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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:06 pm 
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I am coming increasingly to the conclusion that parents get caught up in the tutoring bandwagon, and end up spending huge amounts of money (£42an hour in one case) when it is not really necessary, and their child would have achieved the same result without the intensive work. Parents feel that the only way to do the best for their children is to have them tutored and it is practically impossible to resist the tide.


The 11+ is supposed to be a test of innate ability, not a teat of what has been learned from a year of twice weekly tutoring sessions.


Discuss.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:12 pm 
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I don't think tutoring SHOULD be necessary.

My gut feeling - and I apologise in advance to all those I'm going to annoy by this - is that if you think your child needs tutoring, then perhaps you should reconsider whether they should be going for a grammar place.

I can see some arguments for it, I suppose - if the parent has absolutely n idea how to go about VR or NVR type tests, or that if the child is borderline it might make a difference - but on the whole, no, I don't think it's necessary.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:30 pm 
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In theory, I agree, but unfortunately the amount of tutoring out there risks destroying a level playing field. If no children were tutored, innate ability would rise to the top. This was the case when I took the Bucks 11+ almost 40 years ago (gulp!), when the only preparation available was a little book from WHSmith which I loved working through independently - no one in my class was tutored and my parents hadn't a clue about supporting me. Nowadays, the opposite is true - very few children are not tutored; many parents are really clued up.

Of course, the extent of tutoring varies extensively - I home tutored both my sons and both were borderline passes. The youngest is really flying in Y7 of his grammar school, outperforming many who achieved far higher 11+ scores (perhaps they were amongst the ones paying £42 plus per hour?!).

The only solution (impossible, of course), would be for a totally different selection exam each and every year, so that tutoring was impossible!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:32 pm 
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Location: Gloucester
No I don't think it is necessary-if there were a level playing field! However as you can never "ban" tutoring,paid for or home tutoring,then that playing field is never going to be level,and parents will strive not to put their children at a disadvantage before they get into the test room!

Just my opinion :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:42 pm 
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Location: On another planet called Gloucester!
I was really shocked when I found this website as I had no idea that children were tutored for the 11+, with hindsight I was really naive but I assumed parents just got the practice papers as mentioned in the admissions letters from the grammar schools and that was that! Clearly it is far more extensive than that and then I discovered his friend had been going to a tutor once a week for several months! I began to feel that I had let down my DS and he would be at a disadvantage since he took the test with no tutoring but just doing the 4 practice papers supplied in the pack! Thankfully he passed and received a place but I really thought he wasn't going to and if I could turn back time I would certainly have helped him further by at least giving him some tutoring myself just to give him a fair chance against the ones who had been tutored.

All I can say about this is if you have a bright child and they are in a state school then if you really want to guarantee a place at GS it would be wise to do some sort of tutoring.

However, the fact my DS wasn't tutored (just familiarised himself with the questions by practice) and did pass does show it can be done but my nerves took a real battering from November until allocation day!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:17 pm 
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I suppose it depends on your definition of tutoring.

I thought my dd was probably bright enough to pass the 11+, but wanted her to be as prepared as possible. She attended a tutor group for one hour a week from the September until the week before the 11+ (Nov in Bexley).

As it is she passed with a good mark, how much difference the tutoring made, we will never know, but I know it increased her confidence as she went into each paper with an idea of what to expect. She is in Yr 7 of a grammar now and certainly holding her own.


I have another dd (only 5 at the moment),but should I consider her bright enough to attend a grammar (should they still exist when the time comes!!) I wouldn't hesitate to do the same for her.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:57 pm 
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I'm sure I read somewhere that the law of diminishing returns applies to tutoring - 4 hours is the optimum time for getting children familiarized with the papers and the the "tricks of the trade" and any time spent in formal coaching after that achieves nothing.


But tutoring has become so much the norm that it would be a brave parent who chose not to go down that route. Good business fore the tutors!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:09 pm 
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NFER themselves say about 30 hours is the 'right' balance and that this can increase performance - clearly this is more than the 'familiarisation' suggested by many LAs.

I do think that much more than 30 hours is probably not going to benefit the child - and they may get bored or turned off.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:22 am 
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I disagree with tutoring and I think a standardised IQ test should be brought in and given to every child at every school within the catchment area, and then it is up to the parents to either accept or decline a grammar school place on the basis of this test. There are a number of parents who do not have the confidence to put their kids forward for such exams and these bright kids are going under the radar. No doubt many will disagree with me, but I do think that if you've sent your kid to private school (London excluded) and can still afford to send them (and I mean afford, not struggle to afford) then I think these grammar school places should not be taken up with heavily coached kids from prep schools.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:28 am 
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Location: Bexley
Yes, Katel, I am tutoring my daughter and, as you mentioned on another thread, filling gaps in the school teaching.

We trusted the system for our first daughter and were very naive. We did not know the ropes or had any advice given to us from anyone. It nearly backfired.

Funnily enough Daughter 2 is not being tutored for the 11+ but to correct the sloppy standards of the school that she is in. Being in year 4 I feel that it may do more damage in moving her and we might we jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. So, she goes to an educational centre for English and Maths every week. I supplement this at home too.

Since we have embarked on this extra work (September), my daughter has gone up 3 sub levels - hoping for a 4th by the end of the summer term. The frustrated little girl I had who was lacking in confidence has almost disappeared. Only time will tell if she is grammar material but my instincts tell me she has it in her. And yes I will carry on tutoring as I don't trust the school to deliver the required cirriculum never mind a level playing field.


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