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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 1:49 pm
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Hello,

I would appreciate thoughts on best way to use the half term that is coming up in the next week or two. The tests are nearing, and I wanted to know if a full time table of studies/test papers during the half term week is a good idea or is it over the top. By full time, I mean should I plan the studies like a normal school day/week, with morning and afternoon sessions.

Your suggestions are appreciated, thank you.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:03 am 
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not in your region but have the test in November so I was planning on maybe half an hour a day. We just have VR though - although to counteract the "just"ness of that, ours are super-selective with no catchments.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Perhaps for variety try a few sample Cloze tests during the half term week. See

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?p=84334

It's also worthwhile brushing up on the vocabularly using a different approach. Buy a few quality broadsheet newspapers, select a few interesting articles (e.g on say climate change or Darwin etc) and using a highlight pen mark several challenging words.

You should then get you child to read the article and explain back the keys points being made in the article. In particular you should get them to explain precisely the meaning of the highlighted words. If there is any doubt work together with a dictionary.

At a practical level I wouldn't swamp them with work during 1/2 term - maybe a max 2 hours per day.

Hope this helps


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:25 am 
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Thanks KenR - good advice to make English and Vocab more interesting.

My DD is pretty strong in that area, Maths would be her weakness if any - does anyone have any advice of interesting ways of improving last minute Maths skills that are likely to come up in the KE paper?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
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Location: Birmingham
just looked up that cloze test link and - aaargh! - i can't do them myself -

don't know where my brain cells went to but i'm hoping my kids got them


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:51 am
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Location: Birmingham
um

Your post really made me smile - I recognise that experience! Heaven help my CD....

BB248


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
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Location: Birmingham
In the 1st year of the Durham KE Grammar exam during the 1st paper, thay gave children a short passage on a separate sheet to read and understand and then took sheet away. They then asked questions about the passage in the 2nd exam paper after the break.

This caused an uproar and tears in and after the exam as many children couldn't remember the passage. I don't think they have tried this approach since but you never know with the Univ of Durham CEM. You have to be prepared for the unexpected. Worthwhile doing a trial during the holidays.

To brush up on vocabularly (and synonyms) it might be sensible to look at the Tutors Vocabularly Builder pack on this site - just for variety.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
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did they tell the kids they were going to take the passage away after x minutes?
or did they just grab all the papers back without telling them they would do that?
just wondering...

p.s do children cry a lot in the exam? my son is v.soft hearted and would be upset if he saw a kid crying? what advice should i give him?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Birmingham
Hi um

I believe they did tell them but some children weren't concentrating and didn't fully understand. It's possible that they have backed off from this approach now - hasn't been used since as far as I am aware.

However they have played a tape recorded passage a few times and then asked questions about. Apparently this technique is used in KS2 exams as well.

The biggest danger is sitting next to or close to a child that doesn't care about the test or simply distracts other children. Unlikely I know, but it's most important to brief your child that if anything like this happens they must alert the invigilator - they can get extra time in this situation and it will be recorded. I'm aware of one situation one year where a child was constanly being kicked by the child behind throughout the exam.

Sorry should add that it's most important to brief your child that they will find the exam hard and that it's ok to miss out quite a number of questions - see the sticky post on this site for sample raw scores. The raw scores required are nothing like the scores required for typical NFER NVR, VR and Maths tests


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