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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:42 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Hello all

Some guidance would be appreciated.

DS1 has made strong and steady progress over the last year - last summer he was not even on target to to get level 4 in year 6 SATS in some areas, so we had not seriously considered the grammar route at all. I decided to put in an emergency plan for 6 months to cover his weakest areas at home before I decide whether it was worth preparing him specifically for the 11 plus tests. He came a long way in just a few months and, combined with increased maturity and the confidence boost it gave him, his marks at school dramatically increased. So we stepped up a gear and started preparations for the 11 plus route......

Although his marks in the assessment papers slowly improved, they were never outstanding: 70-85%. Over the summer, he worked hard and, on the full practice papers, he started scoring between 85-95% and did well even when we varied the types of questions and papers. I was starting to think that he had a reasonable chance now.

But in the last few weeks his marks have gone completely downhill. He started to get 50-65% in most things. What has happened? I can understand that there might be times when even though a child knows how to do fractions or percentages, they may misinterpret the question or falter in their working out. But how can they forget how to comprehened the meaning of a passage :roll: ? I tried the Manchester Grammar tests and he just about made 50%. He fell apart in the mocks and got terrible results. His lower marks are disheartening for him as well because he is still making all the effort.

I have tried pulling back and taking the pressure off this poor 10 year old but he says he does not want to slow down when there are only a few weeks left. He wants to continue but I have started to feel there is no hope. I don't see how we can raise his marks again with so little time left. I am wondering whether we should just give up, be pleased with the amount of progress he has made and discuss the merits of the local state school. Has anyone heard of DCs recovering from such low marks? Maybe we built up the work too early? My thinking was that we needed to finish any teaching of methods/techniques over the summer so that we could concentrate on timing after that.

I am sorry, I know it is all a long ramble but I am stunned at the turn of events.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:31 am 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Stay positive (I think I am talking to myself here though).

I recall one incident a few weeks before the exam when dc1 was doing a maths problem and insisted that there were 100 seconds in a minute :roll:
Really it took the backup of the whole family to persuade him that it was 60 - he seemed never to have heard of this.

At that point I felt his chances were :cry: and I was kidding myself, he did gain a place at CH and his maths teacher gave him a glowing report :!:

For me the closer we get to the exam, the more sanguine I actually feel...we saw our local comp today, and whilst it wasn't very nice (sorry, local comp), I thought, well, he has had tuition and he has had my support...it's up to his own willpower from here.

que sera sera ....


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:42 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Thank you um

I will try to stay positive but am not sure how. I went to our local school yesterday even though I had always been adamant that I would not consider it before. I suppose I need to take comfort that he has come a long way and built firm foundations to take with him to any secondary school (or at least he had until a few weeks ago - but I think the house may be about to crumble :!: ).

This is all starting to sound like a eulogy to the 11 plus process:
'Fear no more the heat o'the' sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages.
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone and ta'en thy wages.'

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
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Location: Birmingham
A fitting eulogy!

I like this one too (Mary Black's song)

Remember when we walked on hills of heather
Singing weaving mystical rings
Now in a while my precious child
You will unfurl your wings
And I'll have lost what I believed
Had promised everything
But before you go my friend, my kind companion
Listen to this song I sing

Then go in peace and grow in grace and goodness
Know that you have nothing to fear
And dry your eyes my little one
And let there be no tears
Send me a dream from way beyond
I promise I shall hear
Oh beautiful beloved soul companion
Thank you for those beautiful years

And heaven hold and watch your way forever
May your every dream com true
Forgive all wrong, always be strong
And do what you must do
You stand before this open door
And you must now go through
My precious friend, my own my sweet companion
Bless the road that carries you


Last edited by um on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
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Hi Umsusu :D

I think it is just great your son wants to go on with his prep! Whatever work he does will anyway be useful, in whichever school he’ll get into. :D

Personally, I don’t intend to stop every effort after this fatidic 12th of November :lol: . My DS will increase his activities after school, play with friends more often and go back to Arabic school (that's the Saturday gone!), but I hope (well, I hope it won’t be a dream! :roll: ) that we’ll keep up some regular work. I feel that this 11+ had the advantage of giving him excellent working habits!

Another point to consider. May be he is exhausted, especially if he worked hard the whole summer?? Maybe you could have a weekend or two to just to sleep and get out for some fresh air... You might see that his scores picks up again after such ‘treats’. My DS always do horribly when he is tired! :shock:

Like you, I used to despise our local comp... but my attitude is gradually changing :wink: . I am hearing now about pupils going to comprehensive schools and getting many A and A*. So ending up in a comprehensive is not the end of the world, as I used to think (I thought that only pupils going to grammars can have many A and A* at GCSEs)! It seems that once there, the bright children are helped to flourish and reach their limits... not like in primary schools where only the children in difficulties are helped.
So be positive ... :D


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
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Thnaks for the beautiful poems!
I love this one too:

IF

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master,
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:39 pm 
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Thank you JaneEyre and um

The mood has become very reflective. I am glad you like the poetry but just a warning, you might get more - I have my finals next month on Shakespeare and have decided to use quotations wherever I can to help me remember them :? .

I had not really considered that it might be exhaustion - especially now that he is getting used to a full day at school, music, Qur'an and the return to Arabic school all day Saturday. I have cut out after school clubs this term but that is still a busy schedule. Maybe a couple of treats are in order at the weekend to perk him up. I think I need them too :D . Not having a professional tutor means that I don't always set a limit to the work: as long as he seems willing, I just keep going.

I just don't see how he can forget everything. We will take a few days off and see what happens (and i will use the time to revise for my own exams :wink: )

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:25 pm 
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I love that poem JaneEyre, it was ds1's favourite too! Thanks for the reminder :D


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 196
Location: Birmingham
So many different images and thoughts are conjured up the words you have all chosen. They made me slow down and pause and reflect for a while :)

Umsusu your son's work ethic is impressive as is your loving support. If I waited for my son to express enthusiasm for studying we would have done little or nothing! He is very laid-back. Once he settles it is fine, as long as he isn't fiddling with his pencil/ rubber/ opening the door for the cat etc. etc. He also has a dip in performance when he is tired. So maybe this is a good time to pause and go out and reward him (and you) with fun or relaxing activities throughout the weekend.

poppit


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:18 am 
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Thank you poppit, for your thoughts. We have decided to step back in order to re-energise :) . There is still some time to go and I don't want him to fall apart right at the very end.

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