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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:54 am
Posts: 2
So sorry everybody, new to all of this and feeling a bit intimidated by what I've read through to date... gulp :shock: I have a boy in year 4 and am starting to explore the whole grammar option (..option?!..). Firstly I'd really appreciate if you could pm me on potential tutors in the area - it certainly sounds like they are a closely guarded secret and a small select group! (another gulp). I've looked at the listings in the directory (all 2!) but I think it would be invaluable to hear from other parents first hand. I will also explore the home tutoring option, but am slightly wary of this approach as my ds and I seem to be increasingly locked in battles over homework/music practice etc and I'm not sure how beneficial this will be to our relationship...not going to rule out this option yet, however. I suppose what is making me feel uneasy at this stage is that I'm really not sure that M is grammar school "material", if one can bluntly categorise as such. He is probably what you would term a solidly slightly above average boy with occasional spurts of brilliance (...perhaps too strong a word :wink: ). Parents evening is coming up soon and I will chat further to his teacher, but the state system seems to be somewhat out of touch with the requirements and expectations of the grammar system. Our locality means that we would not automatically be offered a place at the better state secondaries in the area. So should one go down the grammar route because as a "responsible" parent, you need to cover all bases? regardless of whether you feel your child perhaps has the necessary academic ability? Is it too soon/unfair to categorise him? Feeling a bit unsure on this whole issue - I'd value your comments and suggestions.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 153
My boy is in Year 6 and this afternoon i just posted my letter to Wallington school to say "Yes" to the offer. My boy 'v done very well in Wallington test, but failed Sutton boy and Wilson. From the test papers, i can tell you the Wilson is the hardest. From now on, you need to go to local WHsmith to buy any books on 11 plus grammar school's test. Millions there! While let him practised at home , a private tutor is essential. All of these can not gurantee any place, however, your effort may make him more "grammer school materila "like. I have done all of these, but , my son still didn't scope all of them . but anyway, Wallington is not bad at all.
I will talk to you later when i am not busy.


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 Post subject: tutors and grammars
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:40 pm
Posts: 226
Location: surrey
it is very true that the good tutors ar a closely guarded secret, but many have waiting lists for next year by now anyway. I think it is very important to find one who is recommended, not just out of yellow pages.
My son, year 6, has just got a place at Sutton Grammar. It was not an easy year and he disliked the extra work from tutoring, but it was worth the struggle. He just missed out on Wallington and Wilsons, but has since told us he really liked Sutton and concentrated that much more in the test.

A good tutor will be able to tell you if your son is grammar school material or not.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:26 pm
Posts: 553
The schools all have their advantages and disadvantages. The problem this year was that the exams stretched from September to January for the boys so it was very hard for the boys to keep the momentum going for the whole time and inevitably some boys did better in some exams than others. For what it's worth my boys thought that the Sutton exam was the hardest, one thought Wallington was easy and the other thought Wilsons was easy-I think that reflects their state of mind rather than anything else. Hopefully the exam timings may be rationalised next year.

The other thing to bear in mind is the exams are quite different in format. Wallington is a much shorter paper-short comprehension, lots of choice of story and no other English. Short maths and verbal reasoning, but very early in September and to work hard for it would stuff up your summer holiday. Sutton had long tough multiple choice verbal reasoning, pretty tough maths (not multiple choice), no choice of essay which is usually not creative writing plus comprehension and multiple choice further English. Wilsons is a little shorter, more choice of essay, but no multiple choice-and very soon after xmas and new year!

In order to find tutors I would suggest asking around at school. I think it helps to find someone fairly local if you have other children and we certainly found our local one by asking other parents. I think it helps to take the pressure off your relationship to have some of it done by somebody else, but you will still have to do a lot of work yourself. As said above a good tutor will get the measure of your child fairly quickly and you should ask them to give you an honest assessment of your child's chances.

Good luck


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:54 am
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Great, many thanks for your tips and comments. Phew, quite a process isn't it!


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