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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:22 pm 
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Does anyone know about the format of the dame alice owens english paper? The website simply states a comprehension with extended writing. How likely is the english paper format to change from the past papers sold on open days? The latymer english paper changed this year and was wondering if dao has any plans to follow?
Thank you in advance


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:43 pm 
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Location: Herts
The format remains the same as it is in the papers that are available from the school. A passage followed by questions and then a creative writing piece that candidates create by creating a story that continues on from the passage. As this format is challenging for the candidates and traditionally produces a much lower English mark than the VR and Maths mark, there seems to be no reason to change. All the English marks I know of are lower than the maths marks so this creates a situation where the place is won or lost on the English result. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:11 am 
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dg,
how is it different from the other eng exams,say hbs,nlcs,habs,st.pauls etc?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:47 am 
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It is different because you have to continue the story that they have chosen for you. And in my opinion they have created a piece of writing with specific intentions for what they are expecting the applicants to write. This means that extensively tutored children cannot learn set pieces for the creative writing that they then alter slightly according to the title they are given. Titles like Trapped, My First Day, A New School can easily be brought round to set passages that have been learnt with standard similes and metaphors etc. But DAO foil this by prescribing the situation that you then have to continue and you only have three paragraphs to do it. So they have already created and described something about your characters and the settings and you have to create from that prescription. This year my dd had to describe a lunch using the characters and the setting that had already been described. Another example from a past paper is a child falling over in a railway tunnel who is discovered by other children who have already been described. So you need to follow on from this and not create your own scenario. In my opinion it is much much harder to prepare a child for that as can be seen in our main three local schools this year who have children who are predicted 5A in English sats who could barely secure 50% of the marks in the DAO English exam this year. To my knowledge most of these chidren had been tutored but in my opinion it seems their tutors had not done enough research into the format of the DAO English paper. These were all bright children who, with some guidance on exactly what was expected of them, should have been able to do much better. I find it very very sad because these children would have flourished at the school. But it is not enough to be bright, you also need parents and/or tutors who research what is required of them. I have been astonished by some of the parents who put their blind faith in tutors and don't even know what material they are using. I prepared my dd's differently for schools like HBS , City, Habs and St Albans who do straight creative writing. This was easier to do as the DAO exam was in early November and the others were not until January. I will stress again this is all my opinion. DAO do not release any guidance on the English paper, there are no model answers to learn from. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:13 pm 
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dg
thanks for the detailed reply.when working with dd i always stressed to her the importance of following the passage in its mood,style,language used etc. if the writing task was a continuation of the passage.and to always make use of the info in the passage,be it description of a person/place or an incident.and never contradict what was in the passage.to sort of make it appear seamless continuation.of course it helped a lot that she was a natural at creative writing and required the least prep,just a few pointers/suggestions.did not want her lose her natural style.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:22 pm 
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Location: Herts
Thank you sgcmum, considering your dd secured a place at every school she applied for including NCLS, HABS and HBS it is clear that your guidance was spot on. Which of the schools you applied for had a creative writing task that was a continuation of the comprehension passage? DG


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:01 pm 
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Thank you Dg, really appreciate the information provided. Can you suggest the best way to prep (if any) for this kind of english format?
Can the school change the format without informing children sitting the exam in 2011?
When you say the school has already prepared what kind of answer they are looking for, how do you know ?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:39 am 
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dg,
i think the consortium paper was closest in format to dao.hbs-kids were asked to write their experiences on a topic related to the comprehension with no choice while habs i think had 3 to choose from-dont remember if they were stand alone though.
daofan,
u might try asking your child to predict what happens next in a book they are reading.maybe even ask them to write it if willing.or what what was going to happen next in a movie they are watching.
also trawl thru some indie school websites.many schools have an english paper similar to dao.
sgcmum.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:34 pm 
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dear sgcmum,
thankyou for your advice. I apologise for my ignorance but not done this eleven plus before...what do you mean by the consortium paper? Also where can I get the indie papers from? Do I simply google indie schools?
Thank you for the useful tips!
All your comments are very much appreciated
Daofan


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:35 am 
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consortium refers to the north london girls consortium.it has 2 groups.if you go on to the website of nlcs or st..helens northwood and look up the admission process it will lead you to the right link.or simply google it.
these schools also have 3 years past papers u can download.also look up habs boys,dulwich college,st.pauls,emmanuel.all names i picked up from the independent section of this forum.


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