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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:44 pm
Posts: 32
Preparing for Reading Boys this year. My boy is currently using Bond Books 4 in VR/NVR. English and Maths he is on Books 4 in 10 min tests and working through books 3 in long tests in English and Maths. Still six months to go but feeling unduly panicked by other parents whose boys apparently on books 5 in all subjects - help! Should I be speeding up more in getting through these books or ignore all other claims! Any help much appreciated.....


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 7:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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Hi Woody and welcome to the forum!

Oh dear ... the dreaded PFOP (pressure from other parents....). Basically best to use the sticking your fingers in your ears and going la la la, because the pressure and comments are not going to go away and you either avoid them (don't do the school run or discuss the exams etc) or ignore them.
Remember "other parents" will be always telling you that their child is on book whatever or doing level whatever in sport, or is the top x% for the same reasons - sometimes it is to deal with their own insecurities over life etc


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 8:09 am 
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Remember the tortoise and the hare story - the slower tortoise won! Its no good peaking early - as long as your DC has reached the required standard by the test date, then I shouldn't worry.


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 8:52 am 
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Don't worry Woody , my son was working on the level 4 books too at this stage and I was convinced he had suddenly turned into a genius as he was doing really well....then after looking at the back of the book I realised that there were higher levels to still work through and I panicked too ! I just started him on the fifth books and he didn't really find them much harder anyway ...actually looking back I think I might have had the fifth book revelation only about 2 months before ! Your first is such a guinea pig ! :oops: :lol:

Re other parents... I think it's best not to discuss much...I played down my son's abilities because you don't know if they're going to pass at that stage and of course had all the comments about him struggling at Grammar if he passes....he then not only passed but with a really high score so I was probably annoyingly smug for a while !


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 10:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:56 pm
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Hi,

Having gone through this last year, and my son narrowly missing out on a place at Reading boys, on reflection I think we perhaps tried too hard and did too much. He has since told me that he felt very nervous on the day and felt he did better in the later independent school exam for which we'd only done a handful of refresher papers. So my advice would not be to feel pressurised by what others say, no-one really knows how their child will do on the day and I suspect if all the children sat the same process 3 times over there would be a fair bit of variation in who got a place each time because the final marks are very tightly clustered. So also prepare for the fact that it is a bit of a lottery of what happens on the day.

In terms of standards, I think it is more about feeling comfortable and secure in the KS2 content and in how to deal with questions that you can't manage when under pressure rather than doing higher levels (and a generally useful skill to learn for secondary school too!). If you try to get your son to do higher levels it may well have a negative effect because it can damage his confidence. The English was reportedly hard, I suspect at the level of the Bond 11+ papers which we found to be much harder than the NFER or GL papers. For maths, there was one algebra question so worth teaching your son how to approach algebra rather than specific techniques, but otherwise probably 11+ standard (we did Bond/NFER/GL papers). Most importantly none of the three exams were time pressured- all 50 questions - and NVR/VR was mixed with a high weighting on logic type questions (so called Z questions).

Good luck with the whole process and don't forget to enjoy the summer sunshine in between!


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:16 pm
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Smile and nod. :) Don't offer them any information on your son. My favourite line is 'Good for them' (to be said in a positive manner) then walk away, still smiling. :) I often find they get bored with your lack of a reaction. Try to take it all with a huge bucket of salt. I totally agree with an earlier post, usually when someone boasts it seems to come from some sort of insecurity.

Good luck with your son. Better for him to take his time and work through the books thoroughly and proficiently, than rush through them too quickly in which case the exercises become ineffective. You have plenty of time. You don't want him to peak too early!


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:44 pm
Posts: 32
thanks so much for INCREDIBLY helpful comments which calmed me down immensely....help and advice is much appreciated.


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