Go to navigation
It is currently Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:46 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:29 am 
Last Friday my son and I went to visit King Edward VI Camp Hill Boys Grammar (KECHB) and King Edward's Independent School (KES) in the hope of trying to choose which establishment my son would attend in September 2007. I'm happy to say that we finally made a decision and he'll be attending KES. Both schools had impressive facilities and equally impressive exam results etc. but in the end our decision was swayed by KES's Chief Master.

Our first port of call was KECHB, where we were greeted by the Head Teacher, Mr Darby, who spent 10-15 minutes with us answering our questions and then we were shown around the school by two year-7 children. Both my son and I took this opportunity to glean as much information out of these two young lads as possible. They were very frank and candid and gave us much needed insight into the daily routine and workings of the school. KECHB had a vibrancy and modern feel to it, which belied its rich heritage. The new sports hall was impressive and the plans for new labs and a library showed the school wasn't resting on its laurels. Certainly at that point, I was convinced that my son would do well in a school like KECHB. I made my feelings known to my son as we drove down to KES, but he simply replied..."let's wait and see!!"

Once at KES, we were greeted by the Admission's Co-ordinator (Nicole Phillips, who I'd spent hours talking to earlier in the week) and told that the Chief Master, John Claughton, had cleared his schedule and would have a meeting with us before being shown around the school. This was completely unexpected as I was originally told that the Chief Master would be otherwise engaged. The meeting lasted for an hour and in that time the Chief Master seemed to make my son feel like he was the only child at that school. We discussed everything from Classics to Social Inclusion in Education; on several occasions the Chief Master raided his impressive personal library to illustrate key points and always directing the discussion towards my son. The Chief Master's enthusiasm and penchant for teaching and his passion to impart a love of scholarly pursuits to his students, simply took my breath away. Later we were shown around the school by the Head Boy (a credit to the school) and again we interrogated our guide to amass as much information as possible. At the end of the tour, I knew in my heart that my son would go to KES, but would he agree? I asked him rather tentatively - he told me there was no contest, he really wanted to attend KES. I was extremely relieved that he'd managed to come to a decision and one that he'd done independently of my own views. As we left KES, both of us feeling elated and rather gratified, I asked at which point he knew? He replied "as soon as I walked into the Chief Master's office!"

I know my son will be very happy at KES, as I'm sure he would have been at KECHB, but KES had that extra buzz and feel to it...that je ne sais quoi which only one can experience when you're there. But above all, my son was made to feel special and wanted, a place where he will be able to shine and his talents nurtured....in the end the choice was simple!

Thank you to all those who replied to my earlier thread :D (KenR, your PMs were a great help and a constant source of support). Please everyone keep up the good work - it is the contribution of parents/students who have gone through or are going through this whole rigmarole of the 11+ exams that allow worried and sometimes neurotic parents like myself to keep sane!

Once again a big thanks to everyone!! :)


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:32 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:03 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Birmingham
BTW Everyone

The above post was from Dr Jalal

I'm not sure why my profile didn't show up in the post

Thanks

Dr Jalal

_________________
Dr Jalal


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:47 am 
Well done. Dr Jalal, any suggestions on how to go about achieving your success, which tutoring/ or tutors did you use. Any methods or ways that you can suggest in getting my daughter through successfully will be appreciated.

Any experiences you can share with us would be appreciated regarding the 11+ process of learning.

In particular, your insight and know how in which you approached the whole task as hand and when did you start spreparing your gifted son.


Look forward to your help and advice.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: 11+ preparations
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:03 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Birmingham
Dear Guest

Thank you for your kind words. I also have a daughter who is preparing for the upcoming 2007 11+ exams. So I wish you all the best in your endeavours. The following will hopefully give you some ideas on how to prepare your child for the task ahead.

I feel 9 months of preparation is more than adequate, although depending on your child it could be more or less. Hopefully you will have by now laid some of the groundwork i.e. regular reading of books (whatever the child is into as long as it's not the Beano) to improve vocabulary, comprehension and style of writing; good grasp of the maths timetables (up to 15) and general numeracy, as well as having completed the Bond assessment Papers (8-9yrs; 9-10yrs). Generally, your child should be level 5 for English & Maths or certainly in the top sets for these subjects.

You above all will know how your child works - are they competitive, self-motivated, do they work better on their own or in a group etc etc. In the case of my son, I knew he needed a friend to be going through the same experience in order for him to be able to cope. Fortunately, one of his friend's parents were also interested in getting their child into Grammar school and so I held regular 2-hour 11+ preparation evening classes (certainly in the summer before the exams) at my house. All my wife and I would do was to make sure they were doing the relevant work and sticking to the specified times and helped them where required. My daughter, on the other hand, prefers working by herself and so doesn't require a study partner; she is also self-motivated, particularly now that Big Brother has done so well.

We used a Maths tutor, who is a close friend of mine (a University Professor from Bangladesh), who runs a local educational establishment that organises a Weekend Homework Club for the local kids. My son had been attending this supplementary school for the past 2-3 years and he already had a good rapport with the Maths tutor. This I felt was vital for the success of my son - a tutor that he was able to connect with and also respect. The tutor managed to get my son and his friend's Maths levels up to the standards of a Year 9 student at secondary school by the time it came to the 11+ exams. The tutor also coached them in VR & NVR using practice papers that are generally available at WH Smiths [the greater numbers they can do the better], whilst I concentrated on helping the kids with their English [comprehension, vocabulary building, grammar etc - 1st Aid in English is very good book to use as are some of the other books recommended by this website].

Initially the work is done at a pace recommended by the practice papers, however, nearer the exam we used to take off 15-20 minutes off the recommended times and really put them under time pressure. They must get used to not being able to finish in the allotted time. The KE VR & NVR sections, in particular, are extremely pressured for time.

Get the children to read not only books but newspapers, TV magazines - a wide variety of material as possible - and then get them to summarise what they've read or even get them to answer questions on the material read.

Use the resources and advice available in this website - believe me it helps! There will be ups and downs along the way but the huge amount of time and effort is worth it in the end. Even if they don't make it into Grammar school, the preparations for the 11+ will set them up well for whichever 2ndery school they get into to - this was something we kept telling our son.

Finally, when coming to choose which school you want your child to go to, make sure you attend as many open days as you can and badger the staff/pupils for as much information as you can get out of them; talk to other parents and get a feel for the school. Remember, 7 years at a school is an awful long time, so we as parents have got to try and get it right.

Good luck!

Dr Jalal

_________________
Dr Jalal


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:05 am
Posts: 445
Location: LONDON
Well done to your son for being able to make that choice in a mature manner. I'm sure he will do very well in the future and I'm sure you are really proud of him. This forum will certainly benefit from your experiences.

Loulou


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:58 pm 
I am in similar situation accepted KES today


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:23 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Dudley, West Midlands
Dr Jalal wrote:
[snipped]The Chief Master's enthusiasm and penchant for teaching and his passion to impart a love of scholarly pursuits to his students, simply took my breath away.

I don't usually indulge in “Me Too!” replies... but John Claughton is such an impressive man I can't resist.

It'll be an interesting time to be around KES in the coming years. The new bursary arrangements and Mr Claughton being such an impressive recruiting sergeant for the school have given me much reassurance that there's every chance of my son being happy and 'fitting in' at KES.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 11+ preparations
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:20 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:23 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Dudley, West Midlands
Dr Jalal wrote:
Dear Guest

Thank you for your kind words. I also have a daughter who is preparing for the upcoming 2007 11+ exams. So I wish you all the best in your endeavours. The following will hopefully give you some ideas on how to prepare your child for the task ahead.



WOW! That's an impressive amount of work your boy's put in along the way Dr Jalal!
I'm so glad that all that effort presented your son with such a wonderful choice of schools.

I would like to give a little hope to parents who are not quite as organized as you clearly were and who, perhaps, have children a little less dedicated to their school work than your exemplary son.

I have a big problem just with the language around “preparation” when I'm talking about this. Do say you started when they were three because you read/talked to them a lot; always encouraged questions and asked what they thought before answering? Do you say you started when you first showed them a NVR paper two months before they exam? Well, I'm just not sure...

I found that taking my son to all the school open days in year 5, a year early in other words, was a great motivator. Such a simple thing but not an opportunity to be missed.

We then did far, far less specific exam preparation than your son. Starting around three months before the KEG exams on VR/NVR skills and a little extra maths towards the end. Whenever you start preparing, I whole heartedly agree that you really must know how your child works best. This is something that I got completely wrong with my son. I simply began preparing him in exactly the same way as I had my daughter, failed to take account of the fact they're very different people and got off to quite a bad start.

A child must be well prepared emotionally for the fact they will not understand or complete all questions, probably very different from anything they've experienced in primary school. The KES exam warns that reasonable candidates may still only make a good attempt at around half the questions, though scholarship candidates will go further. The KEG exams are equally designed to test more than the full range of ability. Exam day is not the time for a child to find this out! It was very easy for my children to focus on what they don't know in an exam rather than the questions they can actually answer – this is how much learning happens and a it's a good instinct, deadly in an exam though.

It's surprising that most people don't mention their Primary school when talking about “How we got in”, yet I don't think there's any way I could have countered the effects of a “bad” primary school. My son's is a state primary, middle to lower end of any league table currently around. But it's a school with (generally) good teachers who are prepared to put in the effort with kids outside 'normal' ability range and a great atmosphere and attitude to academic success.

If a child is in a school where teachers soft-peddle on students once they've reached the 'required' SATS grade; where they have to hide their talents to stay popular or are just loosing friends when refusing to do that – time to move, and the quicker the better.

The only problem I found with relying on his school to teach him most of what was needed in English/Maths (ie. Not employing a tutor) was that even working at level 5(a) my lad employed techniques in written multiplication and division which are simply too slow and error prone. It's what they're taught - but it's just not good enough. Even with a good primary school there is a problem of timing in year six; some material which will be examined in November may well not have been covered in primary by that time. Ask what the curriculum is for the last two terms, you may even get some resources/assistance from them, and cover that early.

A trusting, honest relationship with your child's primary teacher(s) can be invaluable. Children are monitored intensely in primary schools and this information can be critical, but a teachers instincts may be heavily biased towards putting the best possible gloss on you child's successes and just not mentioning where achievement falls below your child's expected standards. Beware the kindly primary teacher who silently 'forgives' a lack of ability in a narrow area which should really have limited your child's SAT score.

Where you mention SATs results and 'Level' five – I think parents have to be a little careful. “Level 5” covers a very wide range of ability and if you can discover whether your child is at 5a, 5b or 5c (running highest to lowest) then you'll have a much better idea of their ability. If you read what targets they have to hit for these levels then that might give some ideas for further work.


The three hours or so of the exam is obviously critical too. Fortunately I'm running out of time now so I can't rattle on about it :-) but building a calm confidence, both with the prospect of failure and success, is just as important as anything else – and not the work of a few weeks before the exam.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:30 am 
Zeeeeeee..... Zeeeeeee.... Dible, you put have put me to sleep.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:23 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Dudley, West Midlands
yawn yawn wrote:
Zeeeeeee..... Zeeeeeee.... Dible, you put have put me to sleep.


Ni-Night... :-)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016