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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:06 pm 
I'm a single mum of 3 boys, the oldest coming to the end of year 5. His teacher has told me he's grammar school material. Am I kidding myself that I'll be able to bring him up to speed myself, with no-one to help me? I can't afford a tutor so i'd have to work with him myself but reading all the comments on here it seems that it's a full time job! I have his 2 younger brothers to occupy (middle one is in year 4 and also very bright so it'll be his turn very soon too). Help! Am I taking on to much? Any tips? I hope to send him to Chis & Syd. Any info on their selection criteria, most suitable text papers etc gratefully received!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:25 pm 
Are you working?
Part-time or full time?

As his teacher has already 'identified' your son as suitable for grammar school, you are already on the starting blocks.

I'm not familiar with the Kent system and there are many out there who will point you in the right direction with the materials needed for the Kent tests.

The very positive element in your post is that you have very bright Yr5 and Yr 4 boys and you've read all the posts regarding doing the tutoring yourself.

It can be done. You just need to be organised. If you have the capabilities and patience to teach your son, you will be able to do it.

Good Luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:30 pm
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Are you in a "pass and you're in" area, or a "first past the post" area? If the first, then I really don't think it's a problem - a bright child at an OK school shouldn't need a tutor (in my opinion) Get hold of past papers, do a bit of slow and steady practice and he should be fine. I don't know about the "first past the post" areas - I assume much more practice is needed to ensure top marks, but others will be able to advise you better.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:13 pm
Posts: 128
Hi

Bexley set 4 NFER Nelson multiple choice papers- english, maths, verbal and non- verbal reasoning. In order to get a selective place you need to get a high enough aggregate score(changes yearly based on scores achieved). The highest 180 scores are guaranteed a grammar school place, the other selective scores are then subjected to the school's admissions criteria such as medical needs, siblings, distance etc.

I would suggest buying practice papers from either WHSmith or similar, and going through them with your son, your Yr 4 son may well enjoy some of them too! Once he is used to the format, start building up speed etc. The same format and types of questions seems to be standard from year to year, so this should make him familiar with what he will come across on the day.

10 passed from my daughter's class this year and as far as I know only 2 had tutoring rather than just doing papers at home.

Good Luck! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:58 pm
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It can be done! Although I'm not a single mum, I did all the work, with no help from his dad (works long hours). I also have three boys! I'm sure there are many other households like this. I got him into the routine, during Y5, of completing 10-minute tests per day. He'd do these before breakfast, as he's an early riser. Then I would mark it while he was a school, and go over anything later. He did have some tuition towards the end, with the full test papers, but his tutor told me he thought he'd been well prepared already. If they're motivated, like he was, then it's easy to teach them yourself. However, the second is going to be a different story..........


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:21 pm 
I found the easiest time to fit in practice was at the kitchen table whilst I prepared dinner (and heard younger siblings read etc). You don't need to give 100% attention; unless they need something explained or you are looking at questions they got wrong together they will largely be working by themselves. You just need to be on hand when needed.

Younger siblings may like being given easier "work" to do at the same time. Your middle son could have a look at some of the books of short Bond papers written for younger children. You know best how to keep them quiet(ish)!

I wouldn't worry that you are at a great disadvantage compared to a two-parent family. Many husbands (mine included) are out all evening and I suspect that some are actually a negative factor- demanding their share of attention rather than helping.

Good luck.


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 Post subject: hope this helps
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:27 pm
Posts: 269
Location: somewhere in kent
You could try the bbc revisewise website, I think its looks good fun for children. Good Q & A's more like a game?

Good Luck


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:01 pm
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Location: kent
It can be done. I was a single parent for many years and I always knew my daughter had the potential to pass her 11+. We didn't have any tutoring or do many practices at all and she passed with flying colours. I think that if your son is bright enough then he will pass no matter that you can't get him tutored and if anything he will find actually being at grammar school and coping with the workload easier than some children that have been tutored. I could be wrong but that's just my opinion. Good luck to you and your son!


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 Post subject: Thanks!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:41 pm 
Thanks for all the helpful replies. I feel a little more confident now that we can manage! Just had the application form for the Bexley Test in the post today so it's all systems go now. And my son has the attitude that he thinks he's good enough, but if it turns out he doesn't pass, at least he tried his best. A very healthy outlook I think. If he gets there on his own merits at least he'll be better able to cope with the workload. Oh and in answer to one of the comments, it's only the top scorers who get through. A friend's son missed out by a couple of points a few years ago but got in on the waiting list luckily.


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