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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:34 pm 
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We are applying in November for the 11+ in North London/Barnet with only 2 possible schools in our catchment area. We all (dd included) prefer the catholic selective (St Michael's) with about a 1 in 3.3 chance, but with a very high standard over Latymer which is a distant 2nd. We visited Latymer on Open Day and more recently informally when a friend who teaches there showed us round during a working day.

DD is set on St Michael's RC Grammar as are we. It has a lovely atmosphere, fairly small, has high standards and her cousins went there. She is currently 5a in maths and 5c in english, which is her weakest subject. excelllent at NVR (touch wood!) and VG at VR.

Now comes the problem. At the moment she does about 3 hours of 11+ work during the week and 4-5 hours on her English with DP on Saturday afternoons.
I have recently debated how much is OK with DP, who actually wants her to study 5 hours a DAY(!) during the summer holidays with one day off each week. He attended a Christian Bretheren-run grammar (which became comprehensive during his time there) which he, and everyone I know attended HATED. A girl in dd's class who is also aiming at St Michael's father went to the same school, and he ended up as a teenager into all sorts of things (no comment about dp here) including playing chicken on railway lines as he was so unhappy. A teacher at the school hung himself, and our current headmistresses brother went there so she 'fully underesatnds how he feels'. Both fathers are fanatical about the work their daughters do, but whilst I appreciate that they had an awful experience, 30 hours revision a WEEK sounds insane to me. I was thinking more in terms an hour or two in the morning after breakfast over the holdays then nice trips to the park, museums etc.

Has anyone else experienced a (radicalised?) partner like this? Suggestions would be appreciated (please).


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:47 pm
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Location: Essex
I don't think the school experiences of either parent should have any bearing on the summer study schedule. Of course your DH wants your DD to avoid unhappy schooldays but that doesn't account for such an onerous study plan. All that is relevant is the amount of work required to get DD into the position of being able to pass the exam. From what you have written about her, this is very unlikely to be 30 hours of work a week. You run the risk of her burning out before the exam and the study plan being counter-productive.

He is being strict with the best of intentions but the point is he can't fix what went wrong in his youth through your DD. Good luck, I suspect you have become practised at walking on eggshells!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:50 pm 
I tutor for grammar school so cannot volunteer anything specific about the exams in your area. Most of my pupils in Birmingham, however, are not as high in their Sats as your daughter, but pass a University of Durham exam on a diet of 1 hour of tuition from me (for a year), 1 hour testing a week and up to two hours homework. In the summer I advise parents different things depending on different children, but, for the better ones, I suggest an hour or so a day, five days a week, for 4 weeks of the holidays, to be done first thing so the child can enjoy the rest of the day. I have no idea how hard your schools are to pass, however; ours take about the top 10%.

As to your husband's views being coloured by his experience, this is hugely common. Over half my parents are inclined to make decisions based on their own school days and I can be fairly blunt in pointing out that a) the world has moved on b) this is about your child not you and c) your child is not you.

Thus, I have ones who don't see the point of doing that much work as they gained a grammar school on a lot less... For these, you have to point out that the top 30% used to gain grammar school places in their youth, not the top 10% as it is now in our area. Or you have the ones who felt they under achieved and are determined this won't happen to their child so go overboard to compensate. Or you have people like me who enjoyed school, did well, have no agenda and have ended up with children with no drive whatsoever!

Again I stress I don't know your area but, if any child really needs that sort of excessive regime to guarantee a pass, I would tempted to say the child shouldn't be going to that school, full stop.

Anyway, I'd go for compromise. 2 hours a day for 4 days, 1 day at the weekend he's allowed to do his 4 hour stint, and 2 complete days off. I would also bung in a 2 week holiday in the middle where she does nothing at all unless it is sit in the sun and read an enjoyable book.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:51 am
Posts: 1161
oh its a hotly debated subject on here - how much tutoring is the correct amount?

As mentioned before most people think what ever they do is right! :lol:

I think we tend to do what we can for our kids and so much want the best for them that sometimes we cant see the woods for trees.

I do feel a compromise needs to be made - your dd is already at good levels and i would be concerned that she will be so sick of revision she will switch off or just come to resent school work. You want her going to secondary feeling motivated and happy not sick and tired of the whole process. Good luck - i feel you know what you want to do and just need to sit down and have a chat with your partner :?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
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Location: london
How awful. Your DD sounds like she is doing fantastically well. I think we all bring some baggage based on our own experiences and we HAVE to park it and look at things as they are now. I hate to be blunt 30 hours a week is beyond ridiculous. If that is really what it takes (and it isn't by the way, for an able child suited to the school) the DC are destined for misery. After several glasses of Friday wine I would say he needs to get over it. I feel so sorry for you being stuck in the middle, dammed if you do and dammed if you don't. But, I think you already have the right answer and just need to try and find a way of convincing DP, failing that, lie. Good luck. :o

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:16 pm 
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Thanks everyone:) I just had to air my disbelief at his insane idea! I'm having a chat with him over the weekend when dd is in bed so she can't hear it, but he can't really enforce it as he'll be at work during the day.

I managed to veto his other big ideas (keeping her home at least one day a week in term-time to work on the revision or home schooling her) which came from the fact that her teacher commented on well she was doing after missing an extra week of school whilst we were stuck in Spain due to the volcanic ash and spent a couple of hours a day on her work there. I'm used to dp's stubborn ideas (part of his charm and challenge) and he is normally very entertaining in an ageing 40+ post-punk gone respectible sort of way. As I speak he is at work happily casting a deer skull several times to make steel coat racks for the hall.

I've seen another side to him over the 11+ issue however, and it's made me wonder just how traumatic his school was which has caused his sister (a teacher) to comment on his attitude. Oh, well only another 5 months until the test....


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:33 pm
Posts: 866
OMG - I would move to the country without delay!
You might want to have a discussion with your husband about where you both see your poor child in 15 years time and perhaps work back from that?
Good luck anyway


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:32 am 
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And at some stage you need to talk to him about what happens if she doesn't pass. He needs to get hismself ready for that possibility.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Location: Herts
see if you can get yourself a slot at the sutton mocks eight slots in the next two weekends, we are doing next sunday pm for my y5 dd. The results will show your hubby where your dd is compared to two and a half thousand others so that should reassure him that she is on track. You are so much better off this way round than most of the hubbys round our way who dont bother at all and are happy to send all their children to the local comp no matter what potential they show. I am sure if you are able to show him some great results it will reassure him. Are you in the catchment area for DAO at all?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:41 pm
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Thanks, she's doing the Sutton mock next Saturday pm. We have largely ignored NVR and VR revision so will run through some 10-minute Bond tests during the week.

I've told him that I won't support taking her out of school until the week before the tests, though to be honest I don't know if that's a good idea. We still have 5 months as they are at the end of November. She is responding to the extra English work to the extent her teacher called it a 'sea change'. I know that her class is very mixed ability (5 with statements) and her teacher is dedicated, fairly experience and tries her best, with 30 to deal her main concern is getting them ready for KS2 by working with the ones who are struggling.

We managed a trip to the cinema and lunch at the city farm near us this weekend so DD has had some fun - especially holding a 6-week old hen:)


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