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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 4:40 pm
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Ds has entrance exams in January - he has done some practise so far but I'm wondering how much he should be doing over the holidays. I don't want to drive him mad but I don't want him to forget everything either!!!! Any suggestions?

Those of you who have been through the Whitgift / Trinity treadmill recently (I know some of you are on here!) can you tell me how much work your sons did at this stage?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:25 pm 
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I would say it depends where he is now. What is he getting in the practice tests? Where is he in NC levels? Does he do the work without tears?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:06 pm 
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We did keep things going over Xmas, mainly by just doing a few papers, perhaps one in the morning and then doing fun things for the rest of the day. I've been through this twice and I do think it's important not to stop during the holidays. I know some people will say take a break but we found it really did make a difference to keep things ticking over. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:08 pm 
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We plan to take a complete break until Jan 2nd.

!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:14 pm 
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We had the Wilson's exam right at the beginning of Jan then Whitgift the week after. Afraid we had Christmas day, boxing day and new year's day off and did a little bit on other days. All fairly miserable :(

However after the exams did precious little else for the rest of the year :D


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:25 am 
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Thank you folks.

Sunlamp you are brave!! Ds is a complete moaner and will whinge and complain about doing anything!!

School doesn't do NC - on his end of term tests he was slightly below the class average for English and Maths - not sure how worried to be about that as there are some hugely clever boys in the class who will have bumped up the average.

The school have sent home some papers for practise and I have my own secret stash! I was hoping to do a little bit each day with three days off around Christmas itself as we will be away.

I know I am panicking now and I don't want him to feel it. Roll on mid January (although even if he gets through there will still be interviews to worry about!!!).


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:08 am 
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Location: London
we went through this last year and did something most days over the holidays - generally a practice paper but DD couldnt spare a moment after it to discuss any wrong questions so it only took the time it takes to do a test

we had 4 days off when we were away and also didnt do it Christmas and Boxing Day - I'm that generous

I think it was worth it as she got offers from all the schools we applied to

Interestingly we also had the very clever kids in the class thing - she was in a small class - only 12 children and would generally come around half way in most tests so I was never that convinced she'd make it but she got the school we wanted as did the others - Latymer Upper, St Pauls, Tiffin, etc

So hang on in there if you can and keep the wheels ticking over - for us the most important thing in the end was working to time - some of her friends really struggled to complete papers in the entrance exams and DD never did - and I think doing whole, timed practice papers in the holidays really helped - plus being pretty bored with them and trying to get it done as fast as possible!

Good luck - it is so lovely when it's all over!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:11 pm 
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Thanks MittenKitty - that is definitely encouraging!

Because we are within reasonable travelling distance of grammar schools some of the really bright boys will go there which should give the rest of us a fighting chance!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:00 am 
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At this point the intention was to boost confidence and enable our daughter to walk into the exam calmly and produce her best. She was not a strong candidate but little point in panicking her.

We therefore integrated exam practice into a normal routine trying to make as little fuss as possible. Just do an exam for an hour and then we will do something else.

I ended up marking a bunch of the papers together which worked as it demonstrated where she was losing marks, geometry for example, and so we were able to focus a little. When time was short she did essay planning on a variety of subjects rather than the essay itself. Again so that when she was in the exam she could start in a confident and organised way.

We tried to avoid focussing on one school and were grateful to some lovely girls from her second choice school for taking time out to encourage her that this was a great option as well. We also had a clear, non selective, fall back in case she did not get any. (Not unacceptable but unpopular enough to keep her working.) We did not discuss papers or interviews after the event. I also tried to organise nice distracting things after each exams, eg pizza with her friends, before racing back to school. We also kept going with after school activities, with the assumption that even if she was tired she would benefit from doing something physically tiring as well.

I think it worked as she stayed calm and simply got on with it. In the end she got 4 out of the 5 schools she tried including her first and second choices, and ahead of girls who were deemed to be much cleverer. And she did it because she was willing to work hard, and because the schools were able to see her at her best.

Two mistakes I made were forgetting to check stationary requirements for one exam, meaning she was without a ruler and therefore needed to ask the invigilator. (Instructions for every school were different so the pencil case needs to be rechecked each time.) And not checking the route to Dulwich or leaving enough time. Not much but enough for the stress we were both under to show.

I am so glad it is over. Indeed I suspect I looked at the forum in order to celebrate the fact that we came through the tunnel and there is light on the other side!

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:00 am 
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Dont know how to delete!


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