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 Post subject: Is a Tutor necessary?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:37 pm
Posts: 1
My daughter is currently in Year 4 and we would like her to take her 11+ when she is in Year 6. However, I am unsure of whether it is absolutely necessary to get her a tutor and if we did, when to start this process. The teachers say she is doing well at school and she is in the top group in her class so the indications are good so far that she will be capable of taking the exam. I thought perhaps I would wait until the end of this school year to see what her results are and take it from there. Does anyone agree this is the best option? Also, what sort of marks am I looking for at this time to ensure she is on the right track.

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Confused Mum


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:14 pm
Posts: 739
Location: Gloucester
Hello confused mum!
This board has a lot of advice re tutors-I think you have to know you own child and how they take to learning to decide whether to go down the tutoring route or to DIY.
In year 4 I would have been thinking about SATS results(all level 3),and how the teacher thinks your child would deal with the grammar school environment.
As for tutoring,I know that my year 5 son would not have sat at home and gone through the verbal reasoning books with me-he would have probably thrown them on the floor and gone off in a huff to his room.Yet,at school he is a perfect angel and enjoys his weekly hour with his tutor.He started at the beginning of year 5,so will have had 12 months.I know other people on here who started in the January of year 5,others who did DIY for a matter of weeks.
You will need to let us know which area you are in and what types of tests your child will be facing,this will help us give you more advice.Verbal reasoning,Maths,English???
I wish you well on this very trying journey!!
Gloucestermum


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:14 pm
Posts: 739
Location: Gloucester
Whoopsjust realised that you posted in Kent,so hopefully you will have lots of replies.

Gloucestermum


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:30 pm
Posts: 960
I think it depends where you live. If you're in one of the areas where you need yo get top marks to get a grammar school place then the bar has been raised so high by tutored children that sadly, I think it would be very difficult for a child to get high enough marks without tutoring. If, however, you live in an area where if you pass you get a place, then if your child is headed for level 5s in year 6 SATS, then so long as - and this is very important - you do some practice papers at home so that your child gets used to the format and the very tight time constraints, I don't think specific tutoring is necessary. My daughter is bright, but not a really high flyer. She had some tutoring for her maths in year 4 and 5 because she was struggling, not because of the 11+ which put her on track for a probable level 5. She is expected to get 5's in her other subjects. We started in September doing a practice paper a day (except Wednesdays (clarinet and trampolining) and Fridays (football and ballet!). I kept it low key put emphasis on the itming issue. She passed her 11+ in January. She didn't get top marks - but she didn't need top marks. All she needed was to get more than 120 120 and 115. She got 129, 134 and 117. Maybe if she had dome more preparation she would have got higher marks - but she would have had to give up a lot of things she enjoys doing - and she would still have gone to the same grammar school. Sorry - I'm blethering on. Hope some of it is helpful!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:05 pm 
Confused,
As others have said above, the amount of preparation required will depend on your child and also the marks you are aiming for. With a bright child a professional tutor is certainly NOT required unless your daughter won't practise at home. In which case how well is she going to cope at grammar school anyway?

I don't think that any of the kids at my child's school had tutors this year but most of them (including mine) had marks high enough to get into any grammar in West Kent. They did work at home though.

Personally I started practice papers with my child in the September before the exams ( a couple of times a week on average- sometimes more, other weeks nothing) and then wished I had held off a bit because she was ready to sit the exam by the end of that term. We did almost nothing over Christmas then practised for 30mins to an hour most nights for the week or so before the exams.

Your child might be different though. Why not try working through a practice paper together and see how she gets on? Don't panic if she finds it tough, that's normal the first time. Go over mistakes with her immediately and have her repeat the paper a week or two later (when she's forgotten the answers) to see if your explanations helped. If her maths isn't up to scratch there are workbooks you can buy to make sure that she has covered all the topics and it will be less pressurised if you do that in year 5 rather than waiting until year 6.

If you do want to go the tutor route (or think you might) then it is possible to get an initial assessment done now by some tutors. Don't leave it too late to make enquiries as I believe that good tutors can book up years in advance.

Good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:18 pm 
Hello again
I am the guest who posted above. Just thought I should add that if you want to try a practice test yourself year 4 is too early BUT you can have your daughter assessed by a tutor now. I have friends with children in other year groups who have had this done in year 4. I believe that they got reports on whether the children were 11+ material and some recommendation as to how much work needed to be done.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:53 pm 
No they aren't necessary. If your child is reasonably intelligent and you encourage them they should be able to pass the 11+.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:55 pm 
I agree that it's very straightforward to prepare your child yourself. We did have a tutor for the last 6 months, just to make sure son was bullet proof! It was our first 11+ experience and I knew how much he wanted to pass. However, our tutor did say after a few sessions that he had been well prepared and didn't really need to teach him too much but would concentrate more on exam techniques, timing, etc. Although our son was capable, he did need to improve his speed and this extra bit of tutoring proved invaluable for this. However, as far as exam content is concerned, it's v easy to teachyourself, if you are that way inclined. I'm too much of a control freak to have left it entirely to a tutor. I also found it an invaluable bonding time and by the time he sat the exams, I was confident we had addressed any weaknesses. I found the Christmas holiday before the exam perfect for revision, without all the usual distractions of the school day/clubs, etc. During that last week, we just did 15 maths quizzes per day as there are so many facts and figures they need to know. Y4 is too early for test papers but there are some very useful, 10-min per day, workbooks you can buy. We did not move on to full test papers until the last 6 months. Take your child to see prospective schools at the beginning of Y5 - Y6 is far too late. We found this really incentivised him to do his best!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:28 pm 
I think it depends on your childs primary school. My first child did not need tutoring but my second child who went to a different primary, did.
There was no way he could have sat the test without tutoring, particularly in maths because they had just not covered the topics he needed to know for the test. The verbal reasoning and non verbal I don't believe can really be taught, just practised, but as regards the maths, if you have not been taught fractions for example, how can you possible pass the test.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:27 pm
Posts: 269
Location: somewhere in kent
Hi there,

can only tell you what happened to me..........

My son was in all top groups, all top marks in SATs.

I wrote to his teacher and asked if he thought having a tutor would be a good idea.. The Teacher said he felt that my son would sail through.

He failed by one mark. This I now think was down to the fact that he had not had enough practice in being so resricted in the time allowed to answer. The LEA have told me that he did not answer all the questions, leaving those at the end of the paper. This, I think proves my point.

Good luck to you


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