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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:09 pm 
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My 10 year old ,year 5 dd has just announced that she would like to sit the 11+ exam, her preference at the moment is KEFW. She is in the top sets at school, but how do I know she is suitable..? I don't want to put her through any extra work if it just not meant for her. Our funds are limited, but I have seen a tutor advertised who will do an assessment of your child's ability in relation to the 11+, is this kind of thing worth it...?

Any help/advice would be very much appreciated.


Last edited by smitham on Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:13 pm 
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Yes, get her assessed! I will send you contact details for a tutor we used for both our sons. She will give you very honest opinion on child's ability to pass 11+ so you can make an informed decision.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:15 pm 
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MSD wrote:
Yes, get her assessed! I will send you contact details for a tutor we used for both our sons. She will give you very honest opinion on child's ability to pass 11+ so you can make an informed decision.




That would be great, thank you!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:44 pm 
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Done!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:26 pm 
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Hi Smitham,

Whatever the results of the assessment with the tutor, imho, I really do think that preparing a child for the 11+ can only be positive as it will give him/her a headstart for secondary school.

So take your courage into both hands, do your research, read this forum and slowly by slowly, you will know what to do!
Good luck with this journey! :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:00 pm 
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Have a look at the Bond placement tests. I got mine to complete the first go at them under no time pressure, so I could see what she could and could not do.

Careful though, it led me to panic about the maths which was partly justified, but if I had the advice of MSD at the time,I would have been more balanced with the reading and vocab.

This will help you frank any assessment from a tutor and help you commit / trust them.

PP


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:47 am 
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Hi

I'll preface this with we went DIY - stressing extra high quality fiction reading and bond books (10 minute type working through to 11/12 level) with little fish (scoring 213 in 2013 and narrowly missing out ) and with small fry this year scoring 235 and hopeful for camp hill. We decided we couldn't afford tutors so I did what I could at home.

My advice would be this:

Read the bham KE content and 11+ preparation stickies at the top of this forum

Use the forum - ask questions when you need advice, ideas or just support.

Invest in bond book 11+ for parents. It explains the test and there are assessments which give you an idea of your child's strengths and weaknesses.

Know that reading comprehension skills & vocabulary are more important on Birmingham KE exam than maths & nonverbal reasoning (nvr).

Then make the decision about how much the 11+ is going to take over your life - which will be based on so many things that it has to be about your own situation/ priorities/ aspirations/ dreams/ etc....

Now in my case my fishes came to me and said they wanted to do the 11+ - both have friends who were heavily tutored. What I will say is tutoring is no guarantee of success - I've seen some very upset parents who've spent a small fortune on results day...

Which leads me to the most important point - your child. They have to want to do it and stick with it. They have to be able to handle the pressure of the exam - the sheer mass of children sitting it on test day is off putting.

But...

And this may just be my view...

Preparing for the 11+ is about gold standard primary achievement - really being secure in your reading skills (comprehension/ vocabulary especially), maths skills (+/ -/ x/ division) and having strong logic or puzzle solving skills. For us, regardless of outcome, the 11+ was about getting my girls working toward the highest possible standard.

Little fish didn't do well enough on the 11+ to make a grammar so started at an ordinary state secondary, but is doing really well and gaining confidence with her academic successes. And for us - we feel that the foundation and challenge the 11+ process gave her is the reason why she's doing so well at school.

And why she's willing to and understands the benefits of doing more at home - as far as I'm concerned the real difference is the amount of homework (for which read practise/ embedding of learning) ordinary state secondaries send along home which from my limited survey of friends kids at grammars is about 1/4 to 1/3 the workload of Y7/ Y8 at KE grammars. I stongly suspect a large part of exam success at the KE grammars is simply due to the substantially more demanding and challenging workload.

We await small fry's result on allocation day March 1st but feel exactly the same about it.


Last edited by OldTrout on Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:52 am 
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Oh forgot to say CGP Cloze books were used for small fry and really helped with CEM style verbal reasoning on B'ham KE 11+ - available Amazon, newsagents, etc....

Differences in score may also be due to polar opposite birth dates - little fish was Oct and small fry is still 10. There's all sorts of discussion on the forum about adjusting scores for birth date....


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:13 am 
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So concur with that. My mates kids in stratford on avon didn't get grammar, but his friends did. They are happy and thriving. His mates kids at grammar since September, there has been some squirming as the volume of homework kicked in, but now adjusted to, those kids are are rapidly pulling away from his kids academically.

When i first came to this forum i posted lots of views about failing state primaries, teachers and parents.

When you look at the fact that homework is not compulsory and many parents will deliberately block it as a infringement by the school on their private lives + teachers thinking if i set some extra work, that is more marking and less life outside of work, you can see why inequality of outcome is so entrenched.

Btw HESA released data today confirming less kids from lower income families making into Oxbridge. Does make make you think, who are the smarter parents in Sandwell, those that do nothing or those that work tirelessly with a bit of tuition on top, for possibly no difference in outcome? I think that was the most uplifting part of your post though. Even if we don't get a grammar we want, then the investment still pays off in a comp, you just have to keep driving forward and put your own stretch and challenge in place.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:44 am 
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Oh I'm glad you agree with my point of view Petitpois.

I could go on - but that's probably a different discussion group - what I will say is I think there isn't a huge difference in teaching quality between my kids teachers and KE grammar teachers. It's about content (what is taught in school/ how challenging) and opportunities to embed/ practise learning (ye olde homework).


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