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 Post subject: Tutoring
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:22 pm
Posts: 526
Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
Interesting thread on the Trafford part of the forum below, with regards to tutoring, or rather how much tutoring ones DC did for the exams just taken:

viewtopic.php?t=11502

Any Kent posters happy to post details of the tutoring their DC did for the recent exam, which would be useful background for parents whose DC takes it next year... Especially after the scare-mongering Guardian article on the link below:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/200 ... vate-tutor

Many thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
Kent varies so much across the region though. In East Kent we have lots of grammars and they are not superselective, so passing means you will get a place at your local grammar.

As you get nearer London the competition for places is higher and the superselectives appear and the competition is fierce.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:41 pm
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As the dad of a year 7 child, (1st year at Grammar) we had our parent evening last night, to see how little johnny is settling in etc etc. I was amazed at the low level some children are within Maths. I concluded that must be because they are tutored within an inch of their lives to get into Grammar (as per that Guardian article), then fail to retain any of it after the event, or really aren't suitable for Grammar, but due to the tutoring have been tutored just to pass the test. Doesn't that simply play into the anti-11+ brigade? I am aware of some children that went to tutors twice a week, for over a year, just to pass the 11+, that can't be right for the child, can it!? At our local junior school, I would say over 75% of the children were being tutored at least once a week, it was amazing that nobody mentioned the activity until after the results were announced. We had a tutor for my lad, for 6 months prior to the test, for an hour, once every fortnight. I didn't want him to depend on the tutoring to pass, but then again we had to give support where he needed it. We also felt the need to effectively keep up with everybody else, and I feel that is where the trouble is.

As I mentioned, what really suprised me was that the work my son is currently doing in Maths is probably SATS level 4 work. Maths is his favourite subject and can fortunately do this work with his eyes shut, but he finds the current work boring and not challenging. I commented to the Maths teacher that surely they should be having more challenging work than this. The response was it is difficult with the spread of ability within the class, as they have yet to stream them, that happens in year 8!! There are children just scraping a SATS level 4 and passing the 11+ alongside the brighter kids achieving level 5's and 6s. This has to be down to tutoring. Tutored to pass the 11+, not naturally bright.

Just my 2p worth.....thoughts anybody?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:45 pm
Posts: 827
Location: Medway & Kent
Hi Dadoftwo, I've got to say I'm pretty surprised by those levels - working at level 4 math in year 7 GS?
My DD is in year 8 now at a girls grammar in Kent, but when she started in Year 7 was immediately given a year 8 text book, and given work mostly of a high level 5/level 6. The end of year test was a paper for levels 5-7. This year, Year 8, she is now working on a GCSE higher level text book as they are all (unstreamed) on an accelerated curriculum.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:14 pm 
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Yup, not as suprised as I was! I am hoping/expecting the accelerator to be planted soon :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Not sure of my thoughts, but not 100% sure that low maths SATS levels at this stage in Year 7 will be due entirely due to over-tutoring. It could be children just not trying, or ones that weren't tutored who just scraped through on the maths paper (or on appeal), or ones who did nothing in Year 6 since passing the 11+ ........ it was quite interesting in my stepson's grammar school to see who got the bronze, silver, gold in the national maths challenge. There were ones in the bottom set who did much better than ones in the top set.

Teacher judgements are no more reliable than the 11+. Take everything with a pinch of salt. But don't let the spread of ability excuse be one for boring your son - he sounds like he needs some maths challenge either at school or home. Are the maths results good at this grammar school?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:41 pm
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mystery wrote:
<snipped>

Teacher judgements are no more reliable than the 11+. Take everything with a pinch of salt. But don't let the spread of ability excuse be one for boring your son - he sounds like he needs some maths challenge either at school or home. Are the maths results good at this grammar school?


The school does most definately produce the results, I am hoping that as the term progresses, those most able are given more challenging work to do.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:45 pm
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Location: Medway & Kent
They may be 'easing them in gently', as all primary schools teach to a different standard I suppose...keep an eye on it tho.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:16 pm
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Location: Medway
I agree with you. People having their children tutored has gone mad in the last few years. To get a true reflection of a child's ability the test should go back to the days when it was done in school, unknown to the children that it was the 11+. I appreciate that people want the best for their children but having a child in grammar school already (untutored) the work is hard and it is not fair on children to have to struggle as their parents got them there through tutoring. I have another child taking the medway test this year, again untutored, and if they are good enough to get through on natural ability then that is the way it should be.

If there was not so much difference between a grammar school and non-grammar then being tutored to get into grammar wouldn't happen but then that is a whole new discussion..............


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:45 pm
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Location: Medway & Kent
I think it depends on the level of tutoring. My child only did 1 hour of tutoring every week for the year before the test and around 6 weeks before the test went up to 2hrs a week. Attending a very average academically primary school this was definitely not over tutoring in my opinion.
She is now in year 8 of grammar school, has never seen a tutor since her 11+ and her teachers tell me she is in the top 10 of every subject. She is quite nervous about tests so preparing her for the test was important as she would know what to expect.


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