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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:08 pm 
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Hi, I would like my son to sit the 11+ but am not entirely sure if he is on track (in terms of his ability). His levels were:-

Reading : 5c
Maths : 4b
English : 4b

Had a meeting with his teacher yesterday who thinks he would be best suited to the local grammar school as he is a quiet child who thrives on learning but not when he is surrounded by children who are not! He has not put in much effort this year as my son worries about appearing geeky (he's 9 so friendships are more important than achieving). He is top in his class (mixed Year 4 and 5) and no-one close enough to compete against. I am hoping that when he starts Year 5 in September this may change as he will be with Year 5 and Year 6 children but again will be in the top ability groups within the class. He will stay in this class for 2 years before starting at secondary school.

His teacher said that his Maths and English levels could, arguably, have been 4a but my son isn't always consistent so although he is working at a level 4a they may not have enough evidence to support that level which is why they gave 4b.

As you sit the 11+ at the beginning of Year 6, what level would be an ideal level to end Year 5 with that would demonstrate a good change of success in the 11+? My son is very unlikely to have much tutoring (if any) for the 11+ as I am on benefits (care for my disabled husband).

His school will not provide any assistance with the 11+ and he doesn't have any extra help at school (my son gets Free School Meals but the Pupil Premiums are used to assist the less able). He is on the school's Gifted & Talented Register but, again, this doesn't bring him any additional learning experiences/opportunities.

Thanks in advance. I did try to ask his school but was told they don't involve themselves in matters connected to the 11+.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:03 pm 
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Which 11+ region are you in?

You need to query why the Pupil premium funding is not used for your child. The school MUST use the money for the children it is allocated for; Ofsted will check on this!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:49 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
Which 11+ region are you in?

You need to query why the Pupil premium funding is not used for your child. The school MUST use the money for the children it is allocated for; Ofsted will check on this!


I'm in Devon so would be aiming for Colyton Grammar.

I did query why my son wasn't seemingly getting to benefit from the Pupil Premium and was told that they use it mainly to booster those that are experiencing difficulties in learning. When I queried this further I was told that my son had done some drumming sessions but they stopped suddenly after having just 2! Unfortunately, the drumming was not what my son has an interest in and so I hadn't signed the permission slip (he was taken out of the usual lesson) but he was included anyway. Other children on free school meals did the drumming too but, as I have said, it stopped before it was supposed to and his teacher didn't know why.

Sadly, my son feels like the geek of the class and has admitted to me and his teachers that he is "dumbing himself down" in order to try and fit in.

I have been told that they may try and put him in a programme attached to the local secondary school but as he would be the only one from his school I fear it may alienate him further.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:38 am 
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Look like good levels to me for end year 4. Try the Devon section. I would never not have a go because of sat results either. Give it a go. School can't help you prepare. It is not allowed. Find out what the test is and how you can prepare. It does not have to cost a lot.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:32 am 
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They look very good to me too....better then my older boys at that stage and they both passed. How does your son feel about the 11 plus work if he feels he has to hide his brains to fit in? I found the hardest part was managing your expectations, your child's and that of others who seem to take a huge interest once you mention trying for a grammar.

My DD is going into year 5 so for me, the cycle starts all over again. I didn't use a tutor with my boys and I won't for my DD. I figured I had the brains at least of a ten year old so would be okay! You just need a spare week or two to trawl through the info on here, buy the right sort of books / papers and then work out a plan / routine. There are lots of us, so you will have great support and advice. Good luck :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:48 am 
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Thank you for the replies.

My son's teacher informed me that we shouldn't do practise papers etc. as a child shouldn't be going to Colyton if they have to do that in order to pass the 11+. I believe that my son has the potential without any specific tutoring but find the comment quite laughable when the school, for months, focuses solely on preparing for SATs! If that were the best way then surely their SATs result should be based on the child's test result when they haven't revised to within an inch of their life!

My son is not overly keen on the 11+ and, perhaps, I am being overly pushy. However, none of his year group have the potential to sit the 11+ and it would be a shame to miss out on the chance to get him in to a school that appears to be most suited to him. I am fairly certain that he would be a target for bullies at the local school. My son is really only interested in the here and now so thinking about his future past primary school is of no real consequence to him right now! I just want to guide him in a direction that I feel suits his potential and personality and to attend a school he will not regret attending once he reaches adulthood. He has options so I would like him to consider them all - although ultimately it will be a joint decision.

He doesn't want anyone to know that he'll be sitting the 11+ as he believes it will just confirm people's geeky opinions of him.  I am going to print off some 11+ papers for him to try at home (going to start in September) but will allow him to do as many as he feels happy to do. I am going to offer a cash incentive for each paper (say £2 per practise paper). The more he does the more he earns but he has control over how much he does/earns. I will keep his weekends free from school work (as I have always done) and 11+ preparations so he can concentrate on being with his friends and choosing what he would like to do. I hope to try and tag on a practise paper after homework so he'll mentally be in school mode! I am hoping that this way I get a bit of what I want for him without forcing the issue. We'll have a year so I hope to take it slowly.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:12 am 
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My second son was a bit of a nightmare when it came to the prep, but I could see how well suited his older brother was at his grammar and you just go with the ups and downs. It's hard because they're having to do all this extra work , that their friends aren't. They do understand in the end though. They definitely need the practice....the 11 plus isn't what they learn in the classroom and it would be unfair to put them at an unfair disadvantage. That is one thing people often say...If you need to tutor them they must be too dim to pass and won't cope at grammar. Just ignore that!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:56 am 
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Yep, ignore the teacher and carry on. Find out the best way of preparing though; if your son is not keen you want to make sure that any extra you do give him is most relevant to the Colyton test. Do your research first. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:04 pm 
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Location: Herts
Ignore the teacher, there are only a certain amount of places and they will be taken by those who do the most preparation. What is the format of your exam? DG


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:31 pm 
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Daogroupie wrote:
Ignore the teacher, there are only a certain amount of places and they will be taken by those who do the most preparation. What is the format of your exam? DG


Verbal Reasoning, Maths & English.

There are changes happening within my son's school as they are entering into a Partnership with another school for 1 year. Will have their Head Teacher part-time (our usual Acting Head for the remainder as current Head has been signed off sick for the past six months). This, coupled with changes to the National Curriculum and the 11+ makes this coming academic year one full of unknowns! Luckily my second son is not quite 2 so I shall have time to recover before doing it all over again (he appears to be learning faster than my 9 year old did)!


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