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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:19 pm
Posts: 12
Hi,
First post so please be kind :)
My DD is in year 4 and as we live in Wallington we would love her to go to Wallington girls, but I'm not sure how to assess whether she is up to the exam and whether its worth putting her through all the stress of the preparation for it. She is bright but Maths is not her strong point she is was assessed as a 3b at the end of Year 3. Any advice would be gratefully received, I'm hearing of girls in her class already having 2 hours of tuition a night to prepare them for the exam!!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:54 pm
Posts: 59
Location: kingston upon thames
Hi worriedofwallington and welcome!

I would not worry too much about a 3b in maths in year 3 . There is a lot of time to progress and there are always horror stories of hours of tuition starting in year 2. Good focus on computational skills (times tables, division etc) will really help with her confidence and tackling new maths topics in years 4-6.

In answer to whether your child is 'up to' the 11+, what I would say is think carefully about your motives, your DD's resilience (just to exams!) and what you really want out of a secondary school.

There are some very good posts on the Surrey section from just after the results this year. What I have noticed is that every year there are parents who are surprised that their very bright DCs do not 'pass' - and I would include myself here. However those who do get through are seldom surprised because they have prepared really well.

I'm sure others will disagree and there is always the "we only spent two weeks looking at papers" line.

Our ending was a happy one as DD1 loves her (non grammar!) school and would never have deigned to prepare for an exam for longer than a month anyway. DD2 was posed the question and is prepared to prepare for the exams so we will see where that takes us.

The good news is that exam entry is free and there is lots of help available on this forum so you have very little to loose.

Good luck whatever you decide!

sm


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:19 pm
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Thank you Supermummy, will look at the posts from last year. It was frightening how busy it was in this area on exam day - which really made me understand the level of competition for places.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:50 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:35 am
Posts: 8
Hi

We are currently just going through the turmoil of the entrance exams and are just waiting for the results.

My DD was happy to go through the experience but I would say that parents have to be prepared to work hard and for your children to be committed to going through the process as well. It's hard being 9 and having to do a lot of extra work over and above the run of the mill school work and we did go through lots of tears and tantrums but as she got into it she became more resilient.

You also need a good tutor - one who has experience of the tests and has taught children in the past who have completed the exams. I also think the tutoring boosts their learning from what they are taught in school - so this can only be a good thing.

My DD has passed Nonsuch and we are waiting for Wallington Girls to come through - so it can be a positive experience.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:19 pm
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Thanks for sharing your experience, I have spoken to my daughter about the extra work and she is keen , but I fear the reality may be different. Did your dd still attend after school clubs during the prep?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:46 am
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Hi worriedofwallington,
DD did 11+ last year.we started our prep in January of year 5.during a week we would have probably spent about 5/6 hours.all through it she did not stop her after school activities that included swim club thrice a week and violin.
So 11+ prep doesn't mean stopping everything else. In fact it recharged her.
Good luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:19 pm
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That's great to know as DD really loved her clubs, I would hate for her to miss out on carrying on with them. Its also reassuring to know that we still have almost 1 year before we really need to start with the preparation for the exams. I did panic a little when I heard some parents talking about how much they were already doing with their children.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:20 am 
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My DD has continued with all her clubs whilst she has been doing her prep and I think its a really good idea as they need a balance between sitting down and doing their VR,NVR,Maths & English and then doing something creative and fun. It is a must to allow them to keep some of their childhood.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:31 pm
Posts: 1192
worriedofwallington wrote:
but I'm not sure how to assess whether she is up to the exam

You should seek the opinion of her current teachers to get an idea
worriedofwallington wrote:
whether its worth putting her through all the stress of the preparation for it

The requirement is to be familiar, as much as possible, with all the question types and exam format. IMHO 1 or 2hrs per week in the six month previous sounds more than enough. Ideally they should find it fun and challenging rather than stressful. Working in a tutor group is quite a good idea as they see their peers are doing the same thing and can develop a healthy competitive attitude.
worriedofwallington wrote:
I'm hearing of girls in her class already having 2 hours of tuition a night to prepare them for the exam!!

IMHO 2hrs a night is madness but not unsurprising given the obsessive approach taken by some.
Good Luck
SVE

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:16 pm
Posts: 197
SunlampVexesEel wrote:
worriedofwallington wrote:
I'm hearing of girls in her class already having 2 hours of tuition a night to prepare them for the exam!!

IMHO 2hrs a night is madness but not unsurprising given the obsessive approach taken by some.
Good Luck
SVE

All really good advice from SVE which I second. But this - 2 hours - seriously! People do like to exagerate what they do but I suspect even so this has more than an element of truth. If it takes that much preparation work to get into the school I think a lot of consideration should be given to whether that school is the right one for your child. Quite a lot of children are successful without any tutoring at all bar a few run through papers at home - I know several. The majority will probably have about 6 months of hour a week tutoring with 1-2 hours homework a week. Children who are more heavily tutored than that may get in (though I have yet to hear a success story - I'm sure there are many) but their cohort will be full of kids who needed much less tutoring. I'm not convinced that's an ideal position from which to start the next 7 years of your education.

Edited to add:- Out of interest I asked DS if he knew of anybody who was having tutoring. He asked whether I meant now or before the test, so I said both. He's not aware of anybody being tutored now but most of his friends were tutored before taking the test.. His comment was: 'and some of them had less homework than I did!' He had a couple of hours homework a week from mid year 5. He seemed to think this was the norm for those that he's now at school with.


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