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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:23 pm 
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Posts: 710
I'm pondering what to do now! I had a tried and tested strategy that worked well and now, well-I will have to adapt!

They changed things two years ago when I had DC1 and they decided (in February, I think it was) that they'd shunt the 11+ forward from November to September and then changed the catchment areas, just to confuse everybody! I think they like to keep us on our toes!

Those of you that are working with their own children at home-will you do less work on VR questions? DC is already familiar with the different question types, so I might just keep those ticking over (as there will still be VR questions) and do a few here and there rather than worrying about 80 question timed papers. We'll still do grammar/punctuation/spelling and comprehension-using past papers etc for the English and I suppose practise creative writing. Maths won't change much, I expect-but we need to do some NVR which is new. I used to do about 1/3 English, 1/3 Maths and 1/3 VR. What proportions should we focus on now? 1/4 English, 1/4 maths, 1/6 creative writing, 1/6 VR and 1/6 NVR!?

At least they do creative writing at school, so that won't be a complete unknown. I can't expect they will expect much in the way of written work though-as they still have to fit all the other stuff in the one hour paper. I wonder if it will be a choice of two titles to write about rather than be two actual pieces as they will only end up being v short if they have to write two!?

I still think that the likelihood of success in creative writing depends on the quality of the teaching in each child's school; being good at that sort of thing is not an inate skill. If you have a good Y5 teacher, you are at a big advantage and vice versa. This plan probably won't change the dynamics/background of the group of children who pass much-it will still be the same group of children either at 'Outstanding' schools or those with middle-class parents who will go out of their way to find out what might be on the paper who pass. I wonder actually, if these changes are nothing to do with altering the dynamics/'type' of the children that pass and more to do with getting children with a better standard of English at grammars. I know of a couple of teachers at local grammars who are not impressed with the ability of Y7 children to construct a coherent sentence, so I can see why they've made the changes.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:33 pm 
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It looks like the 'creative' writing is going to need to be quite formulaic given the time and the need for a consistent mark scheme.

It may even be that it is only marked for those children who are still 'in with a shot' after the short answer questions have been marked.

Hopefully the sample papers will give you an idea of how much time will be allocated to the writing but I would say that you would be wise to get DCs to practice writing short pieces that demonstrate as many skills as possible - getting basics correct with a few twiddles and fancy vocab thrown in on top :)

Be interesting to know whether they are bothered about the piece being complete or will be looking for evidence of sentence structure etc. as that is what some GS staff are complaining about (i.e. year 7s coming in are unable to write any thing comprehensible never mind writing an interesting story!)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:52 pm
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Biggest change at Push-Pull-Manor will be that DIY-ing will be a lot less fun and employ a lot more bribes :?

I have added a "10-minute writing challenge" to our round robin of prep - only done one so far - not a great success.

NVR is the next thing to add into the mix ....


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:47 pm 
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We won't be skipping church on Sunday mornings to practice VR. Plan B may well be required! :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:48 am
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Can anyone recommend any NVR resources for a DIYer?
I, too, was planning on using the same system for dd1 as I did for ds, but obviously things are going to have to change now...


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:26 am
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Anyone willing to share what they are doing now for prep - my DS2 in Y4 will have to start soon.. he is the chalk to my DS1's cheese so I will face different challenges now. Thoughts ?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:48 pm
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My ds is in yr4 too. I am going to start with him after Christmas, waiting to see what is on the new sample papers. Not sure yet whether I am aiming for 11+ yet though as we are very behind on English as he is dyslexic and has a bit of a fear of literacy. We are working on it :) he is predicted a 4c at end of year 4 for maths but only 3c or b for reading and writing. Going to play it by ear and see how much improvement I can make.

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

Albert Einstein


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
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I also have a year 4 DS. We are not planning on CSSE now as his English is very poor compared to his Maths. I am looking at Faith comp, Philip Morant via technology aptitude paper or possibly RHS at Holbrook. So I am doing some English as it needs to improve anyway and will do some NFER style non verbal reasoning next year for the PM exam.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
You have nine months. Surely it is worth having a go? You could make massive improvements in nine months and it will all have a good impact on his skills for secondary school. I know students who have gone up two sub levels in one term so you could easily go up an entire sats level between now and September. Sooner or later you will have to grasp the nettle of writing for Secondary school. Why not now? DG


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:22 am 
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He is year 4 so I actually have 21 months. However he is only a level 2a for English so we need to improve by 3 levels to stand a chance. I have a son at CRGS, who has done really well and loves it, but I do not now think it would be the right school for DS2.

With regard to prep, until a sample paper is available I would think Bond is a good option. Their maths and english have been suitable in the past, and now the VR is incorporated rather than a nfer nelson paper, the wider variety of questions in bond is probably better.


Last edited by Minesatea on Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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