A quick question for those who have time to spare in the busy 11 plus discussions-
How a level 2b child from KS1 can be improved to level 3a in an year time, any shortcuts to make it achievable. How systematic the way should be? 2b in numeracy and literacy-
My son managed to achieve level 4 across the board in year 3. I set a consistent daily routine of an hour learning after he had a rest after school and another 30 minutes after dinner / before bed. At weekends, besides a lot of fun in the park, outings, DS games, flying helicopter, piano, violin etc, I make sure he does an hour or two of learning on Saturday and Sunday. I make it all a bit fun learning on weekends. Once he knows it is important for him and for us that he does the learning, he enjoys it, infact he expects it.
All these are done with a firm understanding from him as to why he is doing it - he fully understands. An example of this is this; he said he wants to be a top scientist and inventor as well as a successful businessman (
) when he grows up!. I made sure we spent a summer holiday in Oxford, visiting all the Oxford colleges, the natural science museum etc and with the Harry Potter movie set weaved in as a theme. At the end we arrived at Christ Church College Oxford; I told him its one of the very best and famous colleges in Oxford - he said he want to go there and dropped a coin in the little fountain and made his wish
. Bought him a Christ College mug and other souvenirs. Now that GOAL and PROMISE at the fountain becomes his focus, but in a pleasant fun way. He knows WHY he is studying. I always make sure he knows why he is doing something. Weather he will make it to Oxford or not is immaterial to me - he can go to any university he wants , hopefully at least a Russel's Group university
To me, its all about what me as parent can do to help him - I made sure I got a thorough grasp of the National Curriculum and compare it with the school's syllabus plan - I noticed that even though his school is one of the best in the country, it puts priority to "less able" children - after all they are judged on TARGET ACHIEVED, not TARGET EXCEEDED for every child. So I came to conclusion that the school will only provide between 25% to 35% for his learning needs. With that conclusion, I set up to provide the rest of the 75% of his learning. It all pays off, the teachers report says he is an 11 year old level - he is only 8. His reports have words like "Phenomenal mathematician", "far ahead of his age" etc. But I think that's not because he is 11 year old level or phenomenal - the school expectation is just very low. To me, he is just a normal boy, he is not gifted with super brain or anything. But one thing for sure - I noticed a lot of parents in his class are so afraid of challenging their child - I hear parents complaining the school is too academic and gives too much work - the school only gives one homework for Math and one for English every week, for goodness sake!!! I don't view my child from a point of WEAKNESS , I view him from the point of STRENGTH - I tell him he is clever and very capable and he lives up to it. Now he demands that I buy all the Key stage 3 and GCSE books for him to read on holiday!