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 Post subject: DS's journey
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:12 pm
Posts: 366
I apologise in advance for length of this, but I do feel I need to share this, because there will be parents out there in my situation or similar reading on here and this is not a black and white situation. Current levels in primary school etc, to tutor or not. You really have to look at your child, the whole situation and what is right. Not every child who gets a 'low' 11 plus score has been tutored to 'scrape through', not every child with a 'low' score will struggle. Yes some will have had months/years of tuition and scrape and struggle. There are 35 questions types in the Susan Daughtrey VR books, there is nothing wrong in a child being familiarised, shown techniques and practising those types of question be it at home or by a tutor. A key fact here also is what happens education wise in primary school is not necessarily commensurate with the child's true ability and things can and do go wrong. Also primary levels are in literacy and maths, when they get to secondary, geography, history, languages and other subjects become important. DD1 sailed through the 11 plus with 3 weeks prep, having not even done the practice test. Her confidence in everything she tackles is amazing to see. Around the time DD1 took the test, I was called into primary school by DS's new teacher to the school, having spent the previous 2 years going up there saying 'something isn't right' and being fobbed off. I was delivered the shocking news that DS (start of year 5) was a level 2a in maths having made no progress for 2 years due to being with the same naff teacher for 2 years. They wanted to keep him back in year 4, he wasn't 'low down' in the class he was pretty much bottom as far as maths was concerned. Literacy he was very slightly above average. His new teacher was fantastic said he was appalled at what had gone on and essentially been covered up. DS wasn’t alone. DS's confidence was rock bottom and I was going to move schools but agreed with the teacher that we would give it one term. Him doing the 11 plus at this point was not even an option, never entered my head. By Xmas he had moved from a level 2a to a level 3b in maths. His confidence was growing and I started to see this very hard-working July born boy coming out of himself. I took time myself to watch how he learned, spoke to his football and cricket coaches and what the consistent theme was ‘he’s great to work with, he needs to be shown how to do something, he listens, but once you have shown him, he does it’. We got to February half term and he had moved to a 3a. His literacy was level 4. Half term went and DS came home one day and said he really wanted to try for the 11 plus, would work hard and wanted me to help him. I have been teaching for professional qualifications for years, so I knew I could do it, sending him to a tutor wasn't an option. At this point neither of us knew whether the 11 plus or grammar school was right for him. We didn't even know if DD1 had a place. I agreed we would get a plan and I also said at any point if he wanted to forget about it he could. So from that point I started home tutoring him weekly, averaging 2hrs per week, initially he worked through the year 4 and then 5 books to give him a base and confidence. I showed him how to do the different types, just like a proper tutor would, more often than not he got how to do it, sometimes he didn’t, so I would post on the VR bit of this forum for tips. His sister got her place and that spurred him on more. We got to the practise test and by his reckoning which matched the practise papers he was doing at home he was hitting around 75%. His confidence at this point was wonderful to see. I knew with 10 weeks to go he could do it and I had no doubts about whether he would cope there. Test day came, one year earlier I had seen this boy with rock bottom confidence, a head teacher wanting to keep him back a year and I watched him go in and come out of his tests with tears of pride in my eyes. 6 weeks earlier he had still been only 9 years old. Results day we were going to his favourite restaurant regardless of the outcome, because he was a total success in my eyes. He scored 259. In his sats he went on to get a low level 5 in everything bar maths (3 marks off a level 5). A few weeks into year 7 at QE he did a maths test. I got a phone call from his teacher, as she thought she may have incorrect data from primary (i.e. level 4 maths), because he had got a solid level 6C. In his end of year 7 exam he was 3 marks off bagging a place in the top set. He hasn’t had one ‘minus’ for progress in any of his subjects since starting year 7 and frequently gets stars, he is thriving. He is near top of the class in languages, geography and history. Last week he missed out on a level 7 in a maths test by 1 mark and 3 years ago he was a 2a. I am proud I 'tutored' DS, If I hadn't, he wouldn’t have passed the 11 plus, he would never have had the confidence to even walk in the room. My advice is do what feels right for your child, no one knows them better than you.


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 Post subject: Re: DS's journey
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:15 pm
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:D


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 Post subject: Re: DS's journey
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:38 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:29 am
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Excellent post! Caring and encouraging the 'whole' child. :D

Left just to school my DD's wouldn't be doing anywhere near as good as they are thanks to family input. Makes you feel for the ones who dont have that support though. :(


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 Post subject: Re: DS's journey
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:54 am
Posts: 211
Stocky wrote:
So from that point I started home tutoring him weekly, averaging 2hrs per week, initially he worked through the year 4 and then 5 books to give him a base and confidence. He scored 259. He would never have had the confidence to even walk in the room. My advice is do what feels right for your child, no one knows them better than you.


Stocky, Excellent, inspiring story. Well done to both of you.

Sorry to bother, which books mentioned above, did you work through you found useful please?

How about reading, was your DS reading alot to improve his vocabulary?

Thanks.

Motion


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 Post subject: Re: DS's journey
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:12 pm
Posts: 366
Hi Motion. Thank you! It was just the letts assessment papers (A5 books), he did those first. There's only about 6 short papers in each , (35/40 questions). I am glad I did as on reflection, it definitely was confidence not physical ability which was the problem. His reading has always been good, helped by reading from a very young age and all the way through primary.


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 Post subject: Re: DS's journey
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:59 pm
Posts: 25
Totally agree, a teacher can potentially make or break a child's education.

I moved my daughter from her well known Lincoln prep school at the end of year four because of the poor teaching.

Best thing I did, they had her on a iep and in support classes, no issue with that if she needed it but I felt it was because she hated school and in addition to this she was scared of her teacher, within less than 6 months of moving she had gone up two levels, they couldn't understand why she was on an iep.

It was lazy teaching in my opinion, she has flown the last year beyond recognition and now level 5 and 6, not only academically but emotionally, she use to cry every morning before school and now really enjoys going.

All down to a handful if teachers who really engage and care about the children.


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 Post subject: Re: DS's journey
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:32 pm
Posts: 290
What a great story to read. And shows what you having confidence in him can do.

_________________
The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.
Dr Seuss


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