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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:27 am
Posts: 8
Location: Manchester
Hello

I'm new to this forum but am really impressed with all the great information available.

My request is as per subject title...

My son is now in year 5 of a Prep school and historically no one from this school out of the 'catchment area' has got through the entrance exams and been offered a place at Altrincham Grammar (I'm sure I've spelt that wrong!).

I need some help with the following:
(1) When should I get a tutor? Any recommendations? We live in North Manchester.
(2) What are the best books to use to teach and practice?
(3) How about timing? When should I start getting him timed with practice papers?
(4) How can I help my son with maths as that is his weak/lazy subject?
(5) I am planning well ahead or should I be starting to worry?
(6) What was the pass score last year for out of the area children?

Sorry about all the questions but any help would be greatly appreciated.

By the way went to the open day full of really polite well mannered pupils and excellent facilities...I was really impressed. Most of all my son really liked the place as well.

Thank you to all in advance.

Regards

Toobaab[/list]


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:45 am
Posts: 135
Hi Toobaab,

I try my best to answer your questions as my DS has just passed his exam. I did not get a tutor - more due to the cost. I decided to go DIY. I had plan to start in September but it didn't really happen until the summer holidays - time flies.

DS strongest subjects is maths and the one he enjoys the most. Only thing he needed to work on was to READ the questions properly and the year 6 topics that creep in. I used the bond maths books, NFER and IPS papers. However the NFER packs I gave him one to do at the start of the summer holidays, then every two weeks to see if there was any improvement. These are the ones that replica the Alty exam and the ones i used to time him with.

Non verbal was his hardest and he did the AFN, IPS and NFER papers. My friends son used the tutors CD and he was motivated by these but I can't say either way. Give the demos a try and see what you think.

Verbal Reasoning plenty of reading - I still read the odd page to my child at night (all be it instead of we're Going On A Bear Hunt it is Skullduggery nowadays!) and make sure he understands what he his reading. Making sure you don't question every sentence! Again I used AFN bright sparks and NFER papers.

The pass mark depends on the cohort and is around 350 BUT to get 350 changes every year depending on the raw score. For example last year achieving 15/20 (for nvr) could equal a score of 120 but this year it could 10/20. I hope that makes sense. The same applies to the VR and maths i.e 35/50 could = 111 one year but if everyone scores high than 35/50 could = 90. The total standardised mark is 143 for each paper .

I can't tell you when to start and how many papers to do each week as
each child is different. You know your child best go with your instincts. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:27 am
Posts: 8
Location: Manchester
Thanks for the helpful information and advice I am really pleased for you that he passed!

I am just getting all the bits and bobs of information together - Using a little note pad (sad eh?).

My son is doing his school homework as well as bond assessment books and a quite good workbook for maths that explains the topic then gives questions.

My son is good at English and not so good at maths (not terrible but not fantastic)...same problem not reading the question and rushing I would say.

All the best...

Toobaab


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:27 am
Posts: 8
Location: Manchester
Anyone who can help? Please!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 18
Location: United Kingdom
Hi - this is a copy of my reply to NotAPushyMum's similar request a few weeks ago...


Quote:
for VR I'd say the Susan Daughtrey set of 4 books, this is the first of the set,
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/books/ ... php%23bs78
but they may well cover more types than necessary (TraffordMum may
know more!) for NVR I'd stick with the Bond Assessment books. For Maths there's
no hard and fast author in my opinion - the Schofield and Sims 'Understanding Maths'
range are pretty good but I'm not sure if they cover absolutely everything
http://www.schofieldandsims.co.uk/key-s ... kbooks.asp
(cheap though!) These are available from our local bookshops and libraries in
Hale/Altrincham for about £3 each. You absolutely must do these (multiple choice)
familiarization tests for every subject though...
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/books/ ... p%3D0%23b4

Waterstones are currently selling all these types of book on 3 for 2 INSTORE promotion

Hope that helps! you may very well find that most people don't want to give out
information as every child is considered 'competition' around here - if you're not
in the masons *and* have the right handshake you can't even find a tutor who's not
booked up 3 years in advance...!

Good Luck :)
square-root


We didn't use a tutor, but did a couple of mocks in April and June (**** and another whose name escapes me!) and the new **** summer school (4 intensive days at the end of August) You're not starting too early at all, I would keep it nice and low-key using the bond series and the daughtrey's. but the schofield and sims that I mentioned above are a great starting point for maths basics. Leave the timed familiarisation tests until much later, July at the earliest; but that said these exams are all about the time: 30 seconds per NVR question, 34 seconds per VR question and 60 seconds per maths question. That's the biggest hurdle of all in my humble opinion, but don't worry about it for now as you have time on your side 8)

What I would do as a matter of priority is investigate mocks and that summer school that I mentioned before they get booked up - I'll post the name of the other one when I find the name, but I believe the head of **** does some mocks too and there was one held at **** school earlier this year but it was the world's best kept secret! Expect to pay £40 - £45 for each mock.

hope that helps
square_root :)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:27 am
Posts: 8
Location: Manchester
Thank you soooooo much for the helpful reply it is geatly appreciated.

He is in year 5 so I presume he will be sitting the entrance exams around May 2011 - When he is year 6?

Am I still going to stuggle getting a tutor? I may just do it myself. The mock exams would only be worthwhile when he is in year 6?

Any contact details for those mock examinations...please?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:44 am
Posts: 106
deleted - no advertising, please.

Etienne


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:40 pm
Posts: 16
Location: South Trafford
Toobaab! The exam is in September - just one week into year 6 :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:47 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 18
Location: United Kingdom
ermintrude wrote:
Toobaab! The exam is in September - just one week into year 6 :roll:

oh dear, I've been censored! :o sorry mods!

ermintude's right, you only have 10 1/2 months so it's all about year 5 - by year 6 it's way too late!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:06 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:27 am
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Location: Manchester
I was sure that was the case...my friend was saying the same thing but the wife kept telling me: "It can't be in September!".

Thanks for sorting that confusion out for me!


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