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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 10:41 am 
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I think I should start (in a gentle, but planned way) to prepare my Y4 boy for the Reading Boys exam. I prepared my daughter for Kendrick and am relatively comfortable with verbal and non verbal reasoning preparation.

I would welcome any advice about how to prepare him for the Maths and English papers and what level a successful boy (ie one who gets offered a place) really achieves.
I have looked at the school website and am not sure where I am aiming for especially with Maths which is his weaker subject.His English however is really good, he writes stories happily and is fine with comprehension.

Do they write in pencil or pen in the exam ? They are making him use an fountain pen at school, so he's stopped writing in pencil now.
Thank you,
Terri


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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 11:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
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Location: caversham
Hi Terri,

I think it is best to start early in a relaxed way. :) Based on last few years (they could change it :shock: ) maths is not a tough paper, see sample questions on link.

English is a tougher paper, sixty five questions in fifty minutes.

All multiple-choice so you have to use the pencils provided (so marking machine can read), essay is short about twenty minutes, in pencil.

viewtopic.php?t=6173

We have been using Bond NVR as it's age graded and IPS S (starter & tips books) also the Tutors Starter VR CD, all from this wonderful site's shop. :lol:

For DS1 we started in summer holidays after year 4, DS2 and DD are starting earlier but in a fun way. Hard to gauge levels, I know a few very good boys who did not get in; it is not as tough as Kendrick. Four papers on one day, with more than expected number of questions and reduced time for VR make it more a test of speed, accuracy and endurance rather than "hard" papers. We did far too much maths. :cry:

Good luck,


steve


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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 1:35 pm 
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I would be wary about starting your son too early with such preparation. Our own experience was limited to 6 or so practice papers bought from Smiths in the month before the exam - my son went to a state primary school so was not crammed or specially groomed for entrance. We did not employ a tutor. It would be a shame to spoil his junior school education by the shadow of grammar school entrance some 2/3 years in the future. Whatever you do there is no guarentee of passing the exam....


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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:03 am
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Steve,
Thank you so much for your PM and note (I couldn't work out how to PM you back, good job there is no IT in the Reading exam !).

Yes I am the same person who posted a year or two back, when my daughter and I were struggling with Kendrick preparation, she LOVES Kendrick and it was all worthwhile.

My son is a different animal altogether to my daughter, he is bright but Soooo lazy, LOVES sport and is very funny.He is aware he isn't good at maths and has become a bit switched off recently so it will be a challenge to capture his interest, I think 10 minute tests will work for him.Hopefully this will build his confidence up.

I am starting a bit earlier than I had planned as a boy I know well who I considered to be really clever, just missed Reading this year and this has worried me.I've got to plan a structured approach for my son, that its little and often.I heard that about 100 more girls sat the Kendrick exam last November was this also the case at Reading ?

Thank you so much for your advice
Terri


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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
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Location: caversham
Hi Richardg,

Welcome to the forum, the more the merrier, I am encouraging people to go to the Spring Fayre, it really helped us to get a feel for the school before DS sat the exam.

I sympathize and agree with your opinion about not starting prep. to early, in an ideal world.

You could take it a step further and follow the advice of the school website,

Quote:
The tests will build on current good practice adopted in primary schools 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.


However in the real world many boys are tutored or attend prep schools that, er, prep.

A disproportionate number of boys from independent schools secure places, at Reading, not sour grapes my DS1 went independent.

Now with DS2 (ignoring his special but able needs) even at a very good state school I can see that to give him a fair chance I will have to fill the gaps.

I do agree strongly about no guarantees’, it is very much about being top 112 on the day. I think if they re-sat the test a week later the top 112 would be 50% different.

Now that you, and I, have seen the benefits of a place at Reading, would you if you had another boy "in the pipeline" try a bit harder? I know I am!

My solution to lack of places for able boys is to clone Reading. :)

Looking forward to sunshine on 10th May at the Fayre. :lol: :lol:


steve


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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 7:21 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
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Location: caversham
Hi Terri,

Welcome back. When you get a PM and open it to reply just click on the "post reply" button, top left. :) To send a new message look at the foot of the forum page and click on "you have no new messages" and then blunder around. :lol:

Very pleased to hear Kendrick is going well. With your son's good English, starting early and your proven tutoring skills I am sure you have a good chance.

Can't find Reading candidate numbers it will be confirmed in the "Moving On" book in September which you can view on LEA (Reading Borough) web site. Remember Reading has designated postcodes (catchment priority) Kendrick does not, so less pressure on places at Reading, but boys are harder to motivate. :wink:


steve


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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 1:51 pm 
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Hi Terri

My DS is the opposite to your son: good at maths but weaker with english ( especially comprehensions ). He started to prepare 12 months ago towards the end of year 5, firstly with the bond series of books and then over the summer with nfer papers - good to look at a variety of question
types.
nfer papers definately closer to actual exam but maths was easier.
Wish we had discovered the forum before he took the exam as the 4 short comprehensions threw him ( prepared for one long one !! ).
I think close to 500 applied this year, happily he was offered a place.

Good luck


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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
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Location: caversham
Hi bessie,

A belated congratulations and welcome to the forum. Thanks for the exam feedback, my son was also shocked in 2006 by the multi-comprehension paper, he said it was all my fault for looking at the wrong type of papers. :roll:

How did the new parents evening go? For me in 2007 it was the first time I really warmed to the school as their message changed to "happy boys are successful boys, that is our aim" :) :)

We are in East house. Will send you a PM with some useful info. and please ask any questions on or off forum.

Good luck,


steve


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