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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:13 pm
Posts: 67
Hi
My son is in year 5 and after a year of bond preperation and thinking about whether he would like to go to CRGS he has now decided he def wants to take 11+ and is really enthusiastic about practice.

I am finding the Bond papers really useful but worried they are not difficult enough for him? What are your thoughts? Should I be doind other methods too - if so what??

Also think his vocab needs improving and his teacher has said that some 19th century reading would improve his chances. Can anyone give me some tips of what books to get and also any other tips for English success?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 1:57 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Essex
Hi there! I don't post very much but have a son who passed his 11+ last year, tbh it was his English score that got him through! I was similarly advised to get him reading Victorian novels, but I thought how ridiculous! I studied late Victorians at degree level and it just seems silly to me to expect 10 year old boys to be interested; more likely to put them off for life. The English comprehension is the hardest thing to coach for, and I think the best way to ensure success (in exam and in future life) is to get your son really enjoying reading, and discussing what he reads.

My son read all the books Michelle Magorian has written (you might want to read them yourself first as some have a bit of sex in). The Percy Jackson series, Harry P of course, Ellen's People by Dennis Hamley. He also read Benjamin Zephaniah, something called Roxy's Baby... we borrowed most things from the YA section of the library and we'd talk about them together afterwards. I didn't really do this as an 11+ thing but because I love to read and I was delighted when my son seemed to be getting really into it too. Last year, the CSSE decided to upset the tutors and chose Dava Sobel's Longitude as the set text. So you won't always get Dickens.

I think what i'm trying to say is that encouraging your son to read for fun rather than inflict some old tomes on him in the hope he memorises them is the way to go. A keen reader will be able to answer the questions and pick up on the subtle implications within a passage even if it is set in unfamiliar surroundings, and the vocab will be understandable within its context, if he can follow the story.

(Reading this back, it sounds really smug! If it's any consolation he cocked up his maths and my dd won't read anything!)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3810
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Hello, not feeling overly well, so can't remember names of authors. I recommend good quality literature that appeals to the child. There is a wide range that is both accessible and not impenetrably dull for the normal 10 yr old. Stig of the Dump, White Fang, Varjak Paw. My reading list is somewhere on the site.


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 Post subject: English section
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:56 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Essex
Hi! In the English forum there is a very good post called don't despair which has advice and tips for parents about the English side of the 11+ exam. Bond are very good but it is good to vary so your child gets used to different lay outs etc.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 1:57 pm
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Location: Essex
My post has been censored LOL The Michelle Magorian books don't have gender in them but s3x :oops:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
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guessed as much, but only read it post-edit and thought it a cool way to get round the prob!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:13 pm
Posts: 67
Hi
Thanks rachel. My son loves reading anyway and a treat for him is a trip to the library!! He has a reading age of 13 (and is 10) and is actually reading stig of the dump at the moment (through choice)!
Because of his love of reading, I thought that by reading books that may have the sort of vocab in he will encounter, he will read for pleasure and if a word comes up that he doesn't understand then we can discuss it. I too love reading.

After posting this he actually did the 2008 past paper from csse and got 28/40 which I am pleased with at this stage - his comprehension was good - he struggled with alternative meaning and got a whole question wrong because he didn't read the question properly so know we have to work on this.

Thanks so much for your advice - I just want to give him the best chance - can't afford a tutor and don't think he really needs one - just think with good prep he'll be less stressed on the day

We are off to the library after school today!!

Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:29 am
Posts: 62
I've helped "coach" (you may substitute the words "shouted at" here if you wish) 3 of my 4 over the last 5 years. English is the most difficult to help with. Technique is very important with the comprehension elements but that comes later.

The most important aspect by far is vocabulary and the best way to enhance this is to read, and read more.

The "classics" are best because many of the comprehensions are from this type of book. Get a wide range of books from the library and don't worry too much if he/she does not finish a particular book, as long as they have had a go and read a few chapters. 15/20 minutes a day id a good discipline to get into.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:13 pm
Posts: 67
I am very lucky that he regards reading as one of hobbies - he happily reads off his own back evenings and weekends - and has been know to read most of the day in the holidays - especially if he gets into a series like Harry Potter.

I think he just needs to improve his grammer - I guess that'll come over the next few weeks with the right books!

We are off to the library tonight - with my list in hand!!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 1:57 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Essex
That's fab colchester-mum! If your son is a reader, he'll do well in the English, it's the one thing that they can't 'cram' for at a tutor's! My son's grammar and punctuation are his weakest points too, it doesn't seem to come up much in the 11+ but it is showing now he is working in Year 7. 28/40 is a great score, and shows he's well on his way!

Just remembered some more reading... Sherlock Holmes! A series (which boys love don't they? must be the collector in them!) and a bit of old fashioned language too! If you haven't tried the Percy Jackson series I really recommend them , the books are much better than the film. My son started his Magorian marathon with 'Just Henry'. I think you are right to keep him reading things he enjoys, whilst exposing him the the past papers so he is a bit familar with the old classic type of text.

xx


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