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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 9:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 10:25 pm
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Hello - I am thinking of putting dd1 up for Channing and SHHS entrance. She's at a good state primary and I'm thinking of organising a year's tutoring for her. She is very strong on literacy and OK but not brilliant at maths. Does anyone have any advice? And in particular I would be very grateful for any PMs with recommendations of tutors. I don't know how to identify the good ones really. Thank you!


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:55 pm
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Location: London
Hi, since no-one else has replied, I will try with a few simple tips. I would start by focusing very strongly on getting the math basics right, i.e. make sure that she knows all her times tables backwards and forwards and very fast. I would get hold of some past exam papers (on the school website) - but don't allow her to do them yet. Instead, sit down and work out for yourself what she needs to be able to do and what she can do, then work with her to make up any deficit. Once you are fairly sure that has has more or less mastered all of the content, you could start with some practise papers. I would aim to be at that stage by the October Half Term before the january exams at the latest, ideally by the start of the autumn term. In the exam, the papers will, of course, be timed but unless your daughter is very confident, I would start out without timing initially, perhaps even go through the first paper together.
You can get other past exam papers from other schools' websites (try Highgate, Forest etc). There are also mock exam papers available to buy but I don't remember their names - Bond perhaps?
It sounds as if you need to focus on the math but I would look at the English papers also. A big part of passing these exam is having practised taking them, therefore I would also go through some of the English papers and get her to do a few practise papers. These will be much more difficult for you to mark, though, since the answers are not as well defined as they are in Math.

Good luck! I have a daughter at Channing, so feel free to ask more questions or PM me me, either now or nearer the time.


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
I would sign up for the sutton mocks if there are still places available. They will give you a really good idea how more work you need to do to get your scores up. I would also ask the school for a complete set of estimated sats results. DG


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:32 am 
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My daughter is similar - very strong in English and good but not outstanding (or very confident) in maths. She got in to three out of four schools we applied to in the end, including one scholarship, but we did have to put a lot of work into her maths. Different schools but I think probably around the same kind of level as the ones you're talking about. I think Sue123 is right - get the basics in first, but then do spend that Autumn term doing practice papers. The ones schools put on their websites are really helpful, especially the consortium schools if you're applying to them, as it familiarises them with what they are going to do on the day. We did about one a week and I think it was the most helpful thing we did. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 10:25 pm
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Thank you all - this is very helpful. Daogroupie - I hadn't heard of the Sutton mocks, so thank you for that.

Sue123 - that sounds like a great plan and is making me wonder whether I really need to hire a tutor at all. Do you think, coming from a state primary, that dd would benefit from a professional tutor, or do you think I could just do it myself? You make it sound so simple!

Is your dd happy at Channing? It's the school I feel most drawn to at the moment. My dd is a slightly quirky, very bookish girl, highly imaginative (writes great poetry!) but not confident in large groups. I want her to be somewhere that will be supportive when she lacks social confidence, and will appreciate her intellectual strengths. Do you think it would be the right place? I worry a lot about whether she will be OK as a teenager, as she is not very socially fluent or sophisticated.


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:55 pm
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Location: London
Hi there, in answer to your two questions:

1. well, it depends a lot on how confident you yourself are in basic math, how well your daughter responds to you working with her (sometimes kids work better or even behave better with other people than with their parents. Not saying yours is like that and mine isn't but some kids are), how much time you have to do the basic work etc.
We did not hire a tutor but our daughter went to a prep with very small classes, where they prepare kids meticulously and so we figured that if she couldn't get into a school on that basis, she probably shouldn't be there anyway, if you know what I mean.
It may well be different coming from a state school - does your school prepare pupils for 11+ exams at all? Exam technique is really important and your school may or may not teach that.

2. Our daughter is very happy at Channing and we as parents are very happy with the school. It seems like a relatively academic school without quite the sort of pressure you hear about at some other schools. The teachers can be quite strict on things like handing homework in on time etc but here is no sense that they are not interested unless you get A*s in about a dozen subjects - though if you look at the exam tables they do get very good grades. The girls do need to work hard - but the school recognizes that they are all different.
I am very pleased with my daughter's group of friends, who are very nice and supportive to each and courteous to me. There are lots of different types as you would expect but there is definitely room for the quirky, the book-ish, the shy, the budding actresses and musicians, the movie addict, the fashion and make-up fans, the sporty and the future medics. Lots of girls with more than one nationality, too.
As I said in my previous post, do feel free to get in touch again whenever you like.


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 10:25 pm
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Thanks for replying, Sue123. Hm, I think perhaps we should pay for a tutor. Dd does work very well with me (I'm hoping no-one ever lets her know that home education is legal - she'd love it) but the school doesn't prepare for 11+ at all.


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