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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:07 am
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So I am about to begin proper preparation as my DS has just started Y5.

Previously dipped our toes into the Bond 8-9 papers rather half-heartedly but here starts the regular sessions with some sort of planned strategy.

Am going to try the DIY method and panic book a tutor if needed further down the line.

Who is with me?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:06 pm
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Great to have a thread started for 2015.
Yes, I,m here with you along with my DD:) DIY route at the moment. 12 months doesn't sound that long, but we,ve started doing maths weekdays after school. Not sure if NVR should be included in the prep or not since AGGS might change to English.
It would be nice to an active forum along this unknown journey....


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:04 am 
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I'm with you too!

Not started with much other than bits I've download. We said we'd wait until back into the swing of school then work out times to study around school homework and the other stuff like swimming and after school clubs.

Also adamant to stick to home learning rather than tutor route!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:03 pm 
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Nice to know I am not on my own in needing moral support!

Happyface - I know what you mean about confusion about what to study. I'm not sure if there is any definitive answer about whether Alty boys will attempt to change to English instead of NVR?

In the mean time I have decided to incorporate English prep into the schedule as it will be of benefit to DS regardless of whether it is tested or not.

Interesting that there are so many of us going down DIY route. Everyone I know IRL seems to be tutoring which made me question my methods. After buying some books (the GL guides to NVR and VR, the GL parent's guide to 11+ and the Bond How To books for Maths and English), I feel much more empowered and a little less bewildered!

Really recommend the GL parents guide as it gives an example of a 12
Month timetable.

Lost mum - Same here with extra curricular activities. DS has something on 4 days out of 7. He doesn't want to give any of it up!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:52 am 
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Having been through it this year, it's all about striking a balance

We were adamant we weren't going down the tutoring route, so we didn't do anything at home until the summer holidays this year at the end of Y5. The school had organised a class that ran 1 morning before school and 1 lunchtime every week for basic prep and to get used to the questions and my son has a number of extra-curricular activities, we both work full-time, so time is precious and not always available in large chunks.

Obviously the rejection of the ABGS exam change was a blow as the school had done little NVR practice and my son in particular is very good at comprehensions, less so at the NVR particularly the cubes and more obscure "spot the difference" questions

He practiced most days over the summer for 30-60 mins using the Bond and GLR practice papers, they got him used to the questions and certainly improved his timing and getting things done within the time. The "mock" at North Cestrian in May was also a useful learning experience

He seems to have done "OK" on his own assessment, certainly no tears or panics afterwards

Having spoken to other parents in the queue, there do seem to be a large number who have "hothoused" their children for the exams so we do feel perhaps we should have done "more"

I guess the old adage applies in that what is the point in drilling your children to get them through the exam if they then don't have the all round academic abilities to cope once they are at the relevant school, but on the flip side is the competition for places now that fierce that you have to go down the tutoring/hothousing route or you're playing catch-up.

We'll see what the results bring next month .......


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:07 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:07 am
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Good to have the view with hindsight Rocky_robin thank you!

It must be about balance as you say, and also the old cliche about what is right for one child will be different to what is right for another. I should say 'family' rather than 'child' since it affects everyone in the house.

I don't work full time, am part time self employed and my workload is in peaks and troughs so a scheduled timetable will have to allow for that. Working full time and coaching DS would be a challenge for me!

Would I sound crazy if I said I was excited about all this? I actually view the prospect of spending time 1:1 with my DS as quality time. He is very motivated which means no battles and I have incorporated lots of rewards so I feel good about the opportunity to give him treats.

Kind of like when reading the kids bedtime stories. If it's a book that bores me then it's a chore and I read with brain switched off lol. But if it's a book I enjoy then I look forward to it.

Am sure we will have our moments when things are not quite as rosy but I am determined that we should 'enjoy' the journey.

Am so naive/optimistic that pass or fail, I think we may look back at it as a special time in our lives?!

Obviously I am living in a happy bubble right now. Ask me again in a few months lol!

Good luck with your results. At least you haven't compromised your relationship with your DS. Get the feeling some parents want their children to succeed 'no matter the cost' *shiver*.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:44 pm
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Brainfreeze wrote:
Good to have the view with hindsight Rocky_robin thank you!

Would I sound crazy if I said I was excited about all this? I actually view the prospect of spending time 1:1 with my DS as quality time. He is very motivated which means no battles and I have incorporated lots of rewards so I feel good about the opportunity to give him treats.

Good luck with your results. At least you haven't compromised your relationship with your DS. Get the feeling some parents want their children to succeed 'no matter the cost' *shiver*.


There were times when I think my DS felt like it was a punishment rather than a help and he was reluctant to sit though my explanations of any questions answered incorrectly (although this is apparently the best way to learn for many of these tests, from your mistakes)

On the whole he did see it as a challenge, was gutted where he thought he'd done well and the results didn't match but likewise elated when a test went well or indeed was fully answered within the time limits when he struggled early doors to finish. I love a good logic problem or puzzle so did have a cheeky look at some of the tests before going through the answers

As many parents have said post-exam in the playground, you do worry that the children will feel like a failure if they don't get through. Mine has sat for Altrincham and Sale and would hope to get into 1 of them (he's actually favouring Sale at present) but our nearest is Wellington Road, a good school in its own right

It will be interesting to see how the CEM exams go and whether other schools adopt them as an alternative to GL tests


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:09 pm
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DD1 will do her exams in 2016 but I am going to DIY it so am hoping to use this year to teach myself how to do it! I have 3 doing lots of activities already so tutoring not an option in terms of time or money.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:45 am
Posts: 135
Hello everyone,
second time round for me and I'm going to start dusting down the books and papers from five years ago. I have to say I think (hope) this time round it will be easier because DS wants to go to the same school his brother attends. Nothing like a bit of healthy sibling competitiveness!!!

I am going to start by doing 1/2 hour each week on verbal and non verbal, focusing on techniques. Will play mental maths games during car journeys to speed up recall of number facts i.e table tennis multiplication. Will probably start practice papers at the start of the summer term as I don't want him to burn out/ get fed up early on in the year.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:19 pm
Posts: 798
Hello Cleo old friend!!

5 years 8) :lol: can't believe it!!


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