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 Post subject: Am I going mad?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 8:04 pm
Posts: 56
Is there anyone else out there going quietly insane over the whole 11+ thing?! I am so desperate for my Son to get a good pass as I don't want to have to think about a third choice (Kings & Carres being our top two, we're out of county) and yet on the other hand I don't want to push too hard during what should be a break from school. We were planning on one practice paper per week plus a ten minute test every couple of days but he see's his mates outside and I feel awful not letting him play and enjoy his holidays - and we're only on week one!! As I work full-time, he's with a childminder in the day so evenings is his only time near his mates. Where do you draw the line between saying 'if you don't practice, you won't get in and end up at x school', because what if he doesn't do so well and ends up having to go anyway!
Re-reading this I must sound completely silly and like I need to get a life but I just want my boy to do well! His primary didn't want to know and almost refuse to discuss the 11+ so I just go on what we've been doing. His test results vary between 80-88% at the moment on either the GL VR or NVR yet he seems to do much better on the Bond tests (are they easier?). He struggles with words of similar or opposite meaning (he hates reading with a passion so vocab has never been his strong point!). If only it were a Maths test!!!
Is it worth pursuing? At mid 80%, what are the chances of him getting a high enough score? (he is a May b'day so that will go in his favour!)
Thanks for listening (reading!!) feel better for just writing this and hoping someone out there might be feeling similar! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Am I going mad?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
If your son maintains scores well into the high 80 - 90% region in the real thing then he should be OK. The cut off marks for the two schools do vary year to year which doesn't help but they have not gone above 235 in the last few years.

I would concentrate on making sure he maximises his score on the things which he can do. Code type questions always come up and are relatively "easy" marks so long as the child knows the techniques and can work quickly. Similarly if he is good at maths these type of questions are easy marks so long as no "silly" errors are made. If vocab is not a strong point get him to eliminate the no-no answers then make a guess.

The key to 11+ practice is making it fun and worthwhile - well maybe "fun" is too strong a word - perhaps "relatively enjoyable" would be more accurate! I found that the two things which helped the most were good old bribery and my time and attention. So, if he does some work in the day, whether at childminders or at home, he gets to go over things with you explaining techniques, praising, finding better ways of doing things etc, preferably over a drink and a bar of chocolate or something similar. Doing what you have agreed with him during the week equals some sort of agreed treat at the weekend - either an outing of some sort or a new DVD to watch etc etc - doesn't have to be huge.

Bond have some types of questions which don't appear in Lincs tests. At this stage I would tend to go for practice papers which most closely ressemble the real thing.

In a very few months time you'll probably look back at this and wonder what you were so worried about!

Good Luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I going mad?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 4:01 pm
Posts: 127
Am also feeling the same - going for Kings as that is our local school. We are getting around the same scores as you also. I find with my son he makes lots of silly mistakes and could easily get into the 90's - so we are just making sure we practice lots. He is away all next week with a friend so won't do any then - I feel it's important to have a work/ play balance. I'm not stressing yet but I'm sure I will do as we creep closer to the test dates.
Loo :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Am I going mad?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 577
Have you asked the childminder whether he could do the 10 min practise papers at her house, or even the longer papers? Then he can go out with his friends in the evening while you mark them/make tea and then you could go over them together once he's back home.

But also - no guilt. This is just one summer he has to give up in order to study, that's all. And it does children no harm - and probably a lot of good - to learn early on that a short term sacrifice can lead to a long term fantastic gain. I have no shame in saying to my kids: do this, because other children will and if you don't too, they will have the edge over you on exam day. I've also said, if you really don't want to spend time on this, I won't bully you. We can apply to the local (good, massively oversubscribed) comp. But we have no power over you getting in there since we're right on the boundary edge, and if we don't squeeze in and haven't tried our very best for a grammar place instead, you could end up at the 3,000 pupil school three bus rides away where the pupils climb out of first floor windows like gibbons on caffeine. All of which is true. Which focuses them nicely on times tables, I find.

You're not asking him to spend all day every day on it. Just an hour or so plus a few ten minute tests a week. If they are resented, his heart isn't in it, and he may need reminding of the benefits again.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I going mad?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 8:04 pm
Posts: 56
Thanks for your support, and menagerie, the no guilt thing - thank you x


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 Post subject: Re: Am I going mad?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:21 pm
Posts: 235
:lol: pupils climb out of first floor windows like gibbons on caffeine. :lol:

Ha ha ha


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 Post subject: Re: Am I going mad?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 577
Doblinski - sadly this is true. Some yr 6 pupils from our demure village primary went to view said school and came back ashen faced. The pupils really were climbing out of 1st floor windows during lessons. And there really are 3000 kids at that school. If we don't make the super selectives, or a very local comp, my sons will be home tutored.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I going mad?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:39 am
Posts: 16
loobyloo - hope all is going ok. We were in a similar position last year - ds made such a fuss about doing any practise at all, we almost withdrew him from the tests. Having scored only 60%ish in the complete papers we gave him I couldn't believe his result from the actual test :D I personally think as long as the children are familiar with the question types, you've given them the best opportunity and the rest is up to them. If they are not enjoying repetitive practise of papers - just have a quick 5 minutes on the questions they find difficult - much more productive in my experience.
good luck for next month.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I going mad?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:58 pm
Posts: 90
millie33 - thanks for posting, it's made me feel a lot better :) . DD is practising, but just not getting the percentages at the moment (speaking to other parents, it may be summer holiday thing). We're going to concentrate on anagram type questions this week.

D


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 Post subject: Re: Am I going mad?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 8:37 pm
Posts: 577
Millie, that is a brilliant suggestion. I'd not have thought of that! Great tip.


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