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 Post subject: Reading boys 2013 entry
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:30 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:30 pm
Posts: 16
Hello everyone,

My son is in year 5 and we have started preparing for 11+ only recently.

He is good at maths, VR and NVR averaging above 85% oe more in the practice papers we have done so far.

Bond and GL assessment english he has managed above85% in english as well. We have done a couple of each.

Wondering where we stand and what specific material we need to focus on? How much time needs to be spent every week?

Does english have a writing task as well?

Is DIY good enough at this stage?

Also more importantly can anyone give feedback about the atmosphere at the school from direct or indirect experience?
Is it very intense and stressful?

Any answers to any of the above questions will be appreciated.

Many thanks,

reading 2012

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1769
Location: caversham
I've moved your post to Berkshire to increase response.

Sounds like you are on track, how much, little and often (and as much as you can get away with!).

No writing test at Reading.

DIY is fine but tutors can help if you're not sure or the parent-child relationship becomes a problem.

Atmosphere at the school - well it's all boys with some boarders so very competitive but also supportive. I've spent five years telling my DS that middle of the class is good enough as that is A* at GCSE, the school push for more.

They take in boys from a wide geographic and academic area so don't be put off, if you're offered a place go for it. :)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:19 am
Posts: 888

My ds just got offered a place at Reading, with just DIY preparation. I will say that the practice English papers he did seemed easier than the real thing! There's a thread in January where last autumn's papers are discussed.

The boys we know at the school seem very happy there - one friend had a hard time settling into y7 but now seems content in y8, and my daughters' y9 friend was thrilled to hear of my ds's offer, so I take they as a good reflection on the school :-)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:33 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:25 pm
Posts: 29
Location: Didcot Oxforshire
my ds1 is in Year 9 and enjoys school (as much as any teenager does!).

I would say that the expectations are high and the boys are expected to work hard and perform well. It helps a great deal if they are motivated (my ds needs some encouragement in this area!).

Like Steve, my ds is not one of Reading's highest fliers but is somewhere in the middle or just under but is still on track for A*s at GSCE. He didn't have any tutoring for the exam except for DIY with me and that was enough.

My ds2 has just found out he didn't make it in this year (ranked 123).

Your son sounds like he is doing well - good luck:)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:30 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:29 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Berkshire
I agree with Steve (As Usual :wink: )

Your son's results sound good, and definitely the little but often approach is sensible.
There's alot of ground to cover Maths and English to end of yr 6 equivalent by beginning of yr6 and of course
knowledge of VR and NVR as you don't know which will come up. 4 subject areas is alot.

The good news is that the stronger subjects help to pull the weaker ones up in the test, as all 3 papers totals are taken into

As to atmosphere, I have two boys there. Both are happy and both are doing well (despite their 1st love being PC games and the Xbox :shock: ).
Saying that it's, thankfully, like most schools, and boys will be boys.
That's what I like most, it is normal, except they do seem to have this strange tradition(???), which I had heard about before they joined.
i.e When they get homework they mostly do it (of their own choice) at break or in their lunchtime or on the coach home. So when they
get home they have very little, if any, left to do.
Enterprising perhaps? :?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:06 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 9:03 pm
Posts: 120
reading2012 wrote:
Is it very intense and stressful?

My DS is in Y11 and my answer would be no. In fact I felt that he pretty much had Y10 off and didn't seem to be doing much work at home at all. I queried the amount of homework at parents' evening but they all assured me he was doing fine and the Physics teacher gave an answer that amounted to 'they should be enjoying life and not working all the time, they do enough work in school'. I guess much will depend on how much effort they do put in during the school day. At no point in DS's four and a half years would I have described his school experience as 'intense and stressful' (although I do not recommend the workload that comes with GCSE Art but that is another story!!).

Of course stress can be self-generated and it is a competitive environment so it will partly depend on how your DS responds to that. I think it is something of a shock for many of them in Y7 to discover that they are no longer automatically top of the class!

The pastoral care is excellent and taken very seriously.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:42 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:30 pm
Posts: 16
I am amazed by and grateful for the quick and detailed responses by so many of you. It really is reassuring to know that the forum is so supportive and informative.

The results of the practice tests are encouraging but because i work full time I get only weekends with him, and also was wondering if I should get someone neutral i.e. third person, to assess him to make sure it is worth trying. any ideas on that one?

Any suggestions for a reliable tutor?

It is a relief to know that the school atmosphere per se is not pressurising! Yes, and the point about finding oneself not at the top anymore, is very true.

I am sure that the actual english comprehensions will be much more challenging than the english comprehensions by bond and GL. Are there any publications/material that provide english papers closer to the reading entrance exam standards?

Despite the information below, surely the school knows that the aspirant pupils are being prepared for the exam. And anyway, I am not sure if state schools'( my son is in one of them) curriculum prepares them for VR and NVR, especially under exam conditions and in limited time!!

Entrance Tests
The entrance tests will be taken at Reading School. Tests will cover, Mathematics, English and Reasoning [verbal and/or nonverbal
The tests will be multiple choice and will be tests for which no additional preparation is necessary. No past papers are
available and no further information with respect to the tests will be given.
Allowance will be made for a pupil’s age.

Another point, is the race against time factor. What is the time duration for these tests.
Are there breaks between them?

How far is not too far to travel on a daily basis to reading school in morning rush houe either by public transport or car.
From where we are it is about 30 mins car journey at an off-peak time, which is more like 45mins -1 hour in the morning. And about 1 hour on public transport i.e. train.

Is that too much or normal...do lot of boys commute. From my town I know of only one boy , who goes to reading boys.

I am afraid there are a lot of questions but I am counting on you all for answers.

many thanks,

reading 2012

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
Posts: 1383
Location: Reading
In terms of travelling whereabouts are you living? Is it insid the designated area?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:30 pm
Posts: 16
I am in the designated catchment. So that is no problem. :)

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:35 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:35 am
Posts: 128
Location: reading
Hi reading 2012,

In terms of time it is 3* approx 1 hour papers, with toilet breaks in between. All the children I know who have sat have always managed to complete the papers, although last year the reasoning paper was a struggle. I would certainly recommend that you get them used to doing 2 papers in a row and build a few 3 papers is row before the actual exam.

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