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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:40 pm
Posts: 342
It's lunchtime and thought I visit! :)

So we have a thread that ask you what you did, how about a thread for posting the worst advice, tips, suggestions from others / books etc for preparing for 11+?!!

My worst one has to be from a book on how to pass 11+ exams, which went something like this;

"DON'T DO ANY 11+ WORK UNTIL THE MONTH of MAY in YEAR 5, up to then just do a lot of reading..." :?

The "expert" claims to be a successful 11+ tutor. What do you think?!

Or any other don'ts? I thought they will be useful for parents who are just starting preparation. Thanks.

Edit: Ok, I added the DO'S on the little too, since this is looking so useful. :)


Last edited by YoungSuccess on Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:11 am 
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My second worst (maybe purposeful) advice from someone - " I only started 3 months before the exams and ... passed with flying colours..."


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:01 pm 
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I think the worst advice was actually that there was NO advice from school at all. You would hope that if the LEA funds a grammar school then it would 'market' it to the potential clients!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:52 am 
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SVE - wholeheartedly agree, I know other forum members have commented in the past that it shouldn't be up to Primary teachers to train for 11+ but the level of complete refusal by my DD's state school to engage with a system, a STATE system, funded by the same LEA, is still unbelievable. Maybe others will disagree.

in terms of worst advice, could add those people (Parents?!) who state blithely that if children are bright enough they will get into grammar with no additional work/preparation, and if they can't then they shouldn't be there. That infuriates me. Probably a different discussion though!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:14 am 
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flumper wrote:

in terms of worst advice, could add those people (Parents?!) who state blithely that if children are bright enough they will get into grammar with no additional work/preparation, and if they can't then they shouldn't be there. That infuriates me. Probably a different discussion though!


I agree, that's lamb to the slaughter territory.

Equally bad though is the advice that it's essential to hire a tutor, particularly if it's presented as a barrier to entry. Firstly, it isn't essential if the parents are competent and willing enough to make the effort instead. Secondly, it must be hard to know which one to choose and how to tell whether a tutor is really worth their salt. Thirdly, without parental involvement there's only so much even a good tutor can accomplish.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:36 am 
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Stroller wrote:
flumper wrote:

in terms of worst advice, could add those people (Parents?!) who state blithely that if children are bright enough they will get into grammar with no additional work/preparation, and if they can't then they shouldn't be there. That infuriates me. Probably a different discussion though!


I agree, that's lamb to the slaughter territory.

Equally bad though is the advice that it's essential to hire a tutor, particularly if it's presented as a barrier to entry. Firstly, it isn't essential if the parents are competent and willing enough to make the effort instead. Secondly, it must be hard to know which one to choose and how to tell whether a tutor is really worth their salt. Thirdly, without parental involvement there's only so much even a good tutor can accomplish.


This is hotting up! Totally agree with all of you - the non support of the state school, the idea that "if a child is bright enough... ( boy, I heard that many times! ) and also agree about tutoring - It can be done DIY, but of course most of us parents are juggling time and "outsourcing" is the answer. But if one is earning £50 or more an hour and a tuition cost £25 an hour, it makes sense, provided of course the quality is there. Although I mainly did DIY, I was given a good advice from a parent, whose child did spectacularly well in the previous year, that my DS will / could benefit from the "group learning" ( peer pressure?! :) ) environment, and that was a great advice. DS definitely got the idea of how well the others were preparing. He also made good friends and always hear them sizing each other, in a friendly way, i.e who got the highest mark in today's test, homework, quiz etc. which DS really enjoyed.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:26 am 
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Stroller wrote:
flumper wrote:

i Secondly, it must be hard to know which one to choose and how to tell whether a tutor is really worth their salt. Thirdly, without parental involvement there's only so much even a good tutor can accomplish.


These two definitely.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:48 pm 
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I agree that a tutor is not necessary if you are willing to put the hours in. Difficult if you are both at work full time though. If I had my time again I'd do more test papers from an earlier stage (at least 6-9 months out ) both for test/timed practice and to get a sense of the hardest questions - and would not do group tuition.

I have not really witnessed much in the way of bad advice as everyone round here keeps schtum and very reluctant to admit to applying for grammar school let alone swap tips and tutor contacts. Nice to have found this forum!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:12 pm 
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As others have stated, I too have several friends who were told by well meaning friends and family -'No need for a tutor or preparation - if theyhave natural ability and are meant to pass the exams then they will.' Unfortunately for those who took the advice, their children didn't get through the SET. We did have a very competent tutor who prepared our DS not just for Exams but for the whole Grammar school ethos - it was a hard slog but proved very effective and kept us all toeing the line; Set homework had to be done by the deadline and parental involvement was paramount.

My advice to any family whose DC is taking the entrance exams in the future is prepare your child (whether through tutoring or home study - or both) because even the most clever and capable can buckle on the initial SET - just due to nerves and the queuing for the exam - Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:56 pm 
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Completely agree with the 'no need for tutoring, natural ability, thriving in GS' bit. Very often parents who start a war against tutoring conveniently forget that they themselves are tutoring their own children, probably many more hours and from a much earlier age than once a week professional tutors. I had a good interaction with one of the mums at my DCs school who started lecturing about tutoring. I calmly pointed out to her that a few minutes ago I observed her teaching her Yr1 daughter to read words like resilient, collaboration, arduous written on the school walls whilst we were waiting in the school reception for the older siblings to come out.
I wish I found out about tutoring earlier, at least in year 4 rather than december of year 5.
If your child is not well taught from the beginning it is very very hard(unrealistic) to cover everything in 6-9 months. Vocabulary takes time to build.
I really made the mistake of believing those parents who down played the exams by saying my DC just did few papers from WHSmith as they say in the school open evenings.

If my observation is correct then most of the high achieving DCs in GS exams(super selective) complete their learning phase by Year 4 and just focus on test papers/exam techniques and mocks in Year5.


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