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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:51 pm 
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This may seem a bit early for some, but we were rather unprepared and naive with regard to DS1 who sat the 2015 exam, and want to be a little more on the ball for DS2 without scaring him off.
We are reading virtually every day, and have read books by Roald Dahl, David Walliams and Philip Ridley and have purchased some by Alan Shearer, Anthony Horowitz and Eoin Colfer as recommended on this site. He is also doing 2 pages of each CGP book (Verbal, Maths and Non-Verbal for 8-9) once a week, and currently getting over 90% correct.
We were looking to get a tutor for the start of Year 5 (Sep 2016).
Are we doing enough at this stage or should we be increasing the work?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:29 pm 
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Helen I think your doing too much, at this stage...there is a good way to go

We checked with DD2 earlier today. She is in top groups for everything. We have embarked on a lot of reading. DD1 has to be top dog, so constantly reminds her that she "passed" the 11+.

I would get the tutor a little earlier than Sep 2016, only so that you have a better choice.

I don't think you can do too much reading, but it how to keep it fun, not something they have to do. My DD2 tries to impress me my saying how many pages she has read, so its been a bit of a slog to highlight that it's the quality of the reading and understanding the words that is more important. Sometimes I read to them just before bed, and that is a god opportunity to explore expression.

I have focused more on building speed with maths, but I am hugely conscious that it is vocabulary and speed with word choice, that is a key to success. As well as introducing her timed tests

looking back we had to cajole the older one and there is a good degree of "relative" older child arrogance, so the younger one is less self confident. Still at swimming earlier today she was using words like dismantling, when I broke something in the pool, so the vocab is building.

I guess my main concerns are

a) Avoiding getting burn out
b) dealing with the different temperament of DD2
c) Handling the difference in curriculum changes that Gove brought in. They are doing stuff especially around maths earlier than the older one. I am scared that the content will be broader, but less mastered.
d) I can't wait till I feel confident enough to do a timed Bond placement test, so I can compared the scores between DD1 and DD2
e) I will invest in mocks this time
f) It will be really interesting to have a look at the cohort average for scaled scores after this years SAT's. Had a chat with someone on a governing body, and I suggested that average could be as low as 39% raw score for 100 scaled score in the SATs, but we will see.

We're doing Sep 17 too, so its all good, and we have the advantage of being able to reasonably translate raw scores into a guesstimate standardised score using the MSD/ BOB1892 formula

All hail Bob and MSD, s

BTW she wants a phone having seen what DD1 can do with an Iphone (I hate music.aly), hopefully she will be content with a sparkly my little pony, but don't be unwilling to resort to bribery


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:58 pm 
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Hi PP, thanks for the feedback. I do try not to make the reading a chore, and a lot is me reading to him while he is in the bath!! I think maybe I feel guilty that I let DD1 down, but won't put any pressure on DD2. Will look for a tutor a little earlier than planned, though sure that will be a minefield in itself to get the right one.
Sure we will have more correspondence over the next couple of years. Best wishes for March, and good luck for DD2.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:14 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:38 am
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Location: West Midlands / warks border
No harm to start the reading off now, with books he enjoys.

With both my DS and DD we eased them in gently.

They both did the Shirley bases tutor course. Just doing the daily online tests in Year 4. DS started in the January after 4 months in year 4, we started DD in the September of year 4.

They both went on to do the Shirley based company's Master Class each Saturday morning for 2 hours, along with continuing daily tests.

They both sat all 4 mock exams and in the summer before the 11+ test, both did a weeks revision course.

During the summer before their tests they we both revising at home too and DD got stuck into lots and lots of books.

So, it was a gradual increase in work as the test got closer.

DS is now in year 9 at KEFW and we're hoping DD will be joining in September.

We will begin our journey again in September 2018!

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:12 pm 
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Thank you nervousmum. We are trying to make the reading enjoyable and it is something we do together, usually around bath / bedtime. I will gradually increase what work he is doing, especially now DD1 will have SATs prep to do, so they will be working at the same time and not having one off playing so it will seem more of a 'normal' progression. I was unaware of the mock exams when DD1 was doing it, so will have to look into these closer to the time as that would be very beneficial. Which daily online tests are you referring to? Are these specific to the tutor you used, or something anyone can find?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:38 am
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Location: West Midlands / warks border
It is a company based in Shirley which specialise in 11+. You pay monthly (signing up for 6 months) and each day your DC has an online test, once completed the results are given straight away, with detailed explanations of incorrect answers.

In year 5 it becomes mo structured - Monday is Maths, Tuesday English, Wednesday verbal and Thursday non-verbal. Friday is 'beat the clock' which is 140 questions, with multiplication or division, up to and including 13 times table. DC has to answer all questions correctly as quickly as possible and try to improve time each week.

They also provide feedback on what your child is doing and you can access the history tab on your account to access the incorrect questions.

If you google 11+ tuition in Shirley I think you will be able to find them. Have a look on their website and see what you think.

We have been very impressed with them with both our DC (masters course is probably booking now for September in a number of their centres)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:53 pm 
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Wow I am certain that a regime like that would have led to our daughters failure and increased our costs by about 75%.

The beat the clock thing is good, but a good state primary should be doing stuff like this to build mastery anyway. If not you can easily do it at home. I am already doing periodic beat the clock multiplications challenges.

I think the shirley mock exams are likely to be very very good value, although you get priority in you buy into the whole shebang!!! I intend to do them if I can get a place. But relax, we did nothing whatsoever till after Easter this year, and still ended up with the result we wanted.

Be careful of burn out and focus on mastery of the keys basics


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:13 pm 
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Keeping in mind the content of Maths section of past two years, I can confidently say that if your child is doing well on Simms and Schofields Mental Arithmetic books 2 to 6 you are on a winner. And English, as we have repeatedly pointed out on this forum, starts with reading and word learning/cramming and unfortunately ends there. For NVR I would recommend Bond books and don't worry too much about 3D nets and cubes as they haven't appeared for a while and unlikely to appear again. However, practising variety of NVR is always recommended.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:09 am 
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+ another 1 for Schofield and Sims Mental Arithmetic - DS2 only ever did these (through school, incidentally) as his "practice" for the maths section of the 11+ (he refused point blank to go to a tutor) and he easily got in to the GS of his choice. He looked a couple of NVR Bond books and Susan Daughtrey (I think) for verbal but ,mainly got the VR side from reading (although he is a very reluctant reader, it has to be said.)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:24 am 
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Yeah, the recent Maths section has primarily been 1 or 2 liner questions pitched at the same sort of difficulty as Sims and Schofields and even the wording is similar. I would say more close to the difficulty level of book 4 and 5 rather than 6 which is more challenging.


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