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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:51 pm 
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Just read on Heckmondwike Grammar School's Site that they are changing Entrance Exams to prevent children being tutored for the exam and to encourage "bright" children.
The article states that other Grammar Schools already undertake similar entrance exams. What are people's thoughts on this - espcially those with children who have undertaken such exams. Do they really negate the need for tutoring or does it still go on?

Regards


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:59 pm 
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As long as there are entrance tests, there will be tutoring going on, be it "professional" tutors or parents preparing kids at home. I am from a county who runs a so called "tutor proof" exam - people still tutor because it is a self perpetuating myth - one person gets a tutor and others do in order to try and keep a level playing field. One thing is for sure - practice at test techniques can't hurt.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:02 pm 
what are they changing to C.E.M from G.L or visa-versa or in-house exam?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:42 pm 
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They are not giving any details. Only that they will give a brief sample sheet out before the exam.
This year the sample sheet came less that a week before the exam, but as we knew it was GL assessment prior to this it wasn't an issue.

I agree with the concept just not sure how it will work in practice. There will always be tutoring. MY dd sat this year and in her exam room (a classroom) and only three hadn't had any paid for tutoring (including her!)

I understand now why they asked the question - to ascertain the levels of tutoring being undertaken!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:19 am 
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I understand only 39 kids in catchment obtained a place this year, compared to 60-70 in previous years.

Heck has a catchment criteria, but if the DC in catchment can't compete with DC from miles out of catchment partly because some been tutored to within an inch of their lives then one can see why they are doing this. The announcement on the website makes specific reference to how the costs of tuition mean that a tutor is out of reach for some children and knowing Heck and the surrounding areas well, this would be an issue for some local children.

Don't get me wrong, I understand why tutoring takes place, we all want the best for our DC, but Heck has a catchment criteria for a reason and if the school can see that this is no longer benefiting local children, then they would obviously do what they can to seek to try and redress the balance. It may be following the intro of the new test, children in catchment still are not as successful, but at lease they have tried.

Change is coming after years of the same tests/suppliers to try and combat the "tutoring" to success as against natural ability....but not sure if any test is tutor proof......other than for the poor DC who will be the guinea pigs when the new test are first introduced.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:38 am 
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You are right, there did this year seem to be many more out of catchment places available this year than what we were led to believe there would be. However not sure whether this is a trend or just a one off - low birth rate in the area? I know that for my DD's primary school we would not have got in but for the low birth rate in that year - the same cohort are now applying for high schools.

I am glad that we did not pay for tutoring as I am happy that if she gets in then it will be on "natural ability". We did spend time going through the GL assessment packs - the inexpensive alternative to tutoring and I think that surely most who were serious about applying would have done the same.

I guess that all it means is that I will have to buy a broader range of 11+ preparation books for DD2 to give her more coverage in preparation, i can't imagine that they are going to be able to develop too many totally different/new types of question. However as with DD1 will not be even starting this until the summer before the test! (for her Sept 2015)

Come next September I will be keeping my eyes glued to this forum for further info!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:51 pm 
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"natural ability". We did spend time going through the GL assessment packs.

So you tutored her yourself?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:23 pm 
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She practised papers, got 90% on VR routinely with no input from me whatsoever. For maths I explained mode, mean, median and cube values and nothing else. NVR was her weaker point to start but only because she hadn't seen them before.
So yes she spent time on practice, if I was paying a private tutor I'd be pretty disappointed if that is all I got.
She is a level 5/6 child across the board with no input from home - so yes, natural ability is in this case an accurate statement.


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