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 Post subject: New to 11+ Sutton
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:12 pm
Posts: 19
Hi,
New to 11+ and finding the process a touch daunting to say the least. My 9yr old son will be starting yr5 in a couple of days. We are preparing him for Sutton schs (WCGS, SGS,Wilsons) & Trinity & Withgift. We only started preps seriously over the summer, though he's been seeing a tutor in the past couple of months & been doing Kumon for about 3yrs. So far my assessment of him is maths is his strongest subject & he picked up on VR quickly. However need a lot of help & time to complete Eng papers. Got the bond series & IPS which we are working through. Found Bond 3rd Paper Comprehension age 9-10 somewhat challenging. Does anyone know of good materials to practice comprehension & creative writing pls? Also any info towards preps for the above schs will be appreciated :)

Many thanks
LarryB


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 Post subject: Re: New to 11+ Sutton
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:26 am
Posts: 284
Hi LarryB

Don't worry, you and your DS have plenty of time to prepare for the exams.

I can only comment on WCGS & Wilson's, as they're the schools my DS sat for, but English was also the hardest subject for my DS and what his tutor focused on the most.

Try and get your DS to read as much as possible, compile a list of words that he comes across in the Bond books that are new to him. Use this site and others, to come up with a list of essay titles, get DS to pick one and write for about 20 - 30 minutes and try and use some of the words from the list (I used to offer DS 20p for every word he used appropriately!) When DS sat for WCGS, the essay question was to carry on the Reading Comp passage.

Like you, we also used the Bond books for Reading Comp and we both found them hard!

Good luck
Plum


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 Post subject: Re: New to 11+ Sutton
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:26 pm
Posts: 553
Welcome to the forum

You have got bags of time so relax
Your son sounds like many boys-needing that bit more help with the English.
They need to learn traditional English so a good grammar book should help you out. We used Junior English Revised-which I had had when I sat the 11+ a hundred years ago, but it was still relevant (and amazingly still in print). Lots of comprehension and essay practice.
We taught the principles of beginnings, middles and ends. Spending a few minutes planning an essay with a little mind map. We would have a competition to get metaphors and similes in. Lots of word games in the car-we used to have an adjective competition. The grammar book I recommended has lots of lists that we used to play games with. For my sons it helped to treat essay writing as a game and teach them to "show off" language.

All the schools you are sitting for examine the same subjects which helps. The main difference is in the Whitgift exam which has a longer English paper and a longer essay (50 minutes IIRC) and SGS which tends to test some traditional English, a bit like the Bond books, as well as comprehension and essay. Wallington seems to ask the boys to carry on the story in the comprehension, whereas Sutton tends to have a more descriptive piece-what school rule would you change and why? what would you do if you were prime minister for a day? The rest tend to have a choice of titles with something for everyone.

You will find plenty of support here-if you look around the site you will find lots of advice on essay writing and English for boys


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 Post subject: Re: New to 11+ Sutton
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:23 pm
Posts: 153
Location: Croydon
Hi Larry B

Agree with Surreymum; I found encouraging DS1 to read more really helped with his story writing; also getting him to imagine himself as the star of the story made it easier for him to use more descriptive words and made his stories/essays a tad more exciting and personal.

We only used the Bond books, and some practise 11+ papers (think the ones from WHSmith) in the last two months, which brought him up to scratch.

Am in the same boat as you Larry B, DS2 started yr5 today - am already stressing :o

All the best.


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 Post subject: Re: New to 11+ Sutton
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:12 pm
Posts: 19
Hi Guys,

Just wanted to say thanks a mil for your responses (Surreymom, mummyto3 and plum) :D

It's nice to hear what others have done to overcoming challenges one may be facing as well. Thanks for the info on the schs as well.

Just got the Hadyn Richards Junior English 2 and love it's bite size comprehension passages which can be done before school and we can leave the more intense Bond till the weekend.

Also getting DS to choose books himself and making it a habit to read more together (anything to keep him interested!). I love the the suggestion about 20p per new vocab, that would definitely work with my DS as he is saving towards the new Chelsea shirt.

Got him to write about if he had 3 wishes what would they be and why? took a long while,but wrote a page, which is an improvement from someone who'd normally pencil 3 lines and say "I'm done".

I'll stick to the little but often and hopefully things should continue to improve.

Once again, many thanks!!!!! :)


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 Post subject: Re: New to 11+ Sutton
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:15 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Kingston
Can I also suggest that you look at pencil grip and handwriting style? Its a real effort to physically keep writing for the time required for these essay exams and any handwriting bad habits can really slow up the best thinkers. I am currently tutoring a child on improving his tripod grip & fine motor skills for just this very thing.

This video explains basic handwriting - www.dystalk.com/talks/40-practical-advi ... andwriting

If a child needs reminding about grip, the ‘pinch and swing’ start is recommended. This method requires the child to pick up the pencil by the writing tip with the thumb and first finger. While holding the tip, the child swings the top of the pencil over and onto the back of the hand between the thumb and index finger. This is the natural position for writing.

Its just a thought!


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