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Can anyone recommend an 11+ tutor in SE London?

(11 Posts)
lucasnorth Sun 24-Jul-16 10:13:12

We are still really unsure of where will be best for DD but to keep all options open want to do some tutoring, in case we decide to go for common entrance.

I've looked online but there is a bewildering array of tutors and middle-men. Can anyone recommend a tutor who has successfully got their DC into a highly demanding secondary school (eg CLS(G), St Paul's etc)

Thanks in advance for any advice.

PettsWoodParadise Sun 24-Jul-16 21:00:57

I don't have any recommendation as we ended up DIYing. DD got into a SE London superselective grammar and a scholarship offer from a top independent but no thanks to external tuition - more a combination of natural ability, mocks showing areas of weakness and home tuition. Just don't expect any tutor if you do get recommendations to have the silver bullet, you need to put in the input too (yes, I work full time) along with your DC being 100% committed to the idea. I saw some DCs tutored and the parents felt relieved, took a back seat and their darlings just didn't make the grade. I know what is like in our area and there are some amazing schools worth the effort. Wishing you all the best.

lucasnorth Mon 25-Jul-16 19:57:20

Thanks for posting. My problem is that because the schools don't give any feedback I don't know where we went wrong last time - or even how close DD was to being offered a place. At the time she said she had tried all the questions; and when we did practice questions together she would get the vast majority right. So I'm nervous to DIY again as I don't know what to do differently!
Anyone else got any recommendations please?!

lucasnorth Mon 25-Jul-16 19:58:59

Sorry, actually PWP, would you mind sharing what tuition you did? We did the bond books last time but is there something better out there? Thanks again.

PettsWoodParadise Mon 25-Jul-16 21:51:23

We did the Letts and Bond ten minute test but got some excellent feedback from a mock test provider called 11plusmocktests - we got a ranking but most importantly we got a breakdown of the types of question and which she was getting all right of or none or just one etc. Most were fine but a couple of types of questions she was struggling with so that helped focus our studies and then we picked those out of the various books or made up some similar questions. It made for a far lazier summer than going through all the stuff she knew already. DD's maths and vocab were already excellent so we didn't use vocab lists but there are ones dotted about including on the elevenplusexams forum that I know others found helpful.

We tended to do two ten minute tests each day and then another ten minutes on areas we knew she needed to work on so it wasn't hard. I would spend my train journey into work doing some questions that were similar to those that she had got wrong last time round and those would be used each day as the focused part of her practice. We did try a tutor for a few weeks but they just didn't seem to drill down to any areas of weakness and worked on practice papers without really analysing the results, there is no point in doing the practice papers if you don't look at them and then identify what needs working on. For NVR as we had in some of the tests the tactic was more a reliance on the books but we did try and pick out the types of ones she was getting wrong and at the later stages just work on those in the other test books and jump the ones she was OK with. If going for the top independents you really need to be doing sample papers the maths for them is much harder than you will find in the bond books etc. DD was doing Y7 maths at the end of Y5 and she still found that the sample Independent papers had questions on that she didn't know and we had to learn that ourselves (Carol Vorderman was my saviour for that!). Bear in mind that some of those they are competing with for the independents will be at prep schools which are probably teaching ahead of the national curriculum anyway (DD's school did), some will be geared up to the eleven plus, others will want to keep their brightest on if they have a senior school so it won't be so much about formal preparation. As the tests for the Independent were in the January we just topped up what we'd been doing for the state tests with a bit of extra maths and comprehension. I have no clue whatsover about Common Entrance for Y9 entry though so will leave that for someone else to comment on. My experience is very much at the 11+ stage and only with one DD who happened to pass with flying colours all four of the tests that she sat and all four of those tests were very different (one GL, one CEM, one NVR and VR only and one an Indie test). I get where you are coming from OP, it was always our intention to keep as many doors open as possible without being overwhelming. It worked for us and I hope it works for you.

Needmoresleep Wed 27-Jul-16 09:58:16

I think Petts Wood might be talking about Grammars? Several Indies do not even have VR/non VR.

For Independents I would focus on learning the material by buying Galore Park's "So you really want to learn.."

They are used by Independent Schools and follow the CE syllabus, but are also designed for home study, and I think you can buy the teachers manual as well.

If you are not good at maths you might employ a bright teenager to help explain some of the concepts. DD, luckily, had an older brother who could be called on.

One thing tutors are good for is having past papers. If not cull what you can from similar school websites. Part of the issue is that schools like SPGS don't want pupils to prep too much, so don't offer too much support.

EatonGate Wed 27-Jul-16 11:31:51

I don't know about a specific tutor, but in terms of agencies Dulwich Tutors are probably the best to use for SE London.

If you're DIYing it, there's a book called KS2 Maths by David Rayner which covers all the syllabus maths but also has a really good problem solving section - for schools like City and St Paul's logical problem solving and being able to tackle questions which are unfamiliar is important, and while things like Bond books are really good for strengthening key skills, they don't always have enough of the problem solving stuff. Some of the questions in this book are good challenges for bright 10 year-olds too, though you'll have to be a bit selective with them:

For English, there are a series of Nelson Thornes books called Focus on Comprehension and Focus on Writing Composition which are good for developing the two main skills tested in 11+ English.

lucasnorth Tue 02-Aug-16 11:37:33

Many thanks everyone for this advice, lots of really useful ideas (and sorry for the delay in responding - just back from a week on the beach grin)

Looks like we may go down the DIY route again, despite 9+ not working out - hopefully with these tips it will work better! I may try and find a tutor just to get at some past papers though...

wholemealchips Tue 16-Aug-16 23:29:54

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chameleon43 Wed 17-Aug-16 16:46:06

OP - so your dd is going into Y5? IME a lot of parents will already have started tutoring for the 11+ for the schools you mention - sad but true.

Is your dd at a school where others are tutoring? Might be easiest to get a recommendation from one of them? (Certainly don't follow up any leads from tutors who post on here). It's all word of mouth in my part of SE London.

there is a lot you can do by yourselves though. Print out 10+ paper from school websites and try those out at home? As well as VR and NVR books, there are also maths revision books and maths 10 minute test books which we've found good for getting our kids up to speed.

TotalTutorsLondon Thu 18-Aug-16 16:54:20

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