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If your child is at a grammar school what did you do to get them in there? And when did you start? And do you have any tips?

(129 Posts)
WideWebWitch Sat 07-Jul-07 13:06:43

Ds is 9, will be 10 in October and is about to finish year 4 and go into year 5.

We are in catchment for a grammar school. I really want him to go there.

So, what do I have to do to get him in? Happy to sell my grandmother, soul etc to do it.

Am I too late already? Is tuition to get him through the 11+ a good idea? I think he's probably bright enough so I don't think it's a risk coaching to get him in and then him floundering but all and any advice much appreciated. Thanks.

NAR4 Sat 17-Nov-12 14:08:23

My oldest 3 are all at grammar schools (the others aren't old enough yet) and all I did was buy a set of practice papers from WHSmiths for them to familiarise themselves with the exam paper layout. This was what the grammar school recommended (they told us which type of papers to buy) when they had their open day for prospective parents.

It is worth getting a private tutor to check where they have been taught up to in Maths and what level they will need for the exam. We did this also and found a massive gap in their education. My husband taught them the maths that they hadn't covered at school, as he is a physicist (which involves a lot of maths).

I do know some parents though that have had private tutors for their children for up to a year before hand. I think this runs the danger of your child maybe getting in and not being able to cope, or feeling really upset about not getting in after the effort they put in.

Good luck.

FiveHoursSleep Fri 16-Nov-12 20:49:23

We don't know until March 2013 but it appears DD1 has got good enough marks to have a very good chance of getting into a good ( no 33 on the Sunday times list) partially selective secondary school.
Lots of people apply for a place from our area, including a lot of DD's class mates. We did a years pretty laid back tutoring for her year 5, spent the summer holidays doing maybe a paper a week, then did a paper a day for the two weeks before the exam.
A lot of the other girls who sat the exam were tutored for at least a year longer than DD, went to summer school over the holidays and some even took a week out of school prior to the exams! A couple got higher marks than DD but not as many as you'd imagine.
I think you can definitely over tutor!

averageparent Fri 16-Nov-12 16:43:53

See if the following link helps,

Startail Thu 15-Nov-12 11:07:07

Practice papers at home until they do them quick enough is what DDs friends did.

If you are bright enough the actual questions shouldn't be a problem.

DD1 can do NVR with no practice at all.
Unfortunately being dyslexic she couldn't have read the VR paper accurately at 10

Moominmammacat Thu 15-Nov-12 10:47:57

If it's any help to the idle amongst us, I didn't start with my DS until the Sept of Y6 ... for Nov exams. But he did a whole paper before school every single day for ten weeks, and more in the evening. He was co-operative but there was a reward (of sorts) for every paper. Horrid business but it did pay off for us.

nals Thu 15-Nov-12 09:45:44

Could anyone help me with names of tutors for Henrietta Barnett ? Thanks

tiredout Thu 01-Nov-07 19:30:28

Of course Rosetip's right. Or at least, they have to allocate as many passes as there are places. If there are 100 places at grammar schools, 50 each gender, then that's how many pass the 11 plus. If the cohort in one year is particularly 'slow' a child could get in with a pass which would fail them in another year if the cohort is particularly bright. Either way, if the boys' marks are a little lower than the girls, then they will pass with a lower mark in order to get the full alllocation of boys in grammar school.

I can't understand why people still think it's a good idea. But then, you see, I failed my 11 plus and I've never forgotten it. Even though it was obvious to me, and my parents, that I was (am) bright and destined for university. Good job we didn't stay in the Hampshire hell-hole and moved back to London that's what I say.

TheDucHearseOfCorpseBride Tue 30-Oct-07 23:31:56

sparkleprincess - I asked around friends about primary schools local to Heathfield but they weren't able to answer - and I couldn't find the your other thread.

I thought TOGs gave 35 places to outside area? From our state primary this year, 4 went to TWGGS and 4 to TOG, 2 went private and 2 went to state. That's pretty good for East Sussex although the girls who went to TWGGS had all moved into TW in last couple of years. I don't know where the boys went - but everyone seems to think it's easier to get a boy into Judd or Skinners than it is to get a girls grammar place. Our school does not support the 11+ as there are no grammars in our county.

I'm only Reception and Year 1 so far and will consider private v grammar much later!

Milliways Tue 30-Oct-07 22:51:15

In Reading, there is no longer any age weighting, which was gutting for DS as he is August born.

But he got in anyway!

Rosetip Tue 30-Oct-07 21:13:08

Just a quick question alycat, and sorry if it's been asked before as not able to read whole thread.

Is it just August born children who are awarded extra points or May/June/July as well?

Also I've heard that boys indirectly benefit from the test as more girls pass but they have to allocate equal grammar school places between the sexes. Any truth in this or an urban myth?

alycat Mon 22-Oct-07 22:23:04

tigermoth, August born children are awarded extra points for the 11+.

The Judd School (Tonbridge) has many boys with SEN, I know at least 2 boys with Aspergers who go there.

Cowsgomoo, a Govenors Place at TGG can be awarded to out of area students with a (virtually) perfect score.

CowsGoMoo Mon 22-Oct-07 21:45:52

Just to add regarding catchment area's... I live just outside Hastings (East Sussex) and know of three girls who live locally to me who are at TWGGS(Kent) and 2 boys at Judd(Kent) and one girl at Judd (A- levels). They travel in by train and often with our train services do not get home until past 6 having left at around 7 in the morning.

bubblesbabe Fri 19-Oct-07 21:20:42

I agree with smallone - i teach children from the grammar and find they are not creative thinkers at all - have been spoon fed exam info and find it very difficult to work independently. Kids from local comp are much better able to tackle tasks alone and in groups - they seem to have been given the skills to think outside the box more effectively. Obviously depends on the child but unless they are already high fliers academically with a creative mind I would always go for a good all-round comp.

woodyrocks Sat 01-Sep-07 17:04:45

Have stumbled upon the thread via google and so glad I did. My DD is going into Yr.2 at Marian Vian (an over subscribed high achieving state school) but I am already thinking about 11+ (no, I am not one of those uber parents I swear!).

She already has the reading age of a 9yr old at the age of 6 and is articulate beyond her years. I am hoping for a scholarship to Babington house but also have my eye on Newstead wood even though we are currently 1.4miles outside the catchment area. Shall not start tutoring until Yr.4 whatever the case but have started extra curricular such as language (Spanish) and music (2 instruments).

prettypurpledaisy Mon 30-Jul-07 09:16:25

dd had coaching from year 6, only one hour a week for confidence more than anything, she fluffed the practice paper at school so I thought it would do her good, she got to grammar easily. ds is about to start year 6 in september has been having maths coaching for about a year as i was unhappy with primary school not for 11+ will start with tutor this holiday for confidence and just so he knows what the papers will be like. It doesn't do any harm but try not to put too much pressure on them they are only young. I am lucky in catchment for high performing non selective school but would prefer grammar for him if possible as local school so huge! It really depends on your child and whether too much pressure will have a negative effect. Do what is right for you and your son.

Tessiebear Sun 29-Jul-07 17:25:13


Tessiebear Sat 28-Jul-07 13:52:33

WWW - i feel EXACTLY the same as you (even planning how i could possibly disguise myself to sit the exam for him on the day)
DS1 has a tutor for 1 hour a week for maths, i do Bond papers and various other Letts books with him. Out of interest - how did your DS do in his yr4 optional SATS. I ask because these seem to give quite a good indication as to whether they are on track for the 11+. The reason i do quite a bit with my DS is because i feel he is boarderline - but with a bit of effort and practice he could do well. Really bright kids only need a bit of help with the whole layout of the paper etc. The style of questions is really different to anything they have come across in class.
Some parents have told me that they did the 11+ practice papers from beginning of year 5. Some dont do them until the beginning of year 6. I personally find the Bond papers really hard and think it is a lot of pressure for DS. But i almost feel that if i do nothing i am letting him down - by not giving him the opportunity.

tigermoth Tue 17-Jul-07 07:50:28

www, lots of really useful stuff on this thread. I will come back later to it. Seeing Cod's last post, I do feel my august born son who'll be in year 4 in September is still too young to have any coaching at the moment. I am not at all sure at this stage that we will even put him in for the 11+ even though if he passed he would be able to get a place at his brother's school. He is so different to ds1. Time will tell.

My older son did not get any coaching till 7 or 8 months before the test and that seemed about right for him. TBH, neither the teachers nor I would have seen him as potentially in with a good chance of passing the 11+ in year 4. He was not focussed at school and was not getting brilliant results, but then he did knuckle down to work more in year 5 and year 6.

A good first move would be to get your son assessed. My oldest sat some test 11+ papers set by a private tutoring school. The teacher marked them according to 11+ standards, taking his younger age into account ( he was 10 at the time). Then they told us the results, so we could see how far off ds1 was to achieving the necessary standard. Having a tutor do this and not us meant there was an outsider's perspective and this was really helpful. Can you find out if any of the private tutors or tutor groups will assess your son?

TheCodDelusion Mon 16-Jul-07 09:54:49

early in year 4 means 18 months/2 year of cramming
its far too early
researchc hsows that they peak at a cetina stage so too logn ispointless

smallone Mon 16-Jul-07 09:53:46

I was borderline on my 11+ and went to a secondary school. One of my friends, also borderline was sent to the grammar. I got on very well at the secondary school, got 10 GCSE's A-C and she got 8 below C. I know this is only two people but I think it illustrates that if you aren't at a level to get in you will struggle and would be better off at another school.

Also I went to the grammar for my A-levels coz my school didn't do the ones I wanted and found it to be complete rubbish! The rest of the girls had no common sense and the teaching was dictation. IME Grammar schools are worse at teaching as pupils are already more gifted and therefore the teaching staff can get lazy.

Obviously this is only one school but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the good grades achieved at grammars were purely down to private tuition and natural ability rather than teaching standards.

helmum Fri 13-Jul-07 17:36:33

Forgot to add - Our LEA allows extra time and opportunity to have LSAs and quiet room to work in for kids who need it. I think all LEAs do - otherwise they fall foul of the Disability Discrimination Act.

helmum Fri 13-Jul-07 17:33:42

Well we've got 5 kids, and the oldest is in Grammar. The others we are sending to private prep. school - but we wonder if it's a waste of money. The Bond papers are brilliant, and the series includes How To Do It books which are very good. If you've the time, and a co-operative child, then you could easily do the preparation yourself. Start early in year 4, and remember that you leave it too late you can catch up with everything except reading! DS2 does his 11+ in November. Fingers crossed

swedishmum Fri 13-Jul-07 09:53:56

Quick hijack for Freckle - don't suppose you know if the dyslexic children got extra time with tests? No-one in our LEA seems to know what happens round here! Anyone on here with dyslexic children at Grammar School?

Alison2507 Fri 13-Jul-07 09:40:39

My ds is starting Grammar School in September. I coached him myself, but dd is having a tutor from September (year 5) because it was far to much like hard work! Its debatable how far you can increase their marks in Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning, althought practice obviously helps, but I was told quite definitely that they would not have covered all the maths in school.

Now a Maths lesson. The NFER 11+ raw test scores are standardised around the mean, and the pass mark is set at a point above the this mean score. This means that if a high percentage of the children are tutored to a higher score the pass mark is effectively higher. Also in Trafford you now have to opt in to the test, and its on a Saturday morning, so quite a lot of the less able children don't bother. This will also push up the mean, raising the pass mark. Thats why its getting harder!

Walnutshell Thu 12-Jul-07 21:43:05

Yes, I expect they can provide percentages at the very least. Thanks.

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