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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:10 pm
Posts: 522
My dd is in year 3 and we are thinking seriously about her doing the 11+. Her reading age has been assessed at 11 years and she is doing year 4 maths at school. Her spelling age isn't as good as her reading age so that might be a bit of a downfall. I have got the bond second papers in english, maths and VR and she has done those, getting 30/30 each time so I have now bought her the third papers (ages 9 - 10). My daughter is an autumn baby so she is already 8 years old. I have been told by other people that she needs to be a level 5 by the beginning of year 5 in order to stand any chance at all of getting into a grammar school. I have no idea what level she is at the moment as that information has not been shared by her school.

Should she be substantially further ahead of where she is now in order to be a realistic candidate? I have been told that there are year 8 maths questions in the 11+, is that correct?

What sorts of things should she be doing now in order to prepare for the 11+? I got a copy of a CSSE past paper from a friend of mine and the english paper had an exercept from bleak house by charles dickens, is that the sort of book that my dd should be reading?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:51 am
Posts: 1161
Hi and welcome
What area are you from talea?
Some areas are more competative than others so it will help others answer your query :)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
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By the sounds of it, your DD is doing fine. However, year 3 is very early to start seriously doing work towards the 11+. At this age, just ensure regular reading, tables are okay etc.

Different areas have cover different subjects inthe 11+ so it would help to know where you live, for more specific advice.

Welcome to the site.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
Posts: 1226
CSSE is Essex.

Maybe a moderater could move this.


As far as bond books are concerned the maths and english are great for the essex papers. You need to aim to have finished the level 5 papers with her by the time of the exam so if you are on third papers now that is great.

Bond VR is not as appropriate but I am not aware of anyone who produces the "21 type" questions required for children this young so possibly best left til year 5.

No, she doesn't need to have read bleak house. Books for csse reading comp are hard and deliberately picked to be something the children are unlikely to have read. Just get her to read widely and discuss the meaning of any words she doesn't understand. A wide vocab is important along with good grammar and, this year, good spelling. (unlike mine)

You have masses of time, don't show her real papers yet, they make most 10 year olds panic!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
have moved it to essex


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3813
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Welcome to the forum and you don't have to start worrying yet.

Which grammars are you aiming for? There are 8 in Essex and some are easier to achieve than others. Have a look through the threads on the Essex part of the forum, hopefully it will put your mind at rest.

For context a level 5 is the top level that a year 6 child is expected to achieve. Level 4 is the normal level for a year 6 child. Level 5 by the end of year 5 seems to be quite normal for children trying for the Chelmsford and Colchester grammars, but not all have this level.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:10 pm
Posts: 522
Hi

Thanks for your replies. The grammar schools that we are aiming for are Chelmsford, Westcliff and Southend.

Please can you give me some ideas as to how I make sure that my dd has a wide vocab, good grammar and spelling? Obviously reading widely is very important but at the moment I am struggling to find books that are suitable for her reading level but appropriate for her age, IYKWIM. If anyone can suggest some suitable authors, I'd be very grateful. Spelling is quite tricky because her school have this crazy idea that correcting spelling will discourage children so although they have spelling tests every week, the teacher doesn't correct their spelling in their other written work!

With regard to maths, we are doing her times tables with her every day but she really hates it so I was hoping that someone might have some ideas for fun ways for her to learn her times tables. What else should I be looking at with regard to her maths or is it sufficient to just work through the bond books.

The VR is the bit that concerns me the most simply because they get no exposure to it at all at state schools. If the bond books aren't the right ones for the Essex 11+, are there any others that would be more appropriate? What is the best method for teaching someone to do VR? Is it just a case of practice, practice, practice?

I don't want to put too much pressure on her at this stage so we only do few hours per week on this, spread over a few days. She has quite a lot of extracurricular activities so we don't have time for homework every day. How much time should she spend on this sort of thing per week?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:44 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
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Hi again.

For spelling and vocab I would recommend word based board games - boggle, scrabble ect. Fun and less like school work.
There has been several good book threads on the forum in the past but I can't remember where at the moment, possibly try going back through the "everything else" forum.

For maths the BBC bitesize KS2 site is good and again I would recommend board games where she can act as banker to improve general mental maths.

The correct types of VR papers for Essex are multiple choice 21 type. I believe this is a list of suppliers but posting in the VR forum to Patricia may get you better advice on where to start.

AFN
IPS,
The Tutors
Learning Lab
Susan Daughtrey Papers
Walsh,
GL assessment
Letts

The VR is largely teaching technique and a bit of practice to get up to speed, but I personally wouldn't start before year 5. A year of VR is more than enough - it is very boring. My DD sat the exam in November and says she never wants to see another VR paper again in her life!

Good luck


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:49 am 
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Hi, welcome to the wacky, stressed out world of 11 plus parenting here in Essex.

For what it's worth - here is the benefit of my experience.(ha ha)

1) 11 plus is a marathon and not a sprint so take it slow and steady or you'll burn out (you and your daughter.) Make sure you keep it fun for now - lots of different types of puzzle books rather than just verbal reasoning papers - getting her to work out 'real' money sums rather than just practising pages of arithmatic - guide her towards good books but let her choose her own rubbish as well. I have learned from bitter experience that if you keep them away from Jacqueline Wilson at 8 it just means there's even more of it to read when they're 10 and there's nothing else left in the public library.
2) Don't get too hung up on SATs levels. Presumably your DD was a level 3 last summer? She may well be again this summer - because Key Stage One and Key Stage Two SATs are different. Some schools SAT score generously and some score cautiously in years 4 and 5. I was very worried when DD finished Year 4 with 4bs across the board but was told by friends with older children who had been through the same school that no one ever got a level 5 until the end of Year 5 because they didn't want the parents coming back to complain if children ended up underperforming in 'the real thing.' I bought a set of SATs papers from Smiths and marked them myself - sure enough she was a 5c. According to the school she's only that in English now - half way through Year 6!!
3) Find a nice enough Comprehensive or an affordable Indie alternative and prepare your DD for the possibility she may be going there rather than the Grammar. I made the mistake of letting my poor child overhear me telling a relative - "But I can't send her to {Insert name here} - they'll turn her into jam!" She was only about 8 at the time and found working for 11 plus very stressful because it made her think more about the 'dreadful alternative.' She has spent open days etc now at a perfectly acceptable Comp {Not Insert name here - it has been re-invented but I still wouldn't risk it} and, although she has worked hard for the 11 plus and would prefer a Grammar school, she is not anxious about going to the alternative school if necesaary.
4) Share books with her. Read aloud to her as well as getting her to read to you and talk a lot about what you're reading together. It's suprising how much children may misunderstand about what they've read and the 11 plus Comprehensions can be quite tricky. Make sure you're using an adult vocabulary when you talk to her - and check that she understands what the words mean. My own DCren were both convinced that 'ominous' meant 'unnecessary' because their piano teacher referred to 'ominous pauses' when they played their pieces! Re - choice of books - go for the old stuff - my DD loved (and still rereads) everything by Noel Streatfeild, E Nesbitt, PL Travers (Mary Poppins), and Frances Hodgson Burnett - the grammar and vocabulary is much better than you find in most of the more modern childrens' books.
5) NEVER give up an extra curricular activity for the sake of 11 plus preparation. Busy children, just like busy adults, seem to get more done. A music lesson followed by 10 minutes VR or a quick bit of Maths is much better for the brain than 40 minutes slaving over A.N.Other practice paper.

In the words of the great Sean Connery "Here endeth the lesson." I do not change one word of it - even if my DD does end up at {Insert Name Here}

Best of luck, talea51 - and enjoy the journey.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
There are some brilliant games on the internet to help with tables

mad4maths has some excellent ones ( they do dwell on "toilet" humour though!" )

try
http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/g ... eteor.html too.

and

http://www.oswego.org/ocsd-web/games/Gh ... /gbcd.html

If you google times tables games KS2 you should find lots


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