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 Post subject: To tutor or not to tutor
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:09 pm 
Just thought I would let you know my very brief experience of 11+ exams. DS sat for Westminster in November - very last minute and absolutely no tutoring including no interview coaching. Apparently he was one of the strongest candidates so it goes to show that if you have a very bright child (as many on here have) tutoring is not necessary. :D Of course tutoring does provide some piece of mind! :roll: On the back of this I am not going to tutor for CRGS so it will be interesting to see the outcome of this.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
We did virtually no preparation with Ed as he pretty much refused to do it. He also dragged his feet (physically and metaphorically) around every school we visited on open days. Despite this, he passed each independent school exam and got a grammar school place too.

On each test day, he pulled himself together and got on with what was required of him and I suppose his brightness carried him through.

My year 5 daughter is a different matter. She is focused and keen to do well. In fact, I have to hold her back - we haven't even begun any real preparation. Many of her friends visit a tutor and this has made me panic a bit as tutoring was not really mentioned in the playground 2 years ago. It seems that things have really changed this year. I may live to regret our choice this time round.



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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:25 pm 
I hope its as plain sailing for DD! Unfortunately DS2 sounds similar to Ed (stubborn :wink: ) but he also doesn't have as much ability as DS1 so its a killer combination - it will kill his mother trying to get him through the exams! :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:16 pm
Posts: 2113
Hi T.i.p.s.y,

I am not sure I agree, that your experience shows no prep is needed.

You children are at Indep primaries and I would expect standards to be higher than at SOME state schools.For example, as said elsewhere, the maths required for 11+ in Essex does not get covered by the start of year 6 in the Nat Curriculum. SOME state schools follow this without extension activities for the able.
DD2 is just now doing BODMAS and simple algebra in schools.I had to cover this ahead of time with her.DD1 loves maths and had naturally researched these things for herself on the internet.DD2 would rather read not do maths "for fun".
Also at no point did DD2 do any activities which would have been good prep for VR.Older sister loved logic puzzles and games. DD2 is bright but def needed some prep due to very average primary schooling and general inclination.She would rather sit and draw, play the piano or chat than do "extra " maths and in the very average primary she is in 11+ maths would be "extra".
I am sure your extremely bright son will have no problem with CRGS but I don't think his experience of education and academic strengths e.g very high mathematical/logical ability, make him an example that others should follow re no prep .It prob would have worked for DD1 but not for DD2 in our case as their strengths and temperament are very different.
But anyway....................
:lol: :D :lol: :) :lol: Congratulations to your son!,


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 10:27 pm 
Thanks CM, I'll pass on the congrats to DS. ;)

I do agree with some points as every child is different and they don't get more different than mine! :roll: But I think many kids would have passed without tutoring and I know Ed went to state school and he managed to. That said its always best to be on the safe side and I know I will feel different with DS2!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 6:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:16 pm
Posts: 2113
Morning,

I am alomost 99% positive that DD1 would have passed without
.However she had never sat any other kind of exam unless you count dancing! It would have been an almighty risk not to have even shown her a few papers, which is all we had time to do, as we had a sudden house move.She could have been the type to buckle under pressure and need exam techniques.
She too went to state school like DD2 and probably would have made it regardless.However , as said before, that is because she took HERSELF further in maths.Also many state schools do no real exam practice, ie long papers back to back, until year 6 SATS.
I think it is a rare child who could pass without prep.They have to be extremely bright, have a good mathematical coverage from whatever school they have been to and be natural at speed in VR.Here in Essex it is 80 questions in 50 minutes, with many code kinds in the real thing , which take longer.The English is KS3 standard comprehension .
I am not saying it is impossible but why risk it if you can access the papers.I am not talking 2 years and hours and hours :roll: I wouldn't expect a child to walk into any other school exam without any knowledge of what was coming.
Anyway , have a nice day - off to work now :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 8:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:28 am
Posts: 1123
Location: Bexley
Bexley resident calling!

Here in Bexley, we have our two main nonselectives in and out of special measures like a fiddler's elbow! As you can imagine there is high demand to secure a decent school place from either one of the grammars or one of the schools that has a banded entry system. Hence the tutoring.

Although it does happen, it is extremely rare to find any pupil admitted to a grammar in this borough who has not had some form of tutoring. I have not come across one. Yet I know numerous children who were comfortably in the 'top groups' and 'level 5s in yr 5' who have not made it.
Why is this? Many reasons. Lack of 11+ exam technique and speed, non-existent familiarisation, maths topics not covered, level 5 in subjects not tested on the 11+. Also competition from private schools who teach vr, nvr from year 3. Parental ignorance of the system and trusting the primaries to prepare their 'top group' children for the 11+ which they are not allowed to do.

Every year it's the same. At our school you can predict most of the results by the quality of the outside tuition. And as for successful appeals, forget it. The statistics say it all. Needless to say, certain tutors have waiting lists for years.

My elder daughter, who is a very intellident girl, nearly didn't make it. That shock opened my eyes to the system. I was determined not to make that mistake again so DD2 has been tutored. If she passes, great, if she doesn't, well at least she has been giving a level playing field and it was never meant to be.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:06 am 
I am not fully aware of how GS selection works but if only they had more information such as a school report and a short interview to discern the best candidates and not necessarily the best exam results. In reality this would prove time consuming given the number of applicants but if this were the case I think it may be a fairer system and give those who are not natural in exams or who have had little prep a second chance. Westminster interview everyone regardless of their test score, which I think is very fair. I was actually worried that DS may undo any good work in his interview rather than the other way around! :roll: I may not send him to Westminster but it is the top academic school (92% A at A'level) in the country with an average of 60% getting into Oxbridge and Ivy League so if DS doesn't get into GS then it shows the entry system is seriously flawed.

EDIT: Meant to add: Is it really tutoring giving DC a couple of papers to try a week or so before the test to show them what may be expected?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:18 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3813
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Tipsy

I would recommend a few papers. The maths won't be a problem for your DS. Problem solving skills similar to those required for the easy end of the junior maths challenge.

English is also would probably not be tough given the academic level of your son.

I would recommend 4 VR papers. I find most children improve their scores dramatically over their first couple of papers and then slowly add marks if necessary.

My son did 2 English, 2 maths and 3 VR papers. He was fine. My daughter would have panicked and suffered badly in the exam with such a small amount of prep.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:23 am 
Hi Moving,

I am really shocked that they expect children to have the knowledge that junior maths challenge requires - even the easier questions. The JMC is supposed to be aimed at the top 3rd of Year 8 pupils. If that is the level they expect then that is totally unfair. My son won't have a problem with the maths but what about every other child? :?


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