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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:22 pm
Posts: 526
Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
Hi everyone

Congratulations to all of you who have a DC who has passed and are now beyond the 11plus. Must be a huge relief :D

Please could I call on your experience to give us tips for our DS who is currently about to take his SATs in year 2 (he's just turned 7).

I wanted to know if we were on track for the 11plus as for his SATs he is predicted to achieve a level 2a or 2b (which we are pleased with), but not quite a level 3 for his maths and English.

In addition to his school day (he is in a good state primary in a Kent village) he also does kumon maths and then reads for about 15 minutes each evening.

Our question is, is this enough additional work at this stage to be on track..., or should we be thinking of doing other things together with him..?

We don't want to be pushy parents at this stage (we also want him to have a great childhood) although we recognise you only get one shot at the 11plus and we wanted to make sure we were long-term prepared :)

Any feedback appreciated!

Cheers
Villagedad


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:31 pm
Posts: 1192
Villagedad wrote:
is this enough additional work at this stage to be on track..., or should we be thinking of doing other things together with him..?


We did absolutely zero outside school before Yr 5 and were fortunate to get the right result.

The 11+ has a very small syllabus (except perhaps Vocab) which I think is one of its strengths... i.e. having huge amounts of tutoring doesn't necessarily offset natural ability.

You will need to get familar with the question types but... don't overdo it... we slightly peaked too soon... starting in Jan of the year of the tests.

Only my 2p

Regards
SVE

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:37 pm 
I just wanted to add that sometimes parents feel we are taking away a child's childhood if we spend time with them on tutoring and exams. In the scheme of things it is a small amount of time taken out of their week and they are not losing their childhood. Of course for those that do 2 hours every night for 2 years I would say that you are taking away a childs childhood.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:41 pm
Posts: 686
Location: South Wilts
T.i.p.s.y wrote:
Of course for those that do 2 hours every night for 2 years I would say that you are taking away a childs childhood.


And a parent's sanity! :lol:

Are there really people who do that? :shock:


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:57 pm 
sycamore wrote:
T.i.p.s.y wrote:
Are there really people who do that? :shock:


Oh yes, there are AND they are still doing it once kid gets place at selective indie/GS! :x


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:22 pm
Posts: 526
Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
T.i.p.s.y wrote:
I just wanted to add that sometimes parents feel we are taking away a child's childhood if we spend time with them on tutoring and exams. In the scheme of things it is a small amount of time taken out of their week and they are not losing their childhood.

Thanks Tipsy

Kumon takes 10 mins per day and the reading 15, so about 25mins in total each day, but that's without anything else..

We do other things ad-hoc like scrabble and chess - maybe once a week or so. Maybe that's enough for his age (7) at this stage...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:19 pm 
Talking and reading to children is the most important thing whether that be whilst playing board games or at the kitchen table. I have a National Trust card and its great to go on trips and look at the houses or follow the garden trails which helps teach them about history and culture without realising it!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:27 am
Posts: 645
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi VillageDad

For you to make a comparison (because I think age makes a huge difference to such young children) - DS1 got 2a's and a 3 for reading at KS1 and passed his 11+ (July birthday). DS2 got all 3's at KS1 but won't do his 11+ for a couple of years - I don't think he is any "brighter" than his older brother but his birthday is in February, so in addition to being 5 months older at the time of the KS1 tests he had been at school for longer. 11+ tests are age standardized to get rid of this discrepancy. Neither of them do any school type extras, just the usual spellings, times tables and reading set by school which leaves them plenty of time to be children. I agree with SVE - I would not even consider familiarization until year 5 at the earliest.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:00 pm
Posts: 558
Location: Wales
Hi VillageDad

Living in Wales, where there is no 11+ and no grammar schools, it has really struck me just how much pressure there is on children and parents to achieve this level or that by this age or that so that the ultimate achievement of 11+ and a good grammar place can be obtained. In some areas it's really frightening and I imagine this website is invaluable to so many people.

For contrast, here is my experience from an environment where there is no pressure at all at primary school, however, teacher assessed levels are given out as some indication of progress / achievement.

DS started full time school aged 3 (in the term rising 4) at a very small village state school (less than 30 pupils in the whole school!!). He was considered bright, particularly at maths and when in reception class (age 4/5) he was allowed to take maths with year 1 & 2. At the end of year 1 he took the SATS paper that year 2 pupils would have taken and scored a level 3 - although the teacher had to read out the questions to him as his reading ability was not up to it LOL

SATS were abolished after this in primaries so he never took an official SATS test.

When he was in year 2 we were told that his reading was quite below average for his age. We said to him "look, you really have to try hard at reading". No extra time reading at home (on top of what we already did) - no panic. Six months later the teacher announces that his reading age is +10 months but his writing and spelling are appalling. So, we said to him "really well done with your reading but now it's time to work very hard on writing and spelling" Again, no extras at home - no panic. Six months later the teacher announces that his writing is unbelievably improved.

Year 3 we moved him to a larger primary school (230 pupils) due to his old school closing.

Fast forward to year 4 and once again there were concerns about his reading. Reading age was assessed as being almost a whole year below. By the end of year 5 it had improved to +14 months.

Now in year 6, he has passed entrance exams for independent schools and been offered academic scholarships. We did not home tutor in any way beyond a couple of example papers and very last minute NVR familiarisation. His scores for english were far higher than for maths, which were average. His SATS teacher assessments are all 5as.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that children develop different abilities and show different strengths at different times in their lives and stressing about what level they are on at what age then comparing this to other children around you is not good for the blood pressure! With our son, he was marked out age 5 as being 'gifted' in maths and the teachers couldn't stop expressing their amazement, age 9 and he was put into remedial reading class, age 11 and he is obtaining scholarships, pretty solid in maths but certainly no maths genius and scoring very highly in english with a talent for creative writing. Who would have predicted that? And this may well change again during senior school!

What we have done is:
- always have family meals together where we talk about all sorts of things and encourage / value DSs contributions
- always try and answer DSs questions about anything
- restrict TV, computer games etc to a reasonable amount
- watch educational programmes / documentaries together and talk about them afterwards
- be honest about where DS needs to try harder - but one thing at a time.
- ensure plenty of fresh air, exercise and good sleep


:D


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11940
Now that level 3 is teacher assessed there are fewer children with level 3 when it was done by exam ...

I would give up the Kumon and play some of the games in the maths thread instead!! [I'm a Maths teacher and do not rate Kumon at all]


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