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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:17 am 
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hi everyone im back, i will be going through the exams with my ds3 again after the bad news of the 11+ 2011 and appeal.
This time im more prepared thanks to everyone who has helped on this forum. My ds3 has started his first lesson with a tutor today, is this the right time to start? he is in yr 5. The bucks test may change this year so should i continue untill we find out what this will be.
Can you please advise me on the new app i have heard about on the 11+, what phone do you need for this, how much does it cost, as im not familiar with technology (phones or ipads).
Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
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Location: Warwickshire
Try this link for some Iphone/Ipad apps published by this site: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/11+-math ... ?ls=1&mt=8
Look at the links at the bottom left of the page for the other subjects available. Some of the other 11+ apps listed under "customers also bought" are also available for Android if that's what you've got (put "11+ android apps" into your favourite search engine and they shouldn't be too difficult to find).


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:55 am 
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I'd be cautious about tutoring until we know what the test is going to be. The best thing is lots of reading to improve the vocabulary and discuss what he reads and ask questions.

Patricia's useful word list would also be a good starting point. Academically he should be already at least a high level 3/low level 4 going into Year 5 to stand a reasonable chance.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:47 am 
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Hello, sorry for a slight thread hi-jack, but I was interested to read that the Bucks test might change. In our area there have been changes and more are forecast. May I ask how your test is rumoured to be changing?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:49 am 
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No-one knows at the moment:

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=26261


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:59 am 
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Thanks, Scarymum. That makes very interesting reading.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:36 am 
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Location: Birmingham
Khanj, I am not from the area so others will advise better, but at the end of the day there are only so many things that can be tested for the 11+ outside the traditional VR and NVR route: maths skills, comprehension, general literacy skills (including spelling and vocabulary) and sometimes writing. All of these areas are important for their general schooling anyway.

I agree the best preparation for English is always plenty of reading and discussion about books. You might find the best way to encourage them to consider reading more challenging books is to read to them. Expanding vocabulary was needed for the VR tests anyway. I would suggest the Bond English books for starters as they have a comprehension section and also test skills in other areas. Maybe the Bond maths too or schofield and sims mental arithmetic.

I wouldn't go straight for the apps first though as it means they need your phone or iPad everytime, it needs to be charged (?!) and they sometimes become reluctant to do working out on a paper sometimes too. I might be old fashioned but I like a paper reference of their progress and we can go through it more easily. Although I used the
VR apps nearer to the exams, I found that even I couldn't be bothered to check his answers regularly on there!

As for the tutor, it is up to you but if English is not your first language or the main language spoken at home you might find it beneficial to focus on English skills alongside whatever you are doing now.

The content of our exam can vary slightly from year to year so we find we have to cover all bases in year 5 - the children sometimes ask at the end why they had to do all those things and only a fraction came up but we do find that their overall levels take a huge leap in Year 5. From my (limited and amateur) research on schools that have moved away from traditional VR, they either reduce its overall weighting and place more emphasis on other English skills such as reading or they abandon it altogether and test more general reading and writing skills along with maths.

I don't mean to suggest drill your child with lots of work : just look at the time you feel could reasonably be allocated for 11+ preparation and then decide how to divide the time according to your child's needs.

Best of luck,
UmSusu

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:49 am 
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Location: Warwickshire
UmSusu wrote:
You might find the best way to encourage them to consider reading more challenging books is to read to them. Expanding vocabulary was needed for the VR tests anyway.
We also used audio books on car journeys to encourage this and I would stop it every time there was a word which I suspected ds might not know and quiz him on it. Also if you can find unabridged audio books doing alternate read 1 chapter/listen to the next works well if they're a bit reluctant to tackle a whole book themselves straight off.

Quote:
I wouldn't go straight for the apps first though as it means they need your phone or iPad everytime, it needs to be charged (?!)
Again useful for making use of that dead time when you're travelling (and we did a fair bit of travelling alongside preparation as my ds is competing in his favoured sport at national/international level) - although I agree I wouldn't go down this route exclusively. But variety is good - use paper, apps, software, websites which will offer banks of questions - whatever it takes to maintain interest.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
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Hi khanj010

I hope your older son has settled in at his new school. I read your previous posts and saw the great efforts you went to securing a GS place for him. I hope that his upper school proves to be a suitable environment for him and that the "bad news" you experienced turns out to have not been so bad after all. I speak from the experience of having a child just miss the qualifying score and go on to thrive in year seven of our local upper school. The confidence and esteem boost she got from being one of the top achievers in her year has been the making of her and she has successfully moved to a GS for year eight. It's early days but she loved her first week and I know she is far better placed to benefit from the GS education as a result of the year at her upper school. It was a tough decision to move her and had she stayed, I have no doubt that the US would have led her to some excellent GCSE results. We have a friend whose child also achieved the score at 12+ and was offered a place at GS but elected to stay at the upper with the hindsight of almost a complete academic year.

With regards to an 11+ app, I embrace all forms of technology but I also have an inherent suspicion of some e-learning methods. I would be inclined to follow the more traditional methods advocated on this site and perhaps use technology as a top-up. If you are not familiar with technology you may find yourself paying money you don't need to and not using the technology to its potential.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:28 am
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Okanagan wrote:
UmSusu wrote:
You might find the best way to encourage them to consider reading more challenging books is to read to them. Expanding vocabulary was needed for the VR tests anyway.
We also used audio books on car journeys to encourage this and I would stop it every time there was a word which I suspected ds might not know and quiz him on it. Also if you can find unabridged audio books doing alternate read 1 chapter/listen to the next works well if they're a bit reluctant to tackle a whole book themselves straight off.

Quote:
I wouldn't go straight for the apps first though as it means they need your phone or iPad everytime, it needs to be charged (?!)
Again useful for making use of that dead time when you're travelling (and we did a fair bit of travelling alongside preparation as my ds is competing in his favoured sport at national/international level) - although I agree I wouldn't go down this route exclusively. But variety is good - use paper, apps, software, websites which will offer banks of questions - whatever it takes to maintain interest.


Your posting about audio books and stopping for vocab clarification made me smile. Like you, we also have a lot of "dead-time" in the form of travelling for our competitive sport (national but not international) and DD2 read to me. We got to the point where I'd start to say "what do you think that word might mean" and she'd cut me off before I could finish, saying "I know what blah blah blah means, Mum" :lol:

I'm from Essex but I'd like to say that reading and using travelling time can be really helpful, especially if your child doesn't mind co-operating with you. I put together a wide variety of activities on all the areas that Essex covers ie VR, English and Maths and put them in a folder which never left the car. They became affectionately known as "travelling tests" and DD2 chose what she wanted to do from the folder. On long, boring runs, we'd challenge each other in quizzes on spellings, homographs and times tables. It's not something that every child will co-operate on but if they will, even if only occasionally, then you can have so much fun. It's not that DH and I are ultra-pushy, it's that DD2 revelled in the challenges and got easily bored of endlessly playing her DS :wink: Even from an early age we used to talk about books, spellings, history and nature on journeys, so it's something she takes as being totally normal.
I can't comment on ipads or apps as we don't have smartphones etc but I can say that it's good to ring the changes, add as much spice and variety as you can but watch out for the eyes glazing over - knowing when to stop is an art form in itself lol!


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