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 Post subject: Doing the right thing?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:44 pm
Posts: 12
Hello to all,

I've been reading up on all the topics on this forum, which i have to admit is wonderful and not so wonderful all at the same time.

And i'll explain why...

My daughter will be taking the Kent 11 plus in January '08. I initially started preparing her for it about a year ago, and by this i mean i got her a private tutor. ( I'm a single parent working in London living in Kent so i 'assumed' getting her a tutor was enough).

A little over 2 months ago i realised this really wasn't enough, as she seemed really rather ill prepared. I'm not going to point fingers as the tutor i employed helped her with English & Maths and a little 11 plus work and didn't specifically work only on 11plus.

I then re-evaluated what i needed to do and decided to get a tutor who would target only 11plus.

Her new tutor believes she's an ideal candidate for the 11 plus though has admitted she does feel my daughter has gone to her a little late.

I panicked and decided this wasn't good enough. I have my heart set on my daughter going to either of the girls grammars in Maidstone as i believe she would be perfectly capable of handling the work. (She's bright, but lazy)

I'm now topping up on what her tutor is doing with her with about 1/2 hr each night. I'm using Bond's books, have brought the Nfer packs which i will use nearer the time.

My daughter scored 130 on NVR in her school test about 2 months ago. Her score now is anything from Maths 50% (Nfer, timed by myself, no help, which i thought would be counter-productive so switched to Bonds which my daughter finds easier) to 75% to 93% on bonds VR/NVR/Maths with a little help. I have read a score of 50% would equate to a standardised score of 120 which is deemed a pass. Am i right in assuming this, and does this mean i shouldn't panic as much as i am?

When i came across some of the scores parents are posting on here, it literally sent me into a mad panic and i wondered if my daughter would really be able to make the grade?

Nevertheless, i want to give her the opportunity of a grammar education, and will push her to her limits. I think she can do it with the right amount of support, guidance and help, i just wonder if i've left it too late?

Any advice as to what else i can do would be wholeheartedly welcome.

I will also follow through on this and keep you all posted.

gazzy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 181
Location: Medway/Kent
Hi
I am in Kent too and my daughter sits the test in January. We also started on a 121 tutor but very quickly realised it was not right for her (she told usshe was unhappy) and she has attended a tutoring centre in Medway in a small class setting that has given her a real boast in confidence, she also sits te Medway test which is tomorrow!

I have a son that is at grammar school and I tutored him myself for the 11+.
My daughter however will not work with me and although I am a qualified teacher we decided it was best left for a non family member to give her support tuition.
All that said, do not be too hard on yourself you sound like you are trying all avenues, it also sounds like your child needs a boast in confidence. My suggestion would be to work alongside them and not put her up for a timed test just yet. It is still 2 months til January, plenty of time.

I have also used the Bond books and think they are great for short bursts of work so 10-15 mins a day on one of the subjects would be good. Devise a rota with her on what subject on each day (verbal, maths non verbal) and stick to it with rewards for completion. 20p a time works well!
Asking her to mark her own answers sometimes works as some children feel threatened when the book is taken away and the ticks and crosses done by someone else. If she is not bothered about marking then leave it and sneak a look later to see how it went.
With regard to practice papers, Nfer Nelson are the ones to do, but at this stage I would sit with her and work through them together, try hard not to take the pencil from her and DO it yourself, nobody learns well from being shown, sometimes no pencil at all works well especially with Maths as just an explanation as to how she would solve the question is enough to know she is on the right track.
It is amazing how much confidence and progress can be made if you get the wrong answer and they get it right or she gets it first and you get it next, so if you think she will cope move onto a mini competition and of course we all know who will win!
When you can see that it is working and around the start of ecember I would attempt the timed tests again but be prepared to back off quick if it does not go well.
With regard to the pass mark, alays a difficult one to judge as the cohort of children each year vary greatly. I hear from good authority that the pass mark for the Medway Maths last year was under 40% which is almost unbelievable but appears to be accurate. Verbal was over 50% and I cannot think that Kent would be too different.
I hope some of this helps you and you can see the light at the end of he tunnel.
I am in the process of setting up a tutoring service to give support to children and parents going through this so your feedback would be welcome.
Above all I strongly believe that children thrive best in schools that they are happy in so no matter what you may think of the alternatives please be supportive of he non selected school she may go to as this will make all the differene.
Regards
reddebs


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:44 pm
Posts: 12
Hi reddebs,

Thank you for your response.

I knew i came to the right place!

I have switched my daughter from her old primary school to her current one as she is a rather quite girl, and was being bullied. I didn't think she was being 'allowed' to shine like she does at home and i was right. Also her previous school turned out one child that passed the the 11plus in January this year. I thought that was completely unacceptable and promptly changed her school, even though this is her last year in primary school.

I was right in doing this. She is currently thriving in her new school, she seems to really have come into her own and has gained a whole new set of friends and is well on her way to becoming a confident little madam.

Quote:

Nevertheless it's very difficult not to! I know im doing the worst thing imaginable and making this a life and death situation, but i simply cannot help it.

How did you cope with your son?

With reagard to coaching my daughter: I did find that timing her was completely counter productive, so i have instead switched back to helping her with the difficult questions and will leave the timing til Dec instead. I need to apply the right amount of pressure but not so much that it blows up in my face.



More than happy to come back to you with feedback. As i mentioned earlier, i will keep everyone posted over the next couple of months.

Thank you again for your advice and good luck to you too!

regards

Gazzy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:44 pm
Posts: 12
Opps just realised i really don't have the hang of this quote stuff.

And just to claify, the Quote's are my own comments.

As my daughter would say:

'Mum, let me do it instead'

lol


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:55 pm 
reddebs wrote
Quote:
With regard to practice papers, Nfer Nelson are the ones to do, but at this stage I would sit with her and work through them together


Quote:
When you can see that it is working and around the start of ecember I would attempt the timed tests again


Which timed tests do you mean?

Nfer only produce 4 papers in each subject, so if you work through them then you will not really get a true idea when the child sits them as a timed test.

To gazzy,

I went through the 11+ last year with my son and am due to go through it again in 09 with no. 2 son.
After going through it I realised that it is not that bad, yes we stress and as much as we try not, we still do. I liken it to giving birth, the first time you go through it you don't know the process, the second time you're more familiar and more relaxed, also it can't be that awful if so many people do it more than once.

My advice is relax, you know your child's capabilities and what's more important what school they will be the happiest in.

I presume your CAF form is already in, so your child is already due to sit the 11+. Don't worry about the scores people say their children get just concentrate on getting your daughter to do her best, as you can't ask for more than that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 181
Location: Medway/Kent
Hi again
I have a selection of papers fro Nfer Nelson that cover Maths, Verbal and Non but there are more than 4 in each, I have gathered these since my son took the test some 4 years ago and although some questions are repeated I think there is enough variety to get a fair judgement. In addition there are other makers of tests you could use and plenty of resources are available.
Regards
reddebs


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 Post subject: Medway Tutoring
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:46 pm 
Hey Reddebs ... am interested in hearing where the medway tutoring centre is?? Can you give me any info on location/contacts???
Thanks.


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