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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:11 am 
Just out of interest, could all those good people who know please tell me when the 11+ is sat in you area and what the content of the 11+ is.

Wirral LEA set two verbal reasoning papers prepared by NFER.

There are two practice papers in November and the test themselves are completed in the last week of November and first week in December.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Mike Edwards


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:48 pm 
Hi Mike, Sorry, not answering your question, but giving you one
(A question; don't get excited :wink: :lol: )
Are there 2 11 plus papers in Wirral then? I thought there was just one in November?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:15 am 
Wirral set two verbal reasoning papers.

Firstly they set two practice papers on Thursday 17th November and Thursday 24th November, then the two "real" papers are set on Tuesday 29th November and Tuesday 6th December.

The papers are verbal reasoning 80 questions in 50 minutes and are NFER format.

Children living in the Wirral area sit the tests within their primary schools. Some of the schools provide up to six hours preparation time, some don't, depending on the politics of the staff.

Out of area children sit the tests at one of the grammar schools. They are also invited to sit the practice papers.

I have posted a request for information on content and timing of 11+ tests in other LEA's. So far, I believe that the Wirral 11+ entrance test is by far the easiest of any authority in the country.

An interesting observation of education in the Wirral and adjoining Cheshire is that parents are prepared to pay for private education at a number of reputable Independent primary schools, they then enter their children for the Wirral Grammar schools 11+ tests. I think they believe that a Grammar education is as good as a private education, and results confirm this. They therefore save a considerable amount of money by transferring their children from fee paying independent schools to grammar schools.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:10 am 
Thank you very much, Mike, for your info. Much appreciated. :D

My daughter also has a VR test on 2nd Dec for Upton Hall School which is actually our first choice.

I am glad it is 80 questions because the 2 practise papers she has done have been 100 questions in 50 minutes. She left about 15 the first time and 3 the 2nd.


As for your comments on education; personally, I disagree with private education. I think children are pushed too much to achieve because their parents are paying for it. My friend's son is in a private school (yr3) and from the age of 4 was doing homework each night and is now being given 11 plus papers each week.

I feel that is too much pressure on a child.
Yes, I think educatiion is important. But kids are not kids long and they should be playing and having fun out of school hours, particularly at infant age.

My view is a lot of kids in private schools have both parents working (so yes they have the dosh) which means they have limited time to spend with their offspring. Therefore they expect the school to do the things that they can't.

Whereas I gave up work to bring my 2 up
(my hubby earns £200 a week and we have a mortgage, car, hols etc)
I have always walked them to school (in itself boosts learning) talking to them about what we see hear etc, and have always given them my time to talk, read make up rhymes, stories etc. We have had lots of fun learning.
Both have an advanced academic age.
I think mine will do well academically wherever they go. My reasons for wanting my daughter to go to grammar school are social.

That's just my opinion btw before all you high flying career people have a pop at me!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:41 am 
I agree with you about private education and don't be put off by the private schools coaching, coaching, coaching for the 11+. Some people are so stupid - they send their kids to private school and then get them into grammar school, where they struggle to keep up with the bright kids from state schools. My daughter goes to a grammar school and there are a number of children who went to private schools and spent the last 2 - 3 years being coached to pass the 11+, which they did. They are now bottom of the class and hate school. What a bl**dy shame.

You can get your children into a grammar school by always talking to them from a young age, including them in adult conversation, using vocabulary that you would use with an adult, reading books, singing to them when young children, taking them to museums, theatre, etc. In fact all the life enriching things that you can possibly do.

We did this, not to get them into grammar school, but to make them well rounded, educated and happy young people and I think we succeeded. We could have paid someone else to do this, but isn't that sad. I loved bringing my kids up, it was the best thing that ever happened in my life. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Carry on doing the things you do and even if they don't get into grammar school, they will always remember that you were there for them.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 4:50 pm 
Aw thank you! Reading your post, I could almost have written it myself! :lol:

I have often said myself, about these kids whose parents coach them to pass the 11 plus, that they struggle to keep up at grammar school.
I'd rather they were average in a comp than at the bottom of grammar.

My daughter was bullied (for being bright, well mannered, going to church, and for living in a private house :roll: ) and I moved her to the school she is at now because of that. She is far happier there.

I know she will do well wherever she goes, but feel she will be happier in a grammar school, and I know she will not encounter any of the bullies there because none of them would pass the exam.

She is doing well in her practice papers, and her headmaster feels she will be OK.

But as you said, i know I have always been there for her. I also did family literacy/numeracy/ITC courses with both of my children at school, and I have just gone back to college to retake GCSE maths because I have forgotten all i did in my O level 26 yrs ago! I need to be able to help her and am starting to struggle now!

Thanks again ML


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 8:32 pm 
In an ideal world there would be no coaching of children for the 11+, this could be achieved by the testing body setting different papers each year, varying their questions and introducing new types of questions or re-wording questions. If the testing body reviewed the existing 11+ preparation publications they could easily achieve this.

The problems with coaching starts with the testing body, because they publish and sell preparation papers. For a level playing field to exist all students sitting the 11+ should have access to the papers. This creates an inequality if parents cannot afford papers.

It only takes one parent to sit down and tutor their own child to create a situation where all parents should prepare their child. This creates an inequality if parents do not have the skills to prepare their child.

It only takes one parent to pay for private tuition to create a situation where all parents should pay for private tuition. This creates an inequality if parents cannot afford tuition.

It is undoubtedly true that many students who pass the 11+ do so by jumping through hoops, not only do they struggle at the Grammar school but they take the places of more able students, who with a little extra help would thrive in the Grammar school setting.

Irrespective of the above, testing bodies will still publish papers, parents will still coach children and they will continue to pay for private tuition. We can agree or disagree but we cannot change the system, therefore we work within the system that exists to get the best for our children in a competitive world.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:10 am 
Another problem for children who can't afford to be coached is the fact that the local education authority is often in denial about the grammar schools. My daughter's school would not help her with any practise at all. They said why should they help her to get in - that was my problem.

Thanks a lot - they really are letting many children down, whilst allowing private school parents to jump the queue.


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 Post subject: A word of advice
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 10:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:54 pm
Posts: 54
Dear 'Guests',
A word of of advice re. bullies! Bullying is present in Grammar Schools just as much as All Abilities & Private education :( . Perhaps not to the same extent such as open physical or violent bullying but more subtle constant verbal abuse can be even more damaging than a cut or a bruise which will eventually heal.

Good luck to your children in the 11+.

Wish Upon A Star.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 10:49 am 
Hi WUAS
yes, I know that, but my daughter was being bullied because she is clever, well mannered and lives in a private house (though we are by no means rich)
I moved her to a school that was not in the middle of an estate and where there are other clever kids and she has had no problems at all. The old school was full of illiterate kids who parents just sent them to school to get shut of them for the day. Streetwise hardfaced kids.

I just feel that if she is with children who are a) bright, and b) have parents who care about their education, and will therefore probably have been brought up properly, she will fare better The bullies are going to the 2 main comps nearby and I don't want her to go there.
I only have my daughter taking the 11 plus. My son is in yr2, though I imagine he will take it also, as he is top of his class.
thanks for your advice. :)

The school she is at now have an excellent anti bullying policy, as does the school she wants to go to.


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