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 Post subject: An 11+ virgin
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:36 pm
Posts: 47
Hello
I've just come across your site and discovered how woefully unprepared I am! My son has just entered year 5, so will be taking the 11+ next year. He is the youngest in his year (28.8.99). His SATS and NFER results indicate a pass, but like a lot of boys of his age, he is bright, but finds it incredibly hard to focus and get on with the task in hand.

We are considering a tutor, but have found that most are fully booked. One that was recommended has offered to spend 3 hours with me to teach me how to home tutor.

I am concerned that he won't focus with me. He gets frustrated and then upset, which I believe he won't do with a tutor.

When I tried to discuss the tutor option with him tonight he was incredibly upset, and said he didn't want to pass, and that he would deliberatly make mistakes so he failed! Up until now he has been keen to go to a grammar school.

I don't know what to do now.
Should I press on anyway?
How successful is home tutoring?
Should I just forget about it, and let him enjoy his childhood without any pressure?
Any thoughts would be welcome.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11936
You need to make it seem like a game rather than being tutored. Try the demo CDs to start with - I would go round the schools you are interested in this year so he is aware of what is on offer.


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 Post subject: Re: An 11+ virgin
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8200
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Nicki

Welcome to the Forum!

Firstly, you are not "woefully unprepared". A lot of parents are far more in the dark than you are at this stage. Keep reading the Bucks Forum posts and you will be quite well-prepared fairly soon.

If you would like to send me a PM (click on "PM" at the bottom of this post) telling me which area you are in I will try to suggest someone who you might contact for a tutor. If it isn't in my area I can contact some long-standing Forum members who may be able to make suggestions.

As a very, very young child for his year he has the process of Age-Standardisation very much on his side, and that will help enormously with scoring. In the event that he missed the pass mark by 4-5 points it would probably help quite a lot at an Appeal too.

The evidence is that he is bright enough to get through the 11+, so it is all down to strategy. You have a lot of time to play with, so plan ahead, and be stealthy.

Nicki6567 wrote:
he is bright, but finds it incredibly hard to focus and get on with the task in hand.


I think I could write the book on that one! It comes with practice.

Nicki6567 wrote:
We are considering a tutor, but have found that most are fully booked. One that was recommended has offered to spend 3 hours with me to teach me how to home tutor.


You can find an extraordinary amount of advice here on home-tutoring, but that is also an interesting offer. If this is a reputable tutor, you could learn a lot about "mental technique" from him/her, and then take the practical advice from this Forum. I would put that one in the bank for now.

However, I agree that boys are more problematic to deal with than girls for home-tutoring. I have always recommended bribery as a successful strategy, and it got my son through the 12+ and is helping DS2 to focus very clearly on his 11+ this year.

I would never bribe a child to pass the 11+, but I would bribe them to do the work required to attempt it. I haven't needed to use much bribery with DS2 until recently, and now the bribe is one thing that he has wanted for a long time. If he does all his practice and tutoring and stays cool 8), he will get that "something special" straight after the second test.

Nicki6567 wrote:
... and said he didn't want to pass, and that he would deliberatly make mistakes so he failed! Up until now he has been keen to go to a grammar school.


I did that (many years ago!), along with two friends, for a very posh private girls school. I was frightened by the big buildings and the fierce teachers, out of my depth socially, I had not been prepared in any way for the entrance test - those were the days! - scared about the possible journey there (very convoluted) and I had also picked up on my parents' worries about money. My friends had similar worries, so we all agreed to fail and go to the local GS instead. The 11+ had just been abolished, and admission was on Head's recommendation only. We thought we would make it through that route, and we did.

That may give you some insight into how your son is feeling at the moment?

Guest55 gives sound advice. Your son needs to see the schools on offer. Open evenings are coming up in the next couple of weeks. Make sure that you go round them this year. He needs to see what the differences are for himself, and he will be too tired to go round them for the first time next year. On this link, click on "Open Evenings - 2009 entry":

http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/content/index.jsp?contentid=1685116339

I also agree with Guest55 that you should get one of the Demo CDs on Verbal Reasoning (The Tutors CDs are appropriate for Bucks) and let him play with it. Boys being boys, they just love computer games. If he likes that, order the full CD and let him play with that. They are fractionally less difficult than the real thing for some question types, so they should give him confidence.

The only other thing at this stage is to gently probe as to where all his friends are going. That may be upsetting him.

Do keep looking for Tutor recommendations, and sign up provisionally if you get a good one, but start to do your research on other aspects of this in case that doesn't work out.

We are here when you need us.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
Dear Nicki

Good advice by Sally-Anne/Guest55

Should you go down the DIY route, take a look at the following link.

viewtopic.php?t=4782

It is incredibly important to practice with the right material. It is also good practice for your child to be quick at multiplication, addition, subtraction and division. In addition Vocabulary is a very important part of the Bucks eleven plus. Words will be seen out of context.

There are many posters on this forum who will be able to help you DIY [should you choose to take this route.]

Patricia


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:27 am
Posts: 645
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Nikki

I also have a young child (July birthday). From about Yr3 he has wanted to go to grammar school but had absolutely no concept of what was involved or even what a secondary school was. We took him to see 2 schools last year (when he was in Yr5). We only did the guided tour which is geared up to let you see what the school has in the way of facilities, we did not go to the Head Teachers presentations as the objective at the time was to let him put some facts on this alien, abstract concept of "secondary school". It has helped him focus on the purpose of the tests - it's something he is working for because he wants the school of his choice. This year we are going to the HT presentations without him - I don't think he will benefit from hearing a "sales pitch".

I have coached him myself. We decided right from the outset - probably as early as Yr4 that if he was going to pass then it would be better that he did it because he was able rather than because he had been tutored to within an inch of his life :wink: Yes we have tantrums, but by doing it myself we can pick our time - after school activities, play-dates, tiredness, illness, can't-be-bothered-right-now-ness can all be worked around whereas if you employ a tutor timing is more rigid. We had the paddy to end all paddies last night because he didn't want to work through a test (so we abandoned) but he was happy as Larry to do a short paper before school this morning (and scored his best ever so he's gone off full of the joys of spring :D ) We have a monetary incentive scheme (bribe) based on his score in the practise tests - the higher he scores, the more he earns - which seems to work. He can see that if he won't do a test he earns nothing. Even if he doesn't particularly want to do a paper, the fact that he can take hard cash from me without too much effort is incentive enough - the rewards start at 80% which while not good enough to pass is a kind of "thank you for trying".

As the others have said - try the CD's - anything to do with the computer is a hit in our house, also try the IPS 11+ for the younger child(?) pack - it has a pale blue spine. Each question type is on a different page rather than being mixed up as in a test paper so you can gauge how well he responds to you as his teacher while you explain the methods. If it works - congratulations you have just qualified as his tutor! If not then maybe the offer of 3 hours learning to be a tutor would be of use or alternatively employ a tutor.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


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 Post subject: Re: An 11+ virgin
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:27 am
Posts: 645
Location: Buckinghamshire
Sally-Anne wrote:
As a very, very young child for his year he has the process of Age-Standardisation very much on his side, and that will help enormously with scoring. In the event that he missed the pass mark by 4-5 points it would probably help quite a lot at an Appeal too.



This is interesting. I assumed that because the childs score had already been "upped" because of their age there would be no more leeway. I didn't think we would be able to use the age card again in the event of an appeal. Just another straw to clutch at should the need arise (which, of course, it won't :wink: )


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:36 pm
Posts: 47
Thanks everyone for the really helpful replies and hints.
It's reassuring to know that what we're going through isn't that rare! I'm definitely going to take some of the school tours as I think this could be a good incentive for him.

When I get home from work tonight I'm going to have a thorough read of the replies and get some of the material - especially the CD's that have been recommended.

Thanks again


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8200
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Andy

Appeal panels tend to be very sensible about the youngest children in the year.

After all, if a child's birthday is in the last couple of months of the year, especially close to the end of August, they are only a few days away from not taking the 11+ for another whole year, and that is for good reason!

They realise that there can be a huge difference in their maturity, and thus their attitude to the test, in their spelling age, in their vocabulary, etc.

There must still be all the other evidence there - good academic record, promising SATs, good schoolbooks, etc, possibly mitigating circumstances, and the maturity issue is only one factor in a successful appeal.

It is interesting though that most of the "double 141" scores I have known about have tended to be from the very youngest children as well. That is the standardisation effect kicking in for the ones that really have the knack on VR.

It's a funny old business, isn't it? :)

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 374
Location: Bucks
Sally-Anne - no, no, no, no, nooooo

The 11+ is many things - but a 'funny old business' how chilled are you!!!!

Going into mini panic mode :roll:

DD (thank god she is an August baby, we will be scraping up all the marks we can, I promise you!) did Susan D Test No 8 last night, not done it before (probably the only one in the world we haven't done before), she finished in 37 mins, said she had checked it 3 times and 'mum, I feel quietly confident you will be amazed' - she got 73 out of 80 and made the most stupid mistakes.....

Fortunately DS (him of the 11 and 12+ fame) was in charge of marking and going through incorrect questions because I had to pour a glass of wine and stare at the tv in case I lost the plot.

Now if this was July, I would have been pleased and we could have sat and talked about exam technique and timing, all that stuff but I thought she understood those bits......I know its a pass but why would you rush through a paper like that and be soooo confident....I suppose because you do if you are only just 10 and just about to sit the 11+. :twisted:

I think I need will be needing medication.....can we buy sedatives online from this website?

Ambridge x


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:18 am
Posts: 4083
Ambridge,11+,12+ and then 11+ parent, wrote:
I think I need will be needing medication.....can we buy sedatives online from this website?

Ambridge x


ye of little faith in little people!!

This is not a medical institution, so the answer is a resounding , 'NO'!

However the instituation that is REHAB is open 24/7 for your losing the plot as a 11+, 12+ and 11+ parent.

Honestly!! we have gone through the techniques and strategies many times already... :roll:


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