Go to navigation
It is currently Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:40 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:57 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:25 am
Posts: 22
Hi, I'm new here. An English Mum of three who is returning to England after 18 years!
My concern is my eldest, DS10. He's lived all his life in the US and was selected two years ago for a full time state run gifted program. He's top 4 percentile on national ability testing (it came out the same two years running, so I'm pretty confident that's his true level). Moving to England this summer, he'll arrive just in time for the 11+!!!!
This was not planned!
Finding where to live in England has been pretty broad, but for all sorts of reasons we keep coming back to Gloucestershire (maybe Cirencester way) as a suitable base.
Anyway, back to the 11+.
I've tried two practice papers from the Pate's Grammar website with DS and he scored 78 and 80 percent. A few questions he simply got wrong, and a few were due to the fact that he speaks and knows American not English English. I haven't coached him at all on any of the question types yet.
Any thoughts so far? Is this worth pursuing? Are some schools likely to be out of the question and others more likely? Hiring a tutor is really not an option, but I am prepared to put in the time, and pay for practice papers if there is a reasonable chance of him getting a place. Luckily he's on board too - he really wants to go for it.
Also, if he goes ahead and takes the test but doesn't make it, do you think he has a fair chance on appeal, given that he is currently in a gifted program and has the above test scores? Might they make some allowance because of being in the country only a few months to get used to the language? I'm sure we could have teacher recommendations too. I'm really pleased to have found this site, and would appreciate any insight.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:18 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:09 pm
Posts: 275
Hello and welcome!

Just replying with my thoughts on what you said. No doubt others will be along shortly with further views.

Obviously no-one can predict with certainty any child's results in the 11+, but if your boy is bright (which he obviously is) and he's keen to give it a go - then why not? The good news is that nowadays you get the results of your child's performance in the test before you have to submit an application for secondary schools. So you have nothing to lose by registering him to take the test and indeed ticking the box for his results to be shared between all 4 of the grammar schools he could go to. That way you'll get maximum information before you need to get your application form in.

You say you're arriving "just in time for the 11+". One thing you'll need to be aware of is that in order to take the 11+ in October, you must submit a registration form early in Sept I believe. If your DS is not in the school system by then, you might need to liaise with GCC directly in order to get the right paperwork filled in by the correct date.

As for preparation, I could be wrong, but I don't think the papers on the Pates website are all totally ideal practice. On the day, the papers are set by NFER and are all multiple-choice, so you should try and get hold of some of them to practice with. You've got plenty of time - lots of people will be starting about now.

Hopefully you won't get into the situation of having to appeal :D but if you do, evidence is key. So before you leave the US, gather up as much as you can. You say he's in the top 4% nationally. Do you have an official print-out of that? Or can the school write something to that effect on their headed notepaper etc? I don't sit on an appeal panel, so don't know how much weight they would give to your son being used to US-English rather than British-English, but it seems like a reasonable argument to me.

HTH


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:31 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8112
Welcome to the forum..and good luck with the move and the 11 plus!

One thought comes to mind re the american english v english english, as I once explained to some confused Russians, americans and brits can understand each other - we have become essentially bilingual, aware of the different grammar and vocabulary used.

TBH though it is possibly more that we watch too much american telly and the BBC have succumbed in some ways.... :wink:

Anyway it can be a huge game with kids to work out how you say that in the other "dialect", I am sure he can manage to learn word lists and also rewriting sentences to english style... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_a ... ifferences gives some ideas...

Also dates, the attack on New York was 11/9 not 9/11/2001, American independence was 4/7/1776 and Christmas day is 25/12.... you will know all these but he won't. If he can get into the mindset then it will help..

What DVDs can he watch ... Dad's Army, Yes Minister.....


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:14 pm
Posts: 739
Location: Gloucester
Welcome to the forum!

Not a lot to add to the other advice,apart from the area where you may want to live.Cirencester does not have any grammar schools,so any school would mean a daily commute of approx 20 miles each way.Whilst this doesn't sound much,when you add in all the after school activities that can take place,it would involve you perhap picking up from Cheltenham/Gloucester instead of relying on buses.Something to think about....
However,Cirencester does have some very good comprehensive schools if DS wasn't successful in the 11+.
if you are interested in home tutoring there are downloads on this site,and much advice as to which books you can use for the Gloucestershire test.It is important to use the correct materials,as there are many on the market that would involve types of questions that are not found on the Glos 11+ papers.

Good luck!

GM


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:25 am
Posts: 22
Thanks so much for all the input.
It was good to hear about the registration dates etc. We're planning to start the kids in school in September, so hopefully that will work out. Also, yes, I do have print outs of two years worth of ability and achievement tests that are nationally normed to match age, and I'll be sure to bring them with us.

The American English/English English one is a strange creature. I think you're right, hermanmunster, that Brits have a pretty good handle on Americanisms, although their understanding is not always the way Americans are intending, but I can't say that I think it works the other way round. The difficulty is that these are two peoples that think they are making sense to one another and think that they understand the differences because they know the famous ones - pants for trousers etc. Sometimes it can take years to figure out that you or they were actually misunderstood. I think it is more than vocabulary too - really hard to explain unless you've lived it. As to DS, on one of these practice tests he didn't know what a dinghy was!!! I like the idea of watching more Brit dvds. We really don't get a lot of kid friendly Brit TV, but the whole family loves Dr Who, and of course Harry Potter has been a big hit. I'm going to need to look out some more. It's also made me decide to push more English Literature over the next few months.
Oh and Gloucestermum, thanks for the thoughts on distance. I'm going to have to keep that in mind.
Thanks for all the ideas. Please keep them coming - I need all the help I can get:)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
Hi,

You're not the first to move back to the UK with 'Americanized' children just before the 11+.

There are quite a few children coming from Cirencester, and beyond, to the Stroud grammars - not too far a journey (12 miles). I think there's a bus. I guess that there are also children going up to Cheltenham & Gloucester grammars, but Stroud tends to be the most popular. As was said by someone else, the two Ciren comps are very good as well.

You might like to consider one of the myriad of villages between Ciren & Stroud - Chalford, Minchinhampton, etc.

The language differences will not be taken into account for the test, and neither will any evidence of high ability, so your child will be at a disadvantage. That's the bad news.

The good news is that they could be taken into account at an appeal. I know of a mum (who was on here) who successfully appealed for a Stroud grammar last year in very similar circumstances (apart from her child actually took the test whilst in the US), and won. Appeals panels are there to take such 'fuzzy factors' into account, where the test is just 'yes / no'. I remember her mentioning a few words that cropped up in the test that child had not heard before.

You might well want to buy some test papers - this site sells many of them, but I don't know which to recommend - others here will.

_________________
Capers


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:04 am
Posts: 455
Its worth remembering that you 'only :? ' need to concentrate on vr questions here in Glos. It does help if your ds maths is good and english can be worked on with a good choice of literature(my ds couldn't get into Swiss family Robinson though) so from our experience I would stick with books from the last century or so :lol: Harry Potter is great, Enid blytons,also horrible histories/science. There is a thread somewhere on this site about good books,not sure where though.
Good luck with the move.

_________________
Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will think it is stupid.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8112
there is this list suggested by parents over time


http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/advice ... ading-list

(wouldn't worry too much - I don't think my DC have ever read any of these.... :oops: - oh maybe Jacqueline Wilson)

and advice about vocab : http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/advice ... vocabulary


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:29 pm
Posts: 593
Location: Trafford
Just bear in mind that some "English" literature is translated into American for the US book. The Harry Potter books are a prime example of this and the vocabulary is different. For example, have a look at this link which shows the differences between the UK and US HP first book (not just the title!)

http://www.hp-lexicon.org/about/books/p ... es-ps.html


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8112
TraffordMum wrote:
Just bear in mind that some "English" literature is translated into American for the US book. The Harry Potter books are a prime example of this and the vocabulary is different. For example, have a look at this link which shows the differences between the UK and US HP first book (not just the title!)

http://www.hp-lexicon.org/about/books/p ... es-ps.html


Hadn't realised they had done this .... whatever next !!!

thisandthat make sure you order your books via UK distributors......

had to chuckle at first one on page 29 (UK version)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016