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 Post subject: Headmaster's advice
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:15 pm
Posts: 13
I have recently spoken to the Headmaster of my daughter's school regarding the 11+. She is currently in Year 4. Meetings were set up for parents that were interested in feedback regarding the level at what the child is at and the level he/she should maintain come to exam time.

I have been advised that home tutoring throughout will be sufficient and plenty of practise on the papers/techniques. My concern is that people on this site are convinced that a tutor is the only way forward. And as much as I know my daughter's ability, I seem to be swayed in that direction too.

Do I take the Headmaster's advice on-board solely and trust that I believe in her too or is it always the best way forward to have a tutor to ensure nothing is missed?


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 Post subject: Re: Headmaster's advice
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:44 pm
Posts: 357
My view is you only get one chance and it is your daughter, and not the headmaster's daughter! :D

You will get both home tutor and external tutor views on here - but the advice is the same - she is your daughter!!


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 Post subject: Re: Headmaster's advice
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:15 pm
Posts: 13
Thanks Faitaccompli but not exactly the answer I was looking for. I established she was my daughter 9 years ago.

Any understanding replies welcome thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Headmaster's advice
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:44 pm
Posts: 357
I think you misunderstand.

Everyone told me my son categorically did NOT need any extra tuition or practice. My view was he had one chance to get his 11+ and I was the only one in a position to help him. Headmasters, teachers etc generally have rose coloured glasses on when they talk to parents about their children. Mine would NOT have got the marks he did without being tutored (admittedly only about half a dozen sessions). I didn't start until Year 6 - waaaay too late. I suspect a tutor from year 4 is probably overkill - but it is what YOU feel comfortable with and what you think your daughter can achieve.

hence my comment, that the gut feel you have to tutor or not is what YOU must go with as no one on here, no matter how nice or nor we appear, is in a position to give you better advice than you are yourself.

Hope that makes more sense as I clearly did not explain myself properly the first time.

Personally, I would tutor and do papers at home to make sure there is improvement.


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 Post subject: Re: Headmaster's advice
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:15 pm
Posts: 13
Thank you Faitaccompli for the clarification. I agree inky I can make such a decision but I'm struggling to understand what level will be required to pass and standards.

I wouldn't book a tutor from Year 4 as clearly it is excessive but may consider for 6 months as she seems to be covering the 11+ curriculum at good pace already.

Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Headmaster's advice
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:14 am
Posts: 938
Hi,
IMHO the main thing is familiarisation with the papers, question types etc. Whether you do this yourself, as many of us have done, or employ a tutor is another factor! Good luck. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Headmaster's advice
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:29 pm
Posts: 593
Location: Trafford
Questions to ask yourself (and answer honestly):

1. Do you and your daughter have the kind of relationship that can withstand tutoring across the kitchen table? Try it and see. Some of us have children who respond well to a parent's tuition. Some of us don't. Some of us have one of each. :roll:

2. Do you have the time to give to it? Ideally you are looking at an hour or two a week throughout Year 5, to encompass VR, NVR, Maths and maybe English, depending on which schools you are going for. You will also be spending extra time planning your tuition, marking the work, deciding how to deal with weak points etc. It is time-consuming and easily overlooked with other family demands. You, the parent, need to be honest as to whether you can give it the commitment it needs.

Paying tutors is increasingly the norm, but families often supplement this with their own DIYing at home. I think many of these would have been perfectly fine dispensing with the tutor because they managed amazingly, but they needed the confidence of having the tutor there to back up what they were doing at home. Some kids will sit still for a tutor one hour a week when they are reluctant to do so for their parents.

It is perfectly possible to do it yourself, and there are indeed a lot of us on this site. It doesn't mean it's the only way to do it, but if you go the tutor route, make sure you ask questions about the types of questions they will cover and what they actually do in lessons and with how many other children. And don't fall into the trap of thinking that just because they have a tutor that you do not have to keep an eye on what they are being taught and will need to supplement at home.

There are a lot of myths about over the exams. There are a lot of people going to tutors. Yes, some exams are harder than others. Yes, the kids need some preparation. It is hardest the first time round because you don't know how high the bar is set and how your child will react. It isn't pleasant. But it is a necessary evil in Trafford if you want to access the grammar schools. Just don't fall into the trap of thinking that a naturally bright child will get in without being at least familiar with the exams and used to the tight timing.


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 Post subject: Re: Headmaster's advice
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:15 pm
Posts: 13
Thanks Traffordmum for all the advice. You're right with regards to the level required in Trafford, as this was my main concern. Being a single parent, all my time is devoted to her so we spend time daily after school homework, going through extra 11+ learning. Due to the close bond we've had for years, she is a pleasure to work alongside and teach together with the fact she tries her utmost to concentrate on what she wants out of this.

I think with the hard work that I maintain, possibly 6 months of tutoring and attending summer schools, she'll have had the best of everything. Hopefully this will be enough to allow her to go for where she desires- AGSG!

The advice is great and I appreciate every child is different. Sometimes it's hard to know your child is these kind of circumstances hence requested guidance.


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 Post subject: Re: Headmaster's advice
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:29 pm
Posts: 593
Location: Trafford
Well, having a child who is willing to learn and listen is a great advantage. :lol:

Make sure you plan the maths well. The schools (including AGGS) all say the maths is KS2 maths and based on what your child will be learning in school but, in effect, they are actually tested on all KS2 maths (and some concepts beyond KS2).

The GL Assessment papers are a good example of the type of Maths they ask for in the AGGS exam. (Don't give them to your daughter yet - they are what you are building up to towards the end of Year 5 - but they are worth looking at so you can familiarise yourself with what's required (and maybe check it against the National Curriculum requirements).

Effectively, this means that your daughter should have completed the whole of KS2 maths by the end of Y5 to give her the best chance of doing well in the maths exam. Don't expect school to do this, even if she is in their top group. Practise times tables in the car. For verbal reasoning, read, read, read and concentrate on vocabulary. One of my fellow moderators analysed where some of the candidates in the Buckinghamshire 11+ lost their marks, and they were all vocabulary-related.

Also, it's worth pointing out that AGGS is generally acknowledged to be the hardest exam that the girls can take in Trafford. Some people do come unstuck because they only go for AGGS and then don't gain a qualifying mark. Think about Sale. Think about Urmston and Stretford. Think about Loreto if you are Catholic. They are all excellent schools. (Obviously check out how the schools award their places - distance is key for most of them, but if you are out of catchment, Sale is accessible to high scorers.) AGGS is great, but it's not the only school worth attending.


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 Post subject: Re: Headmaster's advice
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:15 pm
Posts: 13
Hi Traffordmum, she will be sitting the exam for Sale too considering all the hard work put in. Loretto was considered as I'd heard they take minority non catholic but I'll have to look into it.

I have been advised the GL Assessment papers which I've taken account together with Improving her vocabulary- she's at a great standard but there lack of learning further!! Her worst nightmare is opening a book and reading! I'm aware I've got my work cut out for VR!


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