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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:43 am
Posts: 11
Hi Everyone,

This is my first post after reading avidly for a couple of months, what a brilliant site !!!

I'm thinking ahead here, which reading on this site it seems you need to be on top of things !

My son was given some standardised scores at the end of Y3 for English (VR) 124 and Maths 140. I realise that these are pretty good scores, but at that age would he sustain them enough to steer him towards 11+, is this a good indication at that stage that he may be GS material ?

Any advice and guidance given would be great

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:29 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Berkshire
Hi Dilemma,

Welcome to the site :D

The scores look good, but I wouldn't rest on my laurels. A number of things could steer your child off course. Poor relationship with teachers, peer pressure, friendships going wrong etc. or none of the above and all will be on course.

I would invest a bit of time in your child, at this age just some general stuff like accurately knowing tables, spellings, also widening his vocab. All will help in the future.

:D

BW


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:41 pm
Posts: 686
Location: South Wilts
Hi Dilemma
In addition to what Bewildered said, I would be careful about the expectations you have for your son. Children develop at different rates and it's all too easy to pigeon-hole your child and unwittingly pile on the pressure. He might continue to make progress or you may find his rate of progress levels off as the work he encounters in Key Stage 2 becomes more complex.
Look at the different schools in your area well before the usual Year 6 tours and take any playground gossip with a bucket of salt. The most important thing is finding the best school for your chid, not the one with the best OFSTED report or the highest exam scores.
That said, his scores look fab!
Well done and Good luck!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:43 am
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Hi Bewildered and Sycamore,

Thanks for your replies and advice, its much appreciated

I was given the figures, told they were good and didn't really know where to go from there. We've been doing some light work like Bond papers and mental maths, to keep him ticking over, he seems to be fine with doing that.

I must admit i've picked up a fair few tips on vocabulary building on this site so will start doing a bit of that as you've advised but will do it via games so he won't feel its 'school work'

Having said that he's a really happy lad who loves school and has really started to show a keen interest in his work so from what you've said I think i'll just try and keep that momentum going and try and overcome any issues along the way.

Great advice about visiting schools, I wouldn't have thought about visiting them before Y6 but will definitely do that to try and get a feel for what's on offer. Its very easy to go by the school gate opinion isn't it !?!
Would you take the child to see what they like or just do a quick tour on your own ?

Thanks again, really appreciate your help


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:41 pm
Posts: 686
Location: South Wilts
Hi Dilemma
I would take your son with you to have a look, preferably at the beginning of Year 5 when you'd begin to think about focusing on 11+prep. Make sure you check out all the options, including the local comp and even independants. I found this really motivated my daughter, especially when she saw the school she will go to if she doesn't pass :( . If your son is sporty or artistic the 'grown-up' facilities can be a real incentive and speaking to the pupils can give you a good feel for the place.
Please don't be tempted to start tutoring too early, especially if you are planning to do it yourself, though it seems you're keeping things relaxed.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:55 pm
Posts: 851
Location: Bexley
I'd urge caution about showing a child which school they could go to if they "pass" the 11+ and which school they could go to if they "fail". Many children really feel the pressure of the 11+ and to have it driven home to them what is at stake when they sit it can make them feel even more under pressure. I managed to get my eldest to within 2 weeks of the 11+ without him realising that his results would decide which school he would go to (but then his teacher then told the class exactly what the tests were about). Until then he thought it was just another form of SATS testing (we didn't lie to him, just were deliberately vague and when we looked at schools we didn't discuss whether they were selective or not).

We've had children at my sons' primary in tears and throwing up on test day, so please think twice before you start emphasising to your child how much is riding on the 11+ tests.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
Bexley Mum 2 wrote:
I'd urge caution about showing a child which school they could go to if they "pass" the 11+ and which school they could go to if they "fail". Many children really feel the pressure of the 11+ and to have it driven home to them what is at stake when they sit it can make them feel even more under pressure....

We've had children at my sons' primary in tears and throwing up on test day, so please think twice before you start emphasising to your child how much is riding on the 11+ tests.


I second all that. If you have a good secondary / comprehensive near you, try and sell both schools to your child. Our catchment school is not much farther away than the grammar, and DD would be happy going to either. Hence much of the pressure was off her during the test. Meanwhile, the friend she shared tutoring with was petrified of going to her local comp (which does have a good reputation), and quite stressy about the test.

I didn't see any children throwing up on Saturday, but did see a few in tears, and some very scared looking faces after the exam.

I forgot to mention a useful tactic to my DD: In the second paper, about 10 mins in, pretend to have a major crisis / breakdown / wobbler. Do it very loudly and put off all the other people in the room. Then carry on with the questions, secure in the knowledge that the other 29 children will be unsettled and hopefully miss a few answers. I did tell her afterwards, and she thought it would have been quite a good idea. Devious....

_________________
Capers


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:41 pm
Posts: 686
Location: South Wilts
Hi Bexley Mum 2
We never use the word 'fail' when we're talking about the 11+! We've always been honest with our daughter and she has been at the centre of all the decisions we have made as a family. We'd never consider misleading our daughter about anything!

GS isn't a prize or a reward for hard work. The 11+ is purely a test, albeit a pretty flawed one, that assesses whether a child is suitable for that type of education. That's why parents need to decide which school would suit their child before they decide whether to embark on the whole process.

Our daughter knows that if she doesn't pass it's not the end of the world. We have a good comp nearby where most of her friends are going. We might appeal, but probably not. If her scores aren't high enough she's obviously not cut out for the pressure cooker that is GS life. I went to GS and hated it and my daughter knows that.

She's quite pragmatic and knows she might struggle at a GS with other bright kids. On the other hand, she would probably have better opportunities and more time for Art and Drama at the comp.

As for children being sick with nerves, shame on their parents! I certainly didn't intend my comment to read as a recommendation to use school visits to put pressure on children, look at how good this school is, look at how bad this school is! I just found that my daughter fell in love with GS. I know other parents who have paid through the nose for a tutor without their child visiting the GS, only to hate it on the school tour and declare they want to go to the comp with their friends!

Apologies, Sycamore.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:43 am
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I must admit we're in a very fortunate position to be in the catchment for some good schools, Selective and Non-Selective, so the pressure is off in that respect, I appreciate that this is not the case for everyone.

My main objective would be to realise the possible potential in my son so he gets the opportunity to choose from a wider range of schools.

That said, of course I would love him to go to GS if he were of the ability.

I'll certainly be visiting some schools next year as suggested to see exactly what they are like, I will take him with us to see what he thinks, without mentioning whether they are selective or not.

Thanks everyone for all your comments, much appreciated


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:55 pm
Posts: 851
Location: Bexley
Sycamore - I'm sure you wouldn't pressurise your daughter to get to a particular school. I was just worried that people might interpret your post as meaning that good schools should be held up as a carrot to encourage children to work hard for their 11+.

Even if parents don't have a good non-selective near them, I think they should try, in front of their children, to be positive about all the schools they look at - selective and non-selective. There are no guarantees as to which school a child may end up at, and it would be nice if they didn't start off at a non-selective thinking that they were at a poor school. Though of course, as I found out last year, it's not always easy to find good things to say about a failing school, which was our non-selective alternative!


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