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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:02 pm
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I have also posted this on the English forum, but am thinking maybe the Essex forum would be more appropriate.

Has anyone else experienced this?

My DD has been practising various English papers over the past few months and is normally fairly competent in all areas of comprehension...however over the last couple of weeks I have given her past CSSE papers (Essex) to complete entirely on her own. She has had complete melt downs and has crumbled to the extent where she is now getting less than 50%.

When we go over the papers together she just cannot find the answers and is unable to scan the text to logically find the relevant clues.
I have now tried to go back to basics (bit late maybe) but she just seems lost and all her confidence is diminishing.

Does any one have any suggestions on how I can get her back on track and/or ideas with regard to what sort of help I can give her please.
I am so stressed about the process anyway and now even more stressed because she is so troubled.

Thank you
Rosie


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:14 pm 
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Hello Rosie,
I have two girls at CCHS. The first thing I want to say is please don't panic.When my eldest got in , in a high scoring year, she had a friend who got 63% in the English and still got in because her other papers were good.Try not to despair.

As lots of people have said the English is incredibly hard in the Essex test.To my mind it is the hardest paper.

I think you need to get her confidence back.You have still a month to go.Deliberately give her a couple of easier English papers.Then perhaps try the comprehension section of Bond 12 +.They are easier then Essex but harder then some.I would also say for the next couple of practices, take the clock away and give her the time to find the answers, without her knowing you have done so.(e.g give her extra time but call up to her when she has 10 minutes left)

I would also make sure she has every punctuation aspect covered because she can pick up marks there.Make up your own synonym questions from a e.g Dickens passage .
E.G "which word in line 6- 8 means persuasive" etc.
Give her just a few of these every now and then.
Really work on her confidence and then give her a real paper again, the one she will least remember and don't do it to time so that she can gain confidence.
In an exam it is so easy to rush out of nerves but the kind of passage set should be read twice at the start.

Most of all don't despair especially if other areas of the test are good for her.
Sending loads of encouragement to her and you. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:03 pm 
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Thank you for such a prompt response.

Strangely enough the synonym and punctuation section are her strongest areas, I only hope that more marks are allocated here as they seem to be getting less and less over the years.

I will definitely do as you suggest and am doing my upmost to rebuild her confidence.

I too have a daughter at CCHS; she is in year 8. In some respects I feel under more pressure this time round because we both know what she would be missing out on should she not get offered a place.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:22 pm 
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rosie wrote:
Thank you for such a prompt response.

Strangely enough the synonym and punctuation section are her strongest areas, I only hope that more marks are allocated here as they seem to be getting less and less over the years.

I will definitely do as you suggest and am doing my upmost to rebuild her confidence.

I too have a daughter at CCHS; she is in year 8. In some respects I feel under more pressure this time round because we both know what she would be missing out on should she not get offered a place.


I do sooo sympathise.It seems to matter more when they want to be with their big sister. :cry:
What kind of questions do trip her up ? Does she read the question really thoroughly? on a positive note if she has got the synonyms and punctuation she has about a third of the paper already.
Perhaps she is just stressed a little? I do remember my younger one doing a really bad maths paper about a fortnight before but I just switched to easier ones for a couple of days until she regained her confidence.
It will all be over soon.Not easy is it. :(


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:42 am 
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I don't think she does read the question thoroughly.

When I sit with her I sense the lack of interest and understanding in the passage (well lets be honest, I haven't come across one which does grab your attention!) and consequently she struggles to the find appropriate answers in the text.

I guess I'm looking for a quick way back to where she was due to the time scale, but I will slow down and do what you suggest.

Thank you


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:12 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
I agree that it is worse for the 2nd child. We know what we want for them. Do remember that a low English score can be alleviated by a high VR or a good maths and the beauty of both of those is that they can be taught.

I have sent you a pm on a more private note.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:27 pm 
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Thank you moving, have replied to your PM.

Am so very grateful for any advice.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:44 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Check your email, hopefully it contains presents!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:31 pm 
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Location: Essex
Don't despair, I think sometimes that's just the way they make progress - with a few disasters along the way!

Your DD sounds a bit like my DS; punctuation and synonyms are pretty much sorted but comprehension is a bit more of a struggle. We have had improvement with practice and you may find that this is just a blip owing to the slightly different format of the Essex paper. You could make up your own. Try googling for free classics and adapt what you find. It's a long road for a shortcut but you probably won't have to do many to prepare her for the Essex format. If she's usually good with comprehension you're probably more than halfway there.

I think (although I've only seen two past papers and could be wrong) that the Essex paper has harder text than the typical shop-bought practice papers but the questions are easier in that children can often choose an answer from given options. I bought the GLA multiple choice English papers instead of the standard version because I didn't know any better. I am now glad that I did as I think the comprehension element is closer to the Essex format.

Good luck to you and DD. This time next month it'll all be over...

Cheers,
First-timer


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:05 pm 
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First-Timer

Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions.

Good luck to you too.


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