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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:31 am 
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any tips


Last edited by mv45 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:53 pm 
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Hi, my daughter was very similar to yours, above average in her class and loved to learn. We started her preparation at the end of year 4-this entailed private tuition twice a week, and lots of help from me with vocab, comprehension, spelling and maths. The test the girls take is NFER-so use these test papers which you can buy from WH Smith. You and your daughter must be prepared to put the work in as the test is very demanding and girls have to achieve in the 90s to get in. My daughter starts in September and l still can't believe she has a place-all the hard work was worth it!!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:30 pm 
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Congratulations! great resu


Last edited by mv45 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Tutor
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:47 pm 
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The tutor we had was excellent: please send me your e-mail address, as we are not allowed to put tutors' details on the forum.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:20 pm 
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Hi mv45

My thoughts (for what they are worth). I have one at Adams and one starting at WGHS in September and this is what I have found.

1. Start early and gently. Youngest currently Year 3 and will start extra work in August (yes he will do some on holiday).

2. Start with work they can do. Build confidence early. Move on as quickly as you feel your child is able.

3. Times tables!!! Practice arithmetic to re-enforce what they already know. Good mental arithmetic skills save time in the tests.

4. Encorage them to read. Obvious but some children do not push themselves and will sit in their comfort zone.

5. Don't start NVR papers until late in year 5 (after Easter).

6. Make it fun. Don't shout too much. You will at some point get frustrated as they seem to regress. It happens.

7. Visit your preferred schools in year 5. They may take one look and decide it is not for them (or you as a parent). Do visit again in year 6.

8. Year 4, look for puzzles and things like spot the difference. It helps some with NVR alter.

9. Before you start the papers use the books (Bond etc.) so they are used to the for of the questions. It doesn't matter that there are question tpes that don't seem to be in the exams, I believe that any question which stretches them helps overall.

10. Before they try the first set of papers make sure they know how to do the bulk of the questions. Use their first attempt to find out what they don't know. Don't worry if they don't score too well at this point, you will probably find out that there are things you thought they knew which they are slightly unsure of. Review these topics with them. Remember there are questions on topics they will not cover in school until after the test days.

11. Don't worry if they don't finish the papers at the start. You need to keep restating that they have to work quickly and accurately. The message sticks eventually.

12. Keep using the Bond or similar books to keep them on their toes. It doesn't matter if they end up doing ones that are aimed at older children as long as they still score well.

13. By exam time they will be scoring well and completing the papers within the time.

14. Do not get stressed as the test dates approach and don't make gaining a place a big deal. You may think it is (I do) but I know some children who have been upset by this.

Talking to other parents I have found that those who do prepare properly are less wound up on exam day as they know the level they should perform at. I have seen children who have tried to do all the preparation in the final two weeks and guess what - they do not do well however clever they are.

Similarly don't over prepare. Keep everything as low-key as possible but try to fit preparation to your child. DS wasn't that keen on working from the Bond books at all but didn't mind sitting the test papers. He preferred to do a lot at weekends and little during the week. DD loved doing a little every day and took great delight in coming home from school telling anyone who would listen that she could already do the new maths topic as she had come across it several months before.

Another thing no-one tells you is to make sure you know when the closing dates are. I know it sounds stupid but I have spoken to parents who have missed the submission dates. I saved one parent by reminding them of the closing date for a school was only 6 days away, they thought that the school form had to be in at the same time as the CAF. Most do, but locally Thomas Telford and King Edward VI are earlier should you be considering either of those options.

Be prepared for a little hard work, we did not use a tutor I did it all myself (big head!!) but I was less gray before we all started down this path.

Is it worth it? As far as Adams is concerned - yes. DS loves it although he won't admit it too loudly. As for WGHS I can only look at the experience of two nieces who attend. Again they love the school, have/are achieving highly but they are worked very hard. DD is looking forward to September but is saddened by the fact that she will probably have to give up some of her out of school activities but that happens wherever they attend.

I hope I have been of a little help and have not discouraged you!

All the best to you and your DD. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:55 pm 
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Thank you so much!!
Really appreciate the time you have taken to share your experience.

Will take it all on board and totally agree with your approach, its similar to what I had in mind and you are proof that it works, so once again thankyou!!

Can I just ask one more thing, please feel free not to answer if it is getting too personal, My daughter is in year 4 and I am working on the Bond assessment papers second and third books, at this stage what % can I expect her to be acheiving% In the VR third, she acheives 80-90%, NVR third around 65%,
maths third around 65% and english second around 85%. I know for WGHS 90% and above is good, from experience would you say the above are a good starting point? Do these % get better with practice?

Thanks again


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:37 am 
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Hi mv45,

My DD is also in year 4 and is likely to be putting WGHS as first choice. I have a niece there who is enjoying the school.

My DS is at Adams', so we went through the process a couple of years ago. I can only repeat what has already been said, the tutoring, and anxiety of waiting for the postman in March, were more than worth it. DS loves his school, partly because he has made great friends with the same interests as him.

My DD has started tutoring once a week with the same wonderful tutor that helped DS. The tutor leaves her a small amount of homework each week and she does extension work at school in maths and english. Apart from that she does read regularly, but at this stage we are keeping it low key. DS did not start tutoring or prep until half way through year 5 because we didn't know any better!!

We will be going to the open days in Year 5, we did this for DS and his visit to Adams' gave him all the incentive he needed to practice his papers!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:54 am 
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Hello there

I don't think you should be fretting too much about % scores at the moment. I think that the important thing is that you build skills and confidence.

I would consider that speed is important and so the first thing is are the papers being completed. Make sure that DD is not guessing (especially at the later answers). Working quickly and accurately is a valuable skill and will also help greatly in general school work.

The next thing is to identify what questions are not being answered correctly. Identifying a pattern to these (NVR for parents!) may show a lack of understanding in a topic so you can work on that.

Now, all being equal DD's scores should start to increase toward the required 90%+.

When DD actually attempts the more 'real' papers you may again find a consistent failure on a particular problem type. My DS had a little difficulty with the number sequences (VR) and algebra from the maths. These were quite easily remedied although I had to dream up examples for him to do. DD found the letter pair sequences and the word bracket word problems difficult. The look on her face when the solution method clicked was a picture. You may find, as I did, that they are looking for more complexity than there is. Be prepared for 'Is that it?'.

Talking around most people seem to find the NVR most problematic (for both children and parents) and generally girls have more difficulty than boys. I make no comment on gender stereotyping, DS is skilled with languages and reads continually whereas DD is stronger at Maths and NVR and does not read anywhere near as much. Luckily for me both took to NVR like the proverbial duck. You may find it more of a struggle (hope not!) but stick with it and it will click.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:56 am 
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I forgot to say.

Current scores are fine. As long as they build over the next few months but be prepared for the odd setback.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:43 pm 
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Thanks. :)

apprecate your comments.


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