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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:44 pm
Posts: 125
My daughter has just started Y4 and I'd consigned all thoughts of the 11+ to a mental drawer marked "to be opened later, much much later".

However last week her teacher asked us if we were thinking about entering her for the 11+. She feels that all children entering the 11+ need tutoring, and also that our particular town is at a particular disadvantage over other local towns as we are only in the CHS catchment area.

So all of a sudden I find myself plunged in to 11+ panicking. Everything from... wondering if we need a tutor, how we find one, when we need to start looking for one (and how long I've got to save up to pay for one)... to when we should go to open days (someone suggested going a year early to see if my daughter is really interested before committing a lot of time, effort and resources).

I thought I'd start this thread for any other parents who are in a similar position. Perhaps we can support each other through this minefield?

Thank you.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:48 pm
Posts: 492
Hi,
My dd started tutoring in the autumn term of year 4, mainly because the school were not stretching her enough in maths (her best subject). She is now in year 5 and all being well will sit the next sitting (for entry in 2014). I am happy with how we have approached it so far, I would not fancy starting in year 5 although a lot do, but there does seem an awful lot to cover and to be honest she has been working at this for a year already and there is still so much she needs to get to grips with :shock: She is a bright lass but I wouldn't say she is super bright :wink:

We also went to see the schools at the end of year 4 (grammars do the open days in the summer term). This was with a view to inspiring her to work more than to make any decision on whether we spend the money - we are committed to trying whatever the result :D

Hope this helps.

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"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

Albert Einstein


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:26 am
Posts: 269
We came to all of this a bit late. Our DS is in Year 5. We don't plan to use a tutor yet.. but that might change ! We do plan for him to sit some mock exams using an external company though.

Sadly we weren't able to go to the open day in the summer term (thats for CRGS) so we went to the Autumn Fayre recently, just to get a taste for the school when it wasn't so formal and we were very impressed. Our son wants to get a place, so thats part of the battle won. So we worked up a study plan, just in 8 week blocks, where we agreed with DS, how much time we'd work at it and what he'd be rewarded with (the idea of rewarding the effort along the way.. just small things but things he enjoys). I spent a lot of time reading threads on this forum, which is invaluable, as so many thoughtful people have shared their advice. I have a notebook where I keep a record of comments I know I might forget that have been written on here, just tips.. such as what pencil to use in the exam, using the Freerice.com website, typing up a paragraph of a favourite book and asking DS to punctuate and so on... much of which is FREE !

We started with Bonds books, which come age appropriate. Following advice on this forum I then bought the GL Assessment 11+ series, with the Guide for Parents and the Verbal Reasonsing Explained. We are all working through this - its fun, well presented and we do word games etc. We've also ordered the past papers for the last few years, and there are many online resources. To mix things up we try apps that are fun,

We've probably started it far too late, and not using a tutor may be to our detriment. We are all really enjoying the process of learning together. Who knows if we're taking the right course but so far its great. What actually worries us the most is the current process of telling you the result of the 11+ and then torturing you for 5 months to confirm a place or not.. seems ridiculously tough when the journey has so many other obstacles to overcome.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:27 pm
Posts: 620
Mikedellfarm, you haven't come to this too late at all. You have a full school year ahead to prepare and that is plenty of time. You have done your research and what you are doing is spot on. Continue as you are doing and it will lead to success. I did the exact same with my DD and she came out with a fabulous score this year......better than all those with private tutors! Keep up the good work! :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:26 am
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Pumpkin Pie - many thanks for your supportive post ! This forum is fantastic. We don't really want to take the tutor route at all, we think we can do as much as possible ourselves. The tips and guidance from this forum are fantastic... and we never imagined we would spend our Sunday evening around the kitchen table playing word games with two DSs.. who both loved it ! Very little of it is a chore, it seems a snack size twix bar or curly wurly every now and then helps DS stay focused.. and he has even now started to explain to me how he could have answered something more efficiently. He may succeed, he may not, but what he is learning is invaluable.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:48 pm
Posts: 492
Mikedellfarm, don't get me wrong. If you can work with your dc and get them to learn from you that is brilliant and the best way by far. My dd will do the work her tutor sets but sometimes if I try to explain things she just won't listen to me. Other times she will let me but I just find it easier to get someone else to set the structure for her, I can then work to that and encourage her to keep to her tutor's regime.

It sounds like you will all have a great time in the 11+ process, whereas I am at times finding it quite a strain - maybe your approach is better :)

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"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

Albert Einstein


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3818
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
I gave both of mine a paper at the end of y4, just to see what it was like. They did some 11+ work in school, everyone else had tutors from y4 onwards. We started properly in the summer of y5. Both passed for the Chelmsford grammars. DS couldn't have done more, the few papers he did nearly killed him! DD probably would have been happier with a tutor and more time. All water under the bridge, but don't assume that they need masses of tutoring; they don't, but it does help with confidence, theirs and ours.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:55 pm
Posts: 21
Our daughter had no help at school.
(Her headmaster is not in favour of the 11+)

She had 11 weeks with a local tutor ( started in June this year )and passed.

We decided we'd help her at home with books and started in
April with Non VR, then via this forum, realised that it wasn't needed for the
Essex 11+ :roll:

If we'd had the funds, we would have tutored a little earlier
to give her more confidence, but it worked out well in the end.

What I would say is, go for a tutor on recommendation.

Ours was very honest with parents and if she felt a child didn't
have the ability, she would carefully tell them so they could make
the decision whether to carry on.

All the best.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:44 pm
Posts: 125
Thank you all for taking the time to respond. It seems that every family takes a slightly different approach, which makes sense as every child is different :D

I feel we've made a little progress, my husband has agreed in principle to spending the money on tutoring if that's the way we decide to go. The school is under a lot of pressure from Ofsted to prove they are supporting their more able pupils, and he was wondering if their suggestion re: 11+ reflects their priorities instead of any realistic expectation that our daughter might pass. Has anyone gone down the route of getting an independent assessment of a child's potential (perhaps from an 11+ tutor) before committing to the idea?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3818
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
A decent tutor will and should give you an assessment. One thing I would say is that the extra work benefits most children whether they pass or not. Does your daughter want to try for grammar school? A good idea may be to look at local schools and see where she feels most comfortable.


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