' academic prep in the holidays at grammars particularly in the transition to Y7 . The fact that in my view that sort of intense approach is calculated to end badly is irrelevant to everyone except me but as you say, I'm free to express it. I do however have the benefit of many years experience of multiple DC at a superselective and one inevitably gets to know about the more anxious or pressurizing parents and how their DC have fared.

BananaL0af Mon 04-Jul-16 08:41:19

I have 2 DDs at a grammar school and the school's policy is NO homework over the any of the holidays.

HT makes it quite clear that extra work outside of school is unnecessary in terms of "getting ahead" and that parents should not apply extra curricular pressure on the kids. Personally, I agree.

There's no point in teaching what they will be covering in class ahead of time, it will just mean they will be bored in class...

Agree that the best you can do is to cover the practicalities of starting secondary school: travel, making new friends, uniform and bag, a positive attitude.

Read lots for fun, do a library summer reading scheme if that's available to you, have days out, visit museums and galleries etc. Enjoy this period.

Needmoresleep Mon 04-Jul-16 08:57:59

Just Richmal, DD leaves her academic and selective school tomorrow so we are at the end of the process. We have come across a few children along the way who were subject to intensive parent directed educational activities. It may seem great at 11, when they turn up at school bright eyed and top of the class. But by 16, the same children are often struggling. The risks are that either they fail to live up to their early promise and feel like failures; loathe their mothers and refuse to take on board any parental advice; or struggle to discover their own ambition and self-direction and find themselves pretty aimless at what is a crucial stage. Obviously some directed children will be bright and last the course, but others fade at some point and their uncoached peers catch up.

In so far as you can prepare your child, I would focus on building self-esteem and resiliance. Some nice family activities where a child can know they are valued for themselves not for their academic achievements. Some non-academic activity like sport or drama where a child can mix with a wider peer group, and learn to do something because they enjoy it, and to cope with things like not being selected.

NicknameUsed Mon 04-Jul-16 09:01:38

"it took until Christmas for dd to get her act together"

Ha ha ha ha

DD has just finished her GCSEs and she is still completely disorganised.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Mon 04-Jul-16 09:08:51

All we are doing with dd is a few basics on an app of a language which will be new to her. MFL are not her first love and she hasn't encountered this one before. She is enjoying it more than French (studied at primary and will be continuing at secondary). It is really to give her a little confidence before she starts and she might be able to use a little on holiday as there are likely to be native speakers in the campsite. The school are starting them as beginners so she will go over it all again anyway. We are not planning to cover anything else and this is more for her confidence in a new subject which she might otherwise dread rather than for her to get ahead. For reference her younger siblings are learning languages on the same app just for fun and it is only 5-10 min a day.

Badbadbunny Mon 04-Jul-16 09:33:26

I wouldn't do anything "new" in preparation of the new subjects they're going to start learning.

BUT, having been through the transition with my son, there are a couple of things you could usefully do over Summer. I'd concentrate on basic numeracy/literary skills - yes, I know she must be good to have got a high enough score in the 11+ to get a place, but there's always more to learn and the grammar school won't actually do too much at the basic levels in these core skills (they'll assume their pupils are already there).

Re literary skills, just lots of reading, to improve vocab, grammar, spelling, and get more ideas of different types of stories, subjects, etc. Aim to go onto older/more complicated books rather than staying at her current reading level - an ideal time for you to read with her to help her get onto more adult books.

Re numeracy, I'd strongly suggest you teaching her how to do long multiplication and long division and also adds/subtracts, with the old fashioned "bunk bed" approach of columns of units, tens, etc. Many primary schools don't do this well at all and concentrate on relatively small numbers which are more suited to the modern techniques taught, but aren't really good enough when you're onto huge numbers. The grammar expects their intake to know how to work with big numbers from day 1 and won't have the time/inclination to go back to basics for those who are struggling.

Our son, who got SATS level 6 in Maths really struggled at grammar when working with huge numbers without a calculator. School weren't any help so we had to work out for ourselves what was wrong, and when we sat with him and watched him step by step through the calculations, we saw what crazy convoluted methods he was trying to use (I think they call it the grid system), which had untold possibilities for making errors. We put a few evenings aside and taught him the old fashioned long methods and he took to it like a duck to water, then we printed off some worksheets from the corbettmaths website, and he was suddenly able to do it quickly and accurately. At the next parents' evening, we mentioned it to his teacher who glibly said, "oh yes, a lot of primary schools don't teach it very well" and went on to say that there isn't really the time or inclination to do it at the grammar because most pupils can already do it!

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