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 Post subject: 11+ Advice
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:50 pm
Posts: 1

I hope everyone is well. I would like some advice. I have a 8 old year boy currently in year 4 and hope he will be able to sit the 11+ Exams for a place in one of Berkshire Grammar Schools.

He currently studies in a Private School since year 3 and has been covering the 11+ curriculum but I’m really not sure this will be enough to pass the 11+ exam’s.

He has Verbal and Non Verbal reasoning lessons and also given Bonds 11+ English and Maths, Mental Arithmetic books for homework.

I’m currently spending a lot of time with my boy helping with homework and also doing extra workbooks i.e. How to do 11+, 9+ question papers, Bonds No Nonsense Books.

He has tests just before every half term and he gets very good marks in English and Maths. He weakness is Story Writing as he lacks imagination and vocabulary :-(

I’m really not sure if I should also be considering a Year 5 11+ Preparation Course which can be 1 Year, 9 months, or 5 months course and start in Sept 2014, Jan 2015 or May 2015? This would be in addition to his private school work. I don’t want to overload him either with all the pressure or put him off studying.

I just want him to do really and what’s best for him. Also being a single parent and working full time, not sure I’ll also be able to handle all this.

Thanks in advance.

 Post subject: Re: 11+ Advice
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:01 pm 

Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
Posts: 3949
Location: Reading
The tests for Reading school, Kendrick and the Slough schools is changing. The mos of traditional VR is no longer of much use, although vocab is very important.

There is no creative writing as such.

All Berkshire schools will use the CEM test, for which there are no practise papers.

Here might be a good place to start, it was originally written for just Kendrick, but with the change to the exam, I've edited and added links to other threads which should help.


 Post subject: Re: 11+ Advice
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:21 am
Posts: 24
My daughter's 9 and potentially will also sit the Berks exam (only Kendrick though, as we live near Reading so too far from Slough). I thought I was being vaguely organised just signing up to this forum and now you've thrown Preparation Courses in to the mix! :lol:

Personally, I'd say that if a child needs a year's worth of a preparation course to pass the exam, then maybe Grammar school's not for them anyway, but that's JMO. If my daughter decides to go for the exam (we're going to see Kendrick in May, so will leave it up to her after that) I'm planning on lots of practice papers, and a mock exam or two though.

Why don't you wait until nearer the time and then see how he's doing? You'll know from his teachers advice and his National Curriculum levels if he's in with a shot or not by Year 5.

Best of luck to you - oh, and I also have a 7 year old son, so you never know, may be a year behind you and eagerly reading your posts for advice on the boys schools! :)

 Post subject: Re: 11+ Advice
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:08 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:52 pm
Posts: 845

It is good to ask for advice but remember any advice on timeline (especially number of years, suitability/unsuitability) is subjective. Different posts will range it differently. It could be as wide as 2-3 years to 2-3 days. Which one is correct or wrong is beyond the scope of this post.

In my understanding timeline depends on a) Which schools you are applying (all schools don't have the same type, same difficulty level exams) b) Your child and c) You (if DIYing) / Tutor / Prep School.

If DIYing, I would use the following steps to workout a time plan -

1) Step 1 Define scope -
Gather all information, materials (workbooks, question papers, how to do books and any other resources) for your target schools. Don't rely only on Bond. You will need a variety of publications for good schools. This should give you an idea of what you need to cover.

2) Step 2 Calculate study hours/session times -
Have few sessions with your child to see the capacity on a good day, bad day and an average day. Choose the middle value. This should give you an idea of how much you can cover in one session. I would typically double the time to allow breaks, unforeseen events, illness, your own readiness and any other changes. You should now have an idea of how many sessions you will need.

3) Step 3 Spread the sessions over available timeline -
Spreading the total number of sessions will give you an idea of when you should start and also give you some time to review your practice and tweak as necessary.

Your son is going to a prep school and they have prepared him for verbal/non verbal which is an advantage as no state primary will teach those subjects.
You may also want to have a chat with the school to know their scheme of work, their past results and their approach to new exams. This should give you a fair idea of how much the school will cover, what you need to cover, which materials they use and then just fill the gaps.

I hope this helps.

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