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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:50 pm
Posts: 51
Hi first post so new to this all! Just a general enquiry which may be naive but I am sure you wil set me straight.

I am in Essex where the 11+ comprises English, Maths and VR (which I believe is weighted). My daughter excels at English and seems to be managing VR well (feedback from school - not my opinion!) To be a realistic candidate does a child need to excel in all areas or is it acceptable to have a slightly weaker area? It is her maths which slightly worries me as she just doesn't seem as sharp with the basic concepts. Her school are not particularly helpful: their response is "her maths is fine - no concerns - you just compare it to her english where she is a long way ahead." I am guessing she is above average (based on her grouping within the class and her achievement of 80-90% in the Bond maths papers appropriate to her age.) I am unsure if she should be achieving well beyond her years IYSWIM? She is motivated and it was her school teacher who suggested we consider the 11 plus (this teacher does not take her for maths, however; they are grouped with the year below and put into sets and my daughter is taught by someone else). Just wanted to gauge if we are on the right lines to be thinking about 11 plus prep. or being unrealistic taking into account how competative Essex is? She is in year 4 at the moment and we have not embarked on any formal prep. just a couple of maths and VR papers to assess her level as recommended by school. Would be interested in your thoughts please.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:59 am
Posts: 2001
Hi Laluna,

Welcome to the forum. I'm going to move you over to Essex where you may get a better response.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:47 pm
Posts: 698
Location: Essex
No, your DC doesn't need to be an all-rounder. My own DS's strengths were VR and Maths, with English being a long way behind. He got a place at his first choice school on allocations day. I would say, though, that if VR is not strong then a child would face an uphill struggle as this carries double the weight of each of the other papers and makes up half of the overall score.

It sounds as though your DD is doing well and you have lots of time before the exam to prepare.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:14 pm
Posts: 612
Location: essex
I agree with First Timer.

My son was, we thought, very good at maths and less strong in English. We concentrated on the English and VR and he got into KEGS with a good English result, great VR and a maths result that would have had me sobbing at the bottom of the garden if it had been a practice paper.

This years papers seem to have been a bit different to previous years but I definitely would try and crack VR first before working on the other two as it carries 50% of the marks.

Good luck and don't forget there is a wealth of knowledge and experience here, you only have to ask.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3817
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
The Essex 11+ has been traditionally tough, but the passmark is accordingly lower than in some other counties. There is no need to be an all rounder. DD, now in Chelmsford, was noticably less confident in maths than English and VR, yet on the day her maths result outstripped her English result.

Are you heading for North/mid Essex grammars or those in Southend? Within the borough of Southend the chances of passing are significantly higher.

I would recommend that you continue with the Bond papers at the moment. She will need to be a book ahead of her age before the 11+. I would always recommend 5th papers by November of year 6 if she is trying for CCHS. If she is already getting 80-90% in the 3rd papers then she would seem to be on track. Please remember that VR in Bond is very different from the real 11+ papers so later on she will need some work that is more focused on our 11+, but for now Bond should be fine. Bond is great for both the Essex English and maths papers. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:50 pm
Posts: 51
Thank you for the time you have taken to reply. We will be hoping for Colchester. Will continue with Bond and as an introduction to VR we have started with Daughtry. Will keep an eye on these boards and also have the details of a local tutor who I aim to have a chat to.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 2362
Hi.
Colchester CHS is certainly tough but if you look at the scores that gained a place in previous years you will see that it is not necessary to be gettingthe 90% in all subjects that you sometimes hear about.
Having said that it is worth remembering that the children often perform significantly less well 'on the day' than in practice.

VR is very important because of the weighting & the papers do seem to be harder than most of the practice papers around. Never-the-less you have plenty of time to teach your DD the necessary techniques without any undue pressure.

If you think that the Maths might be her 'weak spot' then it might be worth getting some one-to-one coaching in Maths for a couple of months even at this point. A good maths tutor can have an enormous impact in a short space of time. Making sure that your DD has a very firm grasp of thge underlying concepts at this point could help her going forward at school generally - not just for the 11+ . Just make sure your DD knows the coaching is to help her to reach her potential, not because she has a problem, and that she enjoys what she is doing.

Do talk to other parents about local 11+ tutors as different styles can suit different children & you want to find someone who will give you a realistic appraisal rather than tell you want you want to hear in order to get the business! Generally you shouldn't need to start specific 11+ tutoring until a year before the test at the earliest - up to that stage some gentle practice at home should be sufficient. It can get very stressful as the exam gets close so its good to stay low key for as long as possible :)

Hope it all goes well


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