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AMA

I'm an 11 plus tutor AMA

61 replies

rosesinmygarden · 05/02/2022 17:32

I tutor 11 plus. Happy answer questions.

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Lemoncurd · 05/02/2022 17:56

Fascinated by this, we were uncomfortable by the idea of tutoring so our children just did the practice papers supplied by the LA at home, didn't know anyone else at their school who sat the exam without a tutor though.

Do you know which children will qualify soon after meeting them? Have you had many big surprises where someone has qualified/not done so against your expectations?

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Imabitbusyatthemoment · 05/02/2022 18:00

What kind of scores would you expect children to be getting on practise papers to have a good chances of passing their tests?
DD is averaging approx 80% on Maths, English and VR. NVR she struggles with and is achieving approx 60%.

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Justjoinedforthis · 05/02/2022 18:11

When do most people start 11+ tutoring?
I had one, she would sit us down with the practice books them go cook dinner for an hour! Forty quid please. I’m sure you’re not like that, it just made me laugh

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eddiemairswife · 05/02/2022 18:13

Do you get paid by results?? On a serious note do you let parents know if their child has no hope of passing the test.

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NiceTwin · 05/02/2022 18:21

Do you tell parent's if their child really has no chance of passing?

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Soontobe60 · 05/02/2022 18:24

I’m a retired teacher (although currently teach 2 days a week!) and am thinking of getting into tutoring. Where I live there are a few selective schools that have entrance exams. How would I get into tutoring for this? Is there a Facebook page or website or something I could join?

Also, when do you actually do your tutoring?

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RoseWindow · 05/02/2022 18:26

How long do children need to be tutored for to get to the right level?

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bindud · 05/02/2022 18:31

Even if very capable do most children need tutors?

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rosesinmygarden · 06/02/2022 11:36

Do you know which children will qualify soon after meeting them? Have you had many big surprises where someone has qualified/not done so against your expectations?

I can normally tell within a half term. For some, it becomes clear much quicker. I very rarely get surprised by the results if I know the student well and have been working with them for longer than a half term. I get the odd one who pulls it out of the bag on the day but generally my predictions are correct.



What kind of scores would you expect children to be getting on practise papers to have a good chances of passing their tests?
DD is averaging approx 80% on Maths, English and VR. NVR she struggles with and is achieving approx 60%.

This depends entirely on the area. If it is a region such as Kent, those scores would get you a pass assuming they are achieved with no help and you are using materials at the right level for the test. For some other areas, the bar is far higher and the NVR may be a problem. Lots of areas combine the reasoning scores to give an average score, so the NVR would pull the VR down.



When do most people start 11+ tutoring?

Either in year 4, if the child has gaps, or in year 5 if they are already attaining good levels at school. I personally do not reach reasoning before the end of year 4.




I had one, she would sit us down with the practice books them go cook dinner for an hour! Forty quid please. I’m sure you’re not like that, it just made me laugh.

With respect, she was not a tutor. She was a very expensive babysitter and a fraud. I don't find it funny at all. What an awful way to behave.



Do you get paid by results?? On a serious note do you let parents know if their child has no hope of passing the test.

No I get paid for providing tutoring and never guarantee a certain result. Anyone who does must filter their students very carefully.

Passing depends on more than just having a tutor once/twice a week. It is a joint/team effort and if the parents and child are not on board, the chances of passing decreases massively.

Yes, I make it very clear if I feel parents are wasting their money. There is nothing worse than having to tutor a child who doesn't want to be there or who has no chance of passing. No amount of money would make me hide that from parents.




Do you tell parent's if their child really has no chance of passing?

Yes. I make it crystal clear. Many choose to ignore me though.



I’m a retired teacher (although currently teach 2 days a week!) and am thinking of getting into tutoring. Where I live there are a few selective schools that have entrance exams. How would I get into tutoring for this? Is there a Facebook page or website or something I could join?

There are some great FB groups. Search independent tutors for one very popular one which is not specifically 11+ but very useful. You need to know the syllabus inside out to be good at 11+. Get some practice papers and watch youtube videos and make sure you are very confident at teaching the content, but also the associated exam technique before attempting it.



Also, when do you actually do your tutoring?

Evenings, weekends and school holidays. I also have some overseas students who I see during the day UK time as they time difference is in our favour.



How long do children need to be tutored for to get to the right level?

Year 4 onwards if they lack confidence or have gaps. Year 5 if they are achieving well at school.




Even if very capable do most children need tutors?

They need familiarisation, test technique and confidence. You can do this yourself at home if you have the time and patience. Many parents outsource it for obvious reasons.

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Adatwistscientist · 06/02/2022 11:39

My daughter is generally pretty able but freaks out when under time pressure. What can we do to get her used to answering questions under time constraints and not completely melting down?

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rosesinmygarden · 06/02/2022 11:42

My daughter is generally pretty able but freaks out when under time pressure. What can we do to get her used to answering questions under time constraints and not completely melting down?


Instead of working to a time limit, try timing how long it takes. Then work on whittling down the time over a few months. Keep a record of how her time and score. You will see an improvement in both if you are also working on the curriculum content.

Is she completely capable of the material? If not, work on knowledge and skills first. Assuming the exam is in September, timing is not essential just yet.

Is it a specific type of question?

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CrimbleCrumble1 · 06/02/2022 11:43

Have 11plus exams got harder? When I took mine 40 years ago there wasn’t any tutoring etc and I passed.

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User1234567891011121314 · 06/02/2022 11:48

What kind of online websites would you advice to use? We already use Bond online but I feel it's all online and won't the exams be written? Their handwriting doesn't get practiced these days at school. We had a tutor but my son felt he wasn't being taught as such and now there's nothing and I'm panicking he's in year 4 and very able at Maths needs help with English but some of the bond stuff is hard at his age (even for me!) Is there anything else you can recommend for my son to do daily and then be ok for the 11 plus (around my area there's no NVR or VR).

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rosesinmygarden · 06/02/2022 12:02

Not harder, but they have changed over time. Lots now include reasoning, which isn't taught in schools.

The biggest change is the increase of tutoring, which artificially raises the bar. Some children who would be borderline without it, can be nudged over the line to pass with enough tutoring.

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rosesinmygarden · 06/02/2022 12:12

@User1234567891011121314

Bond online is good. If you want paper based practice, then the 10 minute tests are very good. I personally recommend CGP as they include proper explanations. Galore Park are good too, but more expensive.

If the first tutor wasn't helping, maybe look for another? Or teach him the concepts yourself?

Practice materials on their own won't make him 'okay for the 11+' if he's not being taught the concepts alongside exam technique.

Is the exam written? Or multiple choice? This will help you decide whether you need to push the handwriting.

What does the English part include? Maths is easier to give general advice for but the English can be quite specific.

If you look up Robert Lomax or Eleven Plus lifeline, he has lots of useful resources with comprehensive markschemes and advice for written papers. (I'm not him, by the way.)

Also, the Eleven plus parents forum has designated discussions for each region which can be useful.

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CrimbleCrumble1 · 06/02/2022 13:00

How much do you charge per hour?

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rosesinmygarden · 06/02/2022 13:49

@CrimbleCrumble1

How much do you charge per hour?

Between £20 and £40 per hour depending on the time of day and whether it's 1:1, paired or group tuition.
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rosesinmygarden · 06/02/2022 14:08

@CrimbleCrumble1

How much do you charge per hour?

Between £20 and £40 per hour depending on the time of day and whether it's 1:1, paired or group tuition. I am a qualified teacher with 14 years classroom experience and my fees include tailored planning, feedback and advice as well as teaching time.
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VladmirsPoutine · 06/02/2022 14:15

Can a child who hitherto has shown no extraordinary abilities to learn and retain knowledge quickly be hot-housed into passing? And if so will they inevitably fail at schooling at a later date due to not being able to sustain that level of intense learning?

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camperqueen54 · 06/02/2022 14:19

The 11 plus has a bad reputation for cultural and gender bias. What are your views on this?

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VeronicaVanHoopen · 06/02/2022 14:31

@VladmirsPoutine

Can a child who hitherto has shown no extraordinary abilities to learn and retain knowledge quickly be hot-housed into passing? And if so will they inevitably fail at schooling at a later date due to not being able to sustain that level of intense learning?

Slightly off-track but I find this a really interesting question. My son was exceptionally average at 10 when he was taking these exams. He is now in Y11 and right at the top of the year of the pretty selective school he managed to scrape into. He has never struggled but really came into his own around Y9. I think it is a big mistake to take what they can do at 10/11 as a real indicator of who they are academically. I mean, it's the only tool we've got but my son is far from unique amongst his friends as suddenly having an academic spurt around the age of 13. So I don't necessarily think it's true that needing tutoring at 11 means they'll always struggle.

My daughter is absolutely amazing at maths - when you sit down with her she shows such an amazing and natural understanding of the language of numbers. Every teacher she has had has said the same thing - yet she has never scored more than 70% in a maths test. She just somehow loses it in a test - even though in class she then goes on to answer those same questions accurately. Her current (Y8) maths teacher is highly perplexed by her! I'm just hoping she'll grow out of it but if you just looked at her test scores you'd think she had no skill in maths.

Anyway, kids and tests are weird even in my very limited experience!
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rosesinmygarden · 06/02/2022 14:52

@VladmirsPoutine

Can a child who hitherto has shown no extraordinary abilities to learn and retain knowledge quickly be hot-housed into passing? And if so will they inevitably fail at schooling at a later date due to not being able to sustain that level of intense learning?

Possibly yes in a county where there are a lot of grammar school places. Not so much for a super selective area/school.

Yes they would likely struggle to keep up with the requirements at a grammar.

A good tutor advises parents but ultimately it is the parents' decision when they choose their child's school.

Many parents also appeal successfully for grammar school places when their child misses the passmark by a close margin.
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rosesinmygarden · 06/02/2022 14:58

@camperqueen54

The 11 plus has a bad reputation for cultural and gender bias. What are your views on this?

My area has mainly single sex grammar schools so I can't comment personally on the gender issue.

Regarding culture, I think our entire society and education system is bias rewards certain cultures.

I tutor lots of white and Asian students. Rarely do I get enquiries from black families. This may well be down to the local demographics. I must admit, I'd never actually considered this before today as I don't tend to categorise students in that way.

Class/parents income and support at home is possibly the biggest barrier to grammar entrance in my opinion in my area.
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rosesinmygarden · 06/02/2022 15:11

Bias towards! Not rewards!

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sopsmum · 06/02/2022 15:47

@VeronicaVanHoopen have you considered adhd as my daughter is similar. We are currently getting her assessed.

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