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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:46 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:19 am
Posts: 50
Any advice on my situation would be gratefully received!

A bit of background. My daughter has always been pretty bright (although not "genius" bright) and in Yr4 I thought it would be certain that she would sit the 11+. I bought the Bond books for her age and began some gentle prep.

Last Autumn when she started Yr5 we did the open days at all the local schools and the grammar schools (that are much further out). Our nearest school is a failing dump but we thought we were in catchment for two others - although on visiting them, it turned out we miss one by about 500 yds and the other by about a mile. The closer school did say though that she had a 98% chance of getting a place. After the school visits, our daughter decided her first choice was the slightly further away option - but she wasnt fussed on the Grammar choices and also hated the idea of a 55 mile a day round trip.

As a family, we decided that we wouldnt enter her for the 11+ as she really didnt want to do the journey. The two good schools nearby have VERY similar results to the grammar schools anyway. Our only concern was that she might get allocated the "dump" nearby but felt reassured by the admissions of the better school that she would almost certainly get a place. Right, fast forward to this March when the current Yr6s get their school allocations - NONE of the kids got the schools we want - they all got the dump. So we start to panic and rethink. Daughter says she wants to try the 11+ as she would rather do the long journey than go to the local school. So, we start again on the prep - problem is, this highlights a new concern. We gave her a few test papers to try and she totally crumpled. Even the "simple" maths sums had her thrown (although she was able to answer some of the harder ones!). Her basic skill set seems shot to bits.

Ive been to the school to address the issue and not had a lot of help. She is working at around 4B for most subjects which they assure me is "very good" for Yr5 (I dont know if this is true). After a VERY long discussion with our child it turns out she is deeply unhappy at school and is being left to "get on with things" as she is a brighter child and help given to the less able. Consequently, she has lost confidence and spark. Ive taken the HUGE step of deciding to move her (not something Ive taken lightly believe me) - but Ive got both her and my younger Yr2 son into a high performing Primary school which they start as soon as Admissions process the paperwork. This school is the main feeder to the senior school which is DD's first choice (wont guarantee her a place but might help her chances) In addition, at DD's request, she is starting at a local Kip Mcgrath centre to boost her confidence and skills. I did want a home tutor but cannot find a single one with a vacancy!

Now with all this going on and uncertainty about DD's level of ability Im unsure whether the 11+ is going to be a viable option still. I feel we have left it late to start - and also if the pressure on top of moving school (although she is happy about it) would be too much.

Any advice? Should we continue to work towards it or is it really too late in the day (its the Essex 11+ which she would sit in Nov if she took it).Im so confused and feel as if we have let her down in all this school business. I admit once we made the decision last year NOT to put her in for the exam,we stopped doing so much at home with her, and I feel incredibly guilty now.

Sorry its long - Im just very confused.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 6257
Don't be so hard on yourself - all the choices that you made were made with her best interest at heart and it sounds as if you have always been interested and involved in her education. You can't do more than that but circumstances have changed and you need to think of a new plan.

Not too familiar with Essex 11+ (only what I've read here) so I don't know which of the papers you do, but in general I would say that if you can get her confidence back, which I am sure you will with new school and tuition, then it has to be worth having a go at. Would I as a mother have a go, Yes I would. You have 6 months and that is still quite a long time. Others with more knowledge of your area may not agree but as I said I don't know a lot about the Essex set up itself.

Please don't be so hard on yourself - you are obviously a very loving and caring mother and family.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
I don't know about the Essex 11+, but I would say you have plenty of time.

have a go at some of the familiarisation stuff, building vocabulary etc will help with her general schoolwork as well.

As a tutor I usually have children for a few months before the test and this is plenty of time.

I hope the new school works out well, it is horrid as parent to see your child lose confidence and be unhappy.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:16 pm
Posts: 2113
Hi Jessmum,
You actually have ooodles of time.Yes I know some people spend years on it but I didn't and nor did many others of us on the Essex forum.
Come down to the Essex forum, re post your thread and in no time you will find lots of consolation and encouragement.I have also pm ed you.
It is really not too late! :D


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3813
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Can this be moved to Essex in case there are Basildon/Billericay based tutors who could help.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:14 pm
Posts: 612
Location: essex
I would say exactly the same as Chelmsford Mum.

My son started some low level coaching at the beginning of year 5 but his tutor didn't start any serious stuff until the summer term, certainly no practice papers until the Autumn. He was rather a reluctant 11plusser and didn't actually buckle down and do some proper work until he had been around the school ( KEGS ) and decided he really wanted to go there , in the September before the exam.
If your daughter is bright and committed you have plenty of time. Please do not be scared with stories of tutoring for three years, some do that but I am sure just as many do not. The Essex forum is heaving with advice about which books to buy( look at the stickies) and how to plan your campaign.

Good Luck and don't forget you can ask as many questions as you like, we have all been there.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3813
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
I have had several successful pupils who started in September when they realised that it was harder than they had previously thought. Do not worry.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8113
Moved to Essex Forum to get more local advice :wink:

Herman


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:33 pm
Posts: 866
Several years back we were living in the frozen north when we suddenly decided to move back down south in the June of year 6 (a decision helped by discovering that the grammar school in the south had a vacancy if DD could pass the exam. We therefore had 3 weeks in which to prepare for the 11+.
The first couple of practice papers were a bit of a disaster (64%) but she got the hang of it and did pass.
You have got plenty of time so do go for it. Lots of luck!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 11:09 pm
Posts: 218
Hi, Jessmum

Just sent you a PM.


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