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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:41 pm 
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So...DS is taking his 11 plus exams on 21 September and looking to get to either Southend High or Westcliff High. He is in catchment and he has been doing past papers at a reasonable level although we've just about run out of them and these familiarisation tests now. For info so that maybe someone can answer the second question below, he's done English & Maths CSSE papers for 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013 plus a VR paper and a further 4 VR papers by Letts and a further 4 each English & Maths GL assessment pack 1 multi-choice papers.

I'm feeling a bit undecided as to whether I've let him down or if we should have had more help from the school because I was blissfully unaware of a mock exam date in June and another one just this last Saturday. Were they full mocks of English, Maths and VR or just familiarisation ?

Two things really for the next 11 days:

a) Are there any more mock exam opportunities and if so are they worth doing ?
b) What other test papers can we get - for example how do you get hold of 2009, 2010, 2011 papers and proper VR papers ?

Any help gratefully received - and thoughts on the lack of help by the school.

DS didn't have a tutor because I thought he was alright (which I think he is) and resented the school suggesting it when it's surely their job !


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
No idea what these mocks were - the CSSE certainly doesn't organise them. SHSB are definitely not much in favour of the tutoring organisations; one of them stuck advertising leaflets under everyone's windscreen wipers during the consultation meeting about the catchment area expansion last year - earning themselves a pretty shirty phone call from the school the next morning, I believe :)

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:48 pm
Posts: 492
Jim's Dad wrote:
So...DS is taking his 11 plus exams on 21 September and looking to get to either Southend High or Westcliff High. He is in catchment and he has been doing past papers at a reasonable level although we've just about run out of them and these familiarisation tests now. For info so that maybe someone can answer the second question below, he's done English & Maths CSSE papers for 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013 plus a VR paper and a further 4 VR papers by Letts and a further 4 each English & Maths GL assessment pack 1 multi-choice papers.

I'm feeling a bit undecided as to whether I've let him down or if we should have had more help from the school because I was blissfully unaware of a mock exam date in June and another one just this last Saturday. Were they full mocks of English, Maths and VR or just familiarisation ?

Two things really for the next 11 days:

a) Are there any more mock exam opportunities and if so are they worth doing ?
b) What other test papers can we get - for example how do you get hold of 2009, 2010, 2011 papers and proper VR papers ?

Any help gratefully received - and thoughts on the lack of help by the school.

DS didn't have a tutor because I thought he was alright (which I think he is) and resented the school suggesting it when it's surely their job !


Hi Jim's dad. Sorry to hear you are disgruntled. In answer to your questions I would say:

a) I wouldn't do any organised mocks now, exams are too close. Has your dc done any papers back to back, i.e. English paper, followed straight away by the maths paper followed by VR paper? This is the main point of the mocks aside from getting your child used to being in a room with lots of strangers. Is he likely to panic when he sees lots of people on the day? I see the main purpose of the mocks as getting them used to the timings and letting them see how really long a time the whole set of papers takes.

b) The english and maths papers are available on the csse site each year for the last few years to buy and the ones that are now available to download for free. Unfortunately if you haven't already got them, the ones in the middle years rely on you knowing someone who has them! The English changed in the last few years so really I would only work with the last few years anyway.

For VR, you cannot buy the actual papers but the closest I understand are the Susan Daughtry Bright Sparks series (it has to be the Bright Sparks pack). There are two packs available on a favourite online book seller that sells everything or via this site. I would use them if you haven't already.

Best of luck to you ds and I am sure you haven't let him down. He is probably less stressed out than my poor dd :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:26 am
Posts: 269
Hi there, my DS is sitting in 11 days too, thanks for the reminder :?

I would suggest you set up your own mock on Saturday or Sunday this weekend. Purchase the papers already recommended in the posts, put him in a quiet part of the house, or kick everyone else out and do the English paper first, then the Maths paper (no break). Let him use whatever timer he is happy with, or a watch set to 12 that ticks round. Then after the Maths paper let him go to the toiled and go to the kitchen for a juice and biscuit, maybe up to 15 mins break. Then back to the desk for the full 50 mins 80 questions of VR.

At this stage I wouldn't worry him with the results (if they are not great) or boost him up if they are. Its simply to make him realise what amount of time he will be working at a desk for. I would then mark the papers myself and think about strategy. Each child has their own strengths and weaknesses. With our DS we get him to do the high scoring spelling and grammar sections of the English paper first, then he does the comprehension.

My son hasn't had an 11+ tutor and I don't think you've let him down. Be really positive and have a chat to him that some kids might cry, or fuss, but he just needs to get his head down and do his best.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:39 pm 
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Oh and one more thing Jim's dad, promise Jim a big treat after the exam.. and a few beers for yourself (but maybe not in the car park leaving the exam!) Good luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:10 pm
Posts: 522
I can't really add to much to what the others have said as it's pretty much what I would have said. I have used mock exams simply to get my dd used to the idea of doing a test somewhere that isn't her school classroom or my house and also to give her an idea of what it feels like to do an exam and to give her an idea of the timings.

The last mock my dd did was at the beginning of July because I didn't want to take the chance of knocking her confidence with a bad mark really close to the exam! Now I'm wishing I'd booked the one that was this last weekend but there's no point crying over spilt milk. My dd will this weekend be doing a mock exam at my house where I will be doing exactly what mikedellfarm has suggested. I'm not worried about the marks at this stage, only interested in getting her used to the time pressure. What she doesn't know now, she's never going to know is my philosophy.

I don't think you've let your son down at all. There are loads of people whose children have gotten in to those schools following the approach that you have and certainly it's the approach that the schools themselves favour.

I second mikedellfarm's suggestion of treating your son to something after the exam and treating yourself to a few beers too! :D

I know I shall certainly be having a large G&T on the night of 21st September!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:26 am
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talea51 - I shall toast you on the night of the 21st - husband is hopefully bringing me back the Rangpur Lime gin I like from the States (silly time to go away on work heh!?)

We can't beat ourselves up about being useless parents now (our children will do that for us in the years ahead). We did what we could for our children and what fitted with our families. People will always do more. People will always lie about how much they are really doing.

I am immensely proud of my DSs work ethic through this and his maturity .. he's a star.. and whatever result he gets, I love him to the moon and back.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:14 pm 
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http://www.waitrose.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... reId=10317 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:25 pm
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Hi I've sent you a pm.

:D


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:08 am 
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2Girlsmum - thank you ! Now I can tell DH he needn't go to the States on work :D


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