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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:34 pm
Posts: 33
Firstly can i thank everyone for the invaluable advice on this forum.

I have been trying to coach my daughter for the 11 plus exams. We live in North Watford and the schools I would like to list in order of preference are Watford Girls, Parmiters and Queens. I am very confused as I have been told if my child is intelligent enough to get into either Watford Girls then she may also get into Parmiters. I should not waste my two choices on both schools. I am happy to change my selection too based on my daughters ability. Any advice would be appreciated on how to list schools. I have asked the Nearest School Dept for the my 3 closest schools according to the new way of measuring.

The other thing is my daughter was working on Bond Level 4 books and was being tested by her tutor too. In the last 2 weeks she has been doing Bond Level 5 - 11 -12+ and Susan Daughtrey Brightsparks papers. Her marks have dropped substantially to below 60 % and she was scoring 80-90% before. She has also become demotivated as there are topics here she does not understand or has not covered. I am not sure if i should continue with these books.

Can anyone tell me if these papers are the correct level for the entrance exams? Could you recommend any other books that i can try as well?

At this point I am in two minds I feel like i am really pushing her and upsetting her as she feels as though she is the only child in her class truly preparing. She does 2 papers a day at weekends and 1 a day if possible after school.

Her school unfortunately does not tell us what levels she is working at but all i know she is in the top level for maths and literacy. I am going to ask her teacher this week what schools she thinks i should apply to although she may not know as the school year has only recently started.

With 8 weeks to go to the test i need to find the energy for her to continue and want to motivate her. But i also do not want to make my child do something if she is not capable of it. The truth is i am so confused and would appreciate any advice from parents who may have found themselves in a similar situation.

Regards


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
Posts: 662
Location: Herts
Hi l33na & welcome to the forum,

Have a look at WP's sticky (at the top of the Herts page) on admission statistics. In recent years, a child has needed a higher score to qualify for Parmiter's than Watford girls (inner). This means that if you rank Watford girls first, but your DD does not qualify, she will not qualify for your second choice - Parmiter's - either (assuming the current trend continues of course). In this sense it would be a wasted choice. But if you prefer Watford girls then you should rank it first.

I'm sorry I can't offer any advice about work books etc. I am sure someone else will be along to help!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:34 pm
Posts: 33
Thank you Tense

I thought the same thing that if she did not score high enough then Parmiters would be a wasted choice. My DD prefers Watford Girls and it is also closer to us than Parmiters and this is why it would always be our first choice.

At this moment in time I am actually feeling guilty about pushing her down the 11 plus route and unsure if I should continue. She has been tutored and her teacher has noticed a drop in results too in the last few weeks.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:51 am
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l33na wrote:
Her school unfortunately does not tell us what levels she is working at but all i know she is in the top level for maths and literacy.


I dont understand why the school wont tell you her levels - they will have them and IMO its your right to see them, but i may be wrong??? Have you actually asked for them

l33na wrote:
With 8 weeks to go to the test i need to find the energy for her to continue and want to motivate her. But i also do not want to make my child do something if she is not capable of it. The truth is i am so confused and would appreciate any advice from parents who may have found themselves in a similar situation.

Regards


It may be that your dc just needs a break for a while - there are many posts on here where the dc's marks go down on the practice tests - the child starts making silly mistakes as they are fed up with it all.
I understand you only have 8 weeks left but why not have a chat with her and see how she is feeling. I really dont feel a weeks break will be detrimental - ask her what she would like to do on her week off - then maybe she will return with renewed motivation. Just because her marks have dropped in the practice does not mean she will do the same in the actually tests. If she is really keen on the school she will try hard in the test.

You say you are coaching her and she has a tutor. Perhaps it should be one or the other.

What does the tutor say about your dd;s chances in the test? :)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:52 pm
Posts: 162
My DC is also preparing for Parmiter's and I have found that asking DC to do more that one full paper a week is detrimental to performance. When DC was learning how to answer the various question types, results shifted from an initial 65% to between 80% and 95%, depending on the paper. Practice in the last couple of months has delivered no further improvement. If I push DC to do more papers, the number of silly mistakes goes up.

I now get DC to do a Bond or an IPS 10 minute paper most week nights, and just one full paper at the weekend. DC seems quite comfortable with this approach. Of course, I have no idea whether it will be enough to get a place at Parmiter's but I am sure that adding extra practice won't increase my DC's chance.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:26 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:34 pm
Posts: 33
Hi

I have just spoken to her school and asked for her levels and the head teacher has said we will all be given the information. At the end of year 5 they gave us a grade on the performance and effort but did not tell us what Level she was at.

I was conisdering a break too maybe for a week. I have spoken to her and she is finding the Brightsparks papers hard and since then all her marks have dropped. Maybe when we have time in the evenings instead of doing full papers i should revise with her.

Doing a paper a day and getting lots incorrect is just upsetting her. Her tutor has coached her in all the different types of questions. If i mark her paper and she gets something wrong I should show her how to work out the correct answer.

Her tutor was optimistic but last week she too said her marks have dropped and if this carries on we should not list Grammar as one of our choices. Rather than making silly mistakes she seems to have forgotten most of what has been taught to her.

Thank you all for your advice

l33na


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:51 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:34 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Watford, Herts
Going back to your original list of 3 schools, I would suggest that perhaps you consider putting a non selective school on your list of preferences. I would consider this even if your daughter's scores return to the high levels she had been achieving in the past. It is possible that she may not feel well on the day of the test and perform below par. I would be a shame to then be allocated none of your preferences and be allocated a school from those remaining once all allocations have been made.

Perhaps a visit to a few of your local non-selectives will help you see that these are actually acceptable 3rd preferences for your daughter or it may spurn her on to achieve higher scores.

As for the level of testing, we found that when my son moved up a level of bond books the scores would dip and so would his confidence. So we interleaved this with some shorter and easier tests just to try to keep his confidence up. I think we only built up to more than 1 test a day after the half term just before the tests, this was so he was able to sit through 2 tests in a row like the "real" tests.

Alison


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:14 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:34 pm
Posts: 33
Thanks Alison

I had not thought about selective and non selective schools. I completely agree that I need to think about choosing a non selective school too as I do not want to end up with a school that was not on our original list.

Yesterday we moved her back down to level 4 and she scored 80% not as high as she has done on that level but better than what she was getting on level 5. Her confidence has surely dipped. I am going to spend time revising topics with her now rather than testing her daily.

Do the schools send us old test papers?

I have been told by a parent that our primary will test all Year 6 and give us standardised scores soon. Thats the other thing I don't understand, how to calculate standardised scores.

Thank you again for all your advice.

l33na


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:34 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Watford, Herts
In our area, Watford, the primary schools give very little help, if any, in preparing for any selection tests that a child may want to sit for a secondary school place. I don't think any of the selectives in the Watford area give out past papers, you only get a double sided sheet of paper with a few very basic examples of the VR and Maths questions.

Standardised scores are just a way of leveling the scores for children taking the tests at different ages. So a child aged 10 years and 1 month getting a "raw" score of 80% will get a higher standardised score than a child aged 10 years and 11 months who also got a "raw" score of 80%. There is no way of working out the standardised score from a raw score unless you have the raw scores of all children taking the test, so I don't worry about it.

The important thing is for your child to score as highly as they can in the tests. There's nothing you can do about the rest of the factors involved so why worry about it! (Easier said than done I know, from my own experience :oops: ).

Some techniques we used for tests were:
1. If you are struggling with a question, circle the number of the question and moved on. You may find subsequent questions easier. If you have time at the end go back over the circled questions first.
2. Try to check answers as you go along. Sometimes just re-reading a question can make you realise you've got things wrong.
3. Underline key parts of a question so you can quickly see what is being asked of you. For example, you are looking for a single letter or perhaps a three letter word, you need to circle the write word or underline it.
4. If possible do a few tests in "exam like" conditions prior to the real thing.
5. Don't give them too many drinks immediately before the test as it may result into comfort breaks during the test which is lost time. :roll:

Alison


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:34 pm
Posts: 33
Thanks Alison

I will not hold our hope on past papers now. She has tried Susan Daughtrey, NFER and Bond. I have also ordered Letts too.

Thank you for the exam tips I will take her through them.

I will no longer worry about standardisation, but will try and help her achieve the highest possible score on tests. For now she has forgotten everything we taught her in the last year and I am stuck now for ideas.

Its a shame we get little support in the area yet our children are mostly forced into doing the tests.

I truly hope she gets into our local school which is Queens.


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