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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:31 am 
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Hi,

I'm new to this forum. My son is in year 4 and I'm not sure whether he will be taking the 11+ because I'm frightened that he will not cope with all the pressure. His most recent report from school shows he has a reading age of 10years 9 months and in his NGRT test he scored 107- I've been told that that score is very slightly above average. The tests were conducted when he was 8 years and 11 months. He is working on level 3b+ for maths and 3c for writing. He has issues with short term memory and processing and shows 'dyslexic tendencies'. I don't want him to miss out on the opportunity of taking the 11+ but having said that I'm weary that it may do him more damage than good. I'd also like to know if he would qualify for extra time due to his dyslexia.

The fact that he has a brother who successfully went through the whole process and is now very happy and doing well at grammar school makes the decision even more difficult.

Any responses would be greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:07 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:44 am
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Glow wrote:
Hi,

I'm new to this forum. My son is in year 4 and I'm not sure whether he will be taking the 11+ because I'm frightened that he will not cope with all the pressure.

His most recent report from school shows he has a reading age of 10years 9 months and in his NGRT test he scored 107- I've been told that that score is very slightly above average. The tests were conducted when he was 8 years and 11 months. He is working on level 3b+ for maths and 3c for writing. He has issues with short term memory and processing and shows 'dyslexic tendencies'. I don't want him to miss out on the opportunity of taking the 11+ but having said that I'm weary that it may do him more damage than good. I'd also like to know if he would qualify for extra time due to his dyslexia.

The fact that he has a brother who successfully went through the whole process and is now very happy and doing well at grammar school makes the decision even more difficult.

Any responses would be greatly appreciated.


Not sure you would get any help with dyslexia. Why are you wary? Are you getting the support you need from the school. My experience of parents needing support around SEN and dyslexia, is that they get a pretty poor deal out of your average primary. That is not to say there is good stuff out there, but I sense there are additional issues, that make you feel that 11+ would be a bridge too far???


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:51 am
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Thank you for your response Petitpois,

Having gone through this process once already with a child who didn't have any learning issues was hard enough but the thought of going through it all again with all the extra issues involved with learning difficulties is making me really nervous.

We recently moved schools and my son is settling much better at his new school. It helps that he isn't now being teased and that the school have agreed to give some extra support with strengthening his memory. How do you know if your child has the potential to succeed in the 11+ and whether it is worth pursuing?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:26 pm 
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Glow wrote:
Thank you for your response Petitpois,

Having gone through this process once already with a child who didn't have any learning issues was hard enough but the thought of going through it all again with all the extra issues involved with learning difficulties is making me really nervous.

We recently moved schools and my son is settling much better at his new school. It helps that he isn't now being teased and that the school have agreed to give some extra support with strengthening his memory. How do you know if your child has the potential to succeed in the 11+ and whether it is worth pursuing?


That question could invite a thousand response's. My DD1 was pushing level 4 by the end of year 4 and was very maths orientated (constantly wanted to show she could work out answers), because she loves rules.

DD2 is a firebrand, that would rather spend 30 minutes having a big bust up and tantrum arguing over something trivial, than just get on with it. It kills me that she will get 45 questions out of 50 right, then get to 46, get it wrong and then scrunch the whole lot up in a heap. I can't explain why they are so different. I don't think I would prefer two clones most of the time, although on occasion!!!

I am not really energised for 11+ right now, especially as we still have to do all the admin, and I am being nagged to now try and Pull a KEHS genie out of the bottle, when 24 hours ago, I thought my innards had fallen on the floor, when KEVIHS looked for a few hours that it might be 227.

I think what I am saying is

- you know how how to achieve success
- you have taken decisive action in moving schools. (we are thinking about that for DD2, it has been wonderful to see kids get their offers at my Sandwell primary, but they are horrendously bad at PHSE, bullying, SEN etc, although it is not all their fault, some of the parents are unbelievable.....a while back two mums had a full on punch up over a bloke in the play ground, who thought he was great. No sense of example to the kids while they were F...ing and blinding at each other).

- you know your child best.

My honest view is this, try your absolute best for him. He probably needs more support than your older one. I think you will, moving school is a sign you don't put up with a bad situation too long.

I am working mine up to a bond placement test (they're free) and I have kept snap shot scores on the same test from DD1, so I can compare DD2's progress with DD1's at similar points in the journey. I found not understanding what we needed to do both stressful and inefficient, for DD1, especially when I saw them going over basics like 3 cubed at QMGS year 7 class.

For DD2, I know where to concentrate effort and won't overdo things, so it will be less work than you think, second time round. Remember, he does not have to be Einstein, just beat the average, by enough.

One thing to note also - the new curriculum is making them cover more ground more quickly. There is a much bigger chance to be left behind on mastery, so make sure that all is well with basics like times tables. We have been doing remedial work with DD2, but she is now on top of them, but all the core skills like addition, subtraction etc need to be focused on.

Finally - Walsall consortium weighting are predisposed to mathematicians vs Brum vocabularists, so you have options to choose which battles you train for.

Be wary of tutor's that just wanna stick your child in front of computer screens doing questions for £150 a month, with out teaching, embedding or augmenting skill sets. For DD2 we definitely need something more tailored to her needs for this campaign, that will ratchet up come Easter.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:10 pm 
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Petitpois,

Thanks for your honest response and good advise.

It's all to play for at the moment and I don't think I'll ever regret trying my best for him. This process will no doubt test my patience to the extreme and take me to the brink of sanity but he is definitely worth it.

I think a slightly different approach will be required for DS2 and I may consider a 1 to 1 tutor for a while before a small group tutor. I know some parents who do online tutoring but I've never been keen on that method.

I hope you do manage to pull that genie out :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:23 pm
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glow

I don't know if this will be of any help but a relatives son was at a grammar school and it was later picked up I think it was in yr 9 that he had dyslexia. I'm not sure how his short term memory was but he was very slow at writing and his writing was illegible. He was given extra time when doing his exams because of this. I think the point I am trying to make is that he still managed to pass the 11+ even though he had dyslexia.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:13 pm 
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Hi Glow - sounds like you have some challenging choices to make.

My daughter has working memory issues and I would wholeheartedly advise a 121 tutor rather than a group session for tuition. She found the group sessions very difficult as they would cover things she already understood and she struggles to keep focussed if she is not interested. Her 121 tutor let her wander about the room if she needed to and patiently engaged her when she wanted to go off track. She also enjoyed a daily online ten minute tuition programme (from the company based in Shirley). She passed the 11+ for KEVIHS without extra time.

She has found grammar school extremely difficult though, because her working memory issues make self organisation very hard for her.

Tuition will always be useful for a child even if the 11+/grammar school route is not the best option for a school. And a good tutor should be able to give you a realistic picture of your son's capabilities. I hope you are able to settle on a good solution for your son.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:33 pm 
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Glow, my DS is dyslexic with working memory issues. He had support in his primary with Toe By Toe reading programme/practice (you can buy the book and do it at home) and I signed him up for Jungle Memory (online system for improving working memory) at home - it was recommended by the school's SENCO, but they didn't have enough funding to provide it for him. He found it very helpful. Year 5 was very tough, working on overcoming his dyslexia and getting ready for 11+ at the same time. He marginally missed the grammars, but got offers from two selective indies and we haven't looked back since. DS now says it was well worth every bit of the effort, but it was very frustrating at times, both for me and him.

Is there anyone in your area who provides mocks for 10+? I know such mocks exist; if you entered your DS to do a mock at the end of this school year, you would know how he compares to other children in his age group in terms of test results and that could help you decide whether you want to go down the 11+ path with him. Even if you didn't prepare him specifically for a 10+ mock, you would still be able to gauge from the outcome what his chances might be.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:53 am 
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Thank you all, some very interesting and useful comments.

There doesn't seem to be a definitive answer on whether or not it is possible to have extra time specifically for the 11+. I'll definitely look into that since DS2 also has borderline hearing.

We did a couple of 10 min tests (from the company based in Shirley) yesterday and he enjoyed the maths - was able to complete it within 3 minutes and got 90%. But I noticed the anxiety kicking in as soon as he clicked the start button for English he was so worried about time that he rushed it and didn't read the questions properly. He achieved 70% but I read out a some of the questions so he wouldn't feel so panicked and he needed the full 10 mins.

If he could do tests whilst walking, jumping or skipping I'm sure he would do great - how odd. His Maths teacher,allows him,on occasion to stand rather than sit whilst working and this makes him so happy.

Thinking back DS1 learnt all his vocabulary and spelling words whilst jumping continuously on the trampaline and would do so happily until he got them right.

Thank you recommending Jungle Memory - I'll give that a try in the hols. I don't want him to be bogged down with too much, I'm just testing the water at this stage. I'll be looking into 10+ mock tests just to see where he sits against his peers, good idea, thanks.

It's painful to watch him want to succeed so much with so many obstacles in his way but we'll just have to get better at overcoming them and not giving up.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:11 am 
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Turtlegirl wrote:

Tuition will always be useful for a child even if the 11+/grammar school route is not the best option for a school. And a good tutor should be able to give you a realistic picture of your son's capabilities. I hope you are able to settle on a good solution for your son.


Thank you Turtlegirl but the problem with good tutors is they are difficult to find. Some are way too strict some only tutor in groups and of course parents are not always open with recommendations. Unfortunately I'm unable to use the tutor DS1 had - what I need is a really motivated 1 to 1 tutor who will be honest with us.


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