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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:07 pm
Posts: 1149
Location: Finchley - Barnet
Where to start?

When my son was in year 2 he achieved 2b's in all his SATS bar a 2a in Maths. Until the beginning of year 5 we were consistently told that he is clearly a below average pupil. We were told that he had language problems (he is bilingual), may need language therapy etc. I ignored everything. What I could see at home is a child which clearly has an above average ability in maths.

In January 2006 we started English with a tutor 1.5 hours once per week. In early April of the same year I saw his school teacher which painted to me all of sudden a spectacular picture of a kid who is clearly already level 5 in Maths, writes spectacular stories in English, achieves a clear above average performance in comprehension and has a spelling age of 13.4 (my son was 9.6 at the time).

He took the Latymer first round tests in October 2006. He did not manage to finish all of his NVR as he run of time and hence missed a substantial number of questions in the last two sections. He of course failed but only marginally which meant that everything he managed to answer, he answered right. I never told him the results, just told him we pulled out of the race because of the distance (partially true). The kid looked visibly scared both when he went in (first time taking an exam, away from his school and apart form his parents; he was only 10 and 2 months). He came out looking even more shaken, clearly scared and upset and very relieved to be back with his parents. I started to worry that he would fail all his exams if he was going to be that scared.

20 days later he took an exam in an independent scholl and passed it with flying colours achieving a top performance both in story writng and in Maths. He came out smiling and confident, just as he had went in, smiling and chatting away to the other children.

In early December he took the first round of QE and he went in confident and in good spirits. He came out in the same mood, but unsure whether had passed or not. His comments was "that the tests were difficut but in an easy way difficult" (!!?? :shock: ) and that "I did run of of time and guessed the last two questions in NVR, just as you told me mummy!" :oops:

We went to Greece for the Christmas break and my brother back at home opened the envelope and phoned us that my son had passed the first round of QE.

As soon as we returned from Greece he had to take 3 exams in the space of 8 days (one was QE's second round). He was called for interviews in both of the independent schools. In all exams he went as if he was going somewhere for fun, and came out happy and confident. I realised that he had stopped being scared a long time ago, and rather than taking the exams as a threat, he faced them as a challenge to be tackled and hence fun. Two weeks after all the exams had finished he told me that he missed taking exams as was stone-bored at school.

He went for the interviews for the two IDs and unfortunately he was rejected in one, and placed int the wating list for the other. I had to pick the offer from the other ID school at which he had taken the exam earlier. I was shell- shocked as I had the firm impression that everything went fine in the interviews.

7 days later, I found out that my son had passed the QE exams. When I told him, he hardly seemed impressed and still wonders what this fuss is all about. The next day (a Saturday) we had a a parents consulation at his Greek School ( five hours/ week) and I was told flatly that his reading, writing and speaking are all of a GCSE standard and if he was not that very young (he is 10 and a half), taking the exam would have been a thought to seriously consider! I was left gapping at his teacher!

Yesterday we went to see his day school teacher. There was nothing really to discuss. She predicted a level 5 in all subjects and told us that it has been a year now since my kid has been working on level 6 Maths, and continues to write breathtaking stories in his English.

What changed him? To some extnent definetely the help of our excelllent English tutor and my help in Maths. But to another big extent a very simple thing: he grew up and his mind developed. He is a very different kid from the one that he was 6 months ago, and I expect him to be a very different kid when he starts at QE 6 months ahead.

Never give up on your child! They grow up and develop like flowers. At their age 6 months is a lifetime in terms of development, and what a pleasure they are to watch grow up!
Just two -three words advice:
a) Never-ever tell them of their failures, only of their successes. This is not the age for them to reason and think that trying is more important than succeeding. They just do not think like that! Do not worry: they will not become comlplacent. This only happens to adults!
b) make them take as many exams as possible. At the end they will at the very least begin to face exams with apathy, and some will even start to enjoy them.
c) What is this silliness about you or your child opening the envelope? This is not their personal correspondence, and at the end of the day you are their parent and they are your kids! You open the blessed envelope and please-please do remember what I told you in (a).

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sj355


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:49 am
Posts: 145
it was nice to read that................
will definitely remember and try to follow your advices,
thanks,

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mum


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:36 am
Posts: 141
Thank you sj355 - that was a lovely post to read.
I have been following what you say, since you joined this Forum and have enjoyed your posts;finding them entertaining.
I wish your son the very best of luck at QE - I know he will do very well indeed.
USA


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:29 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Berkshire
Totally agree. When parents show confidence in their child and support them at home, they will be able to climb mountains!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

To both you and your son on passing the QE.

:)

BW


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:40 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Birmingham
How inspiring! I to have been "quietly" following your posts and am thrilled for both yourself and your son, you must be soo proud!

I totally agree that it's easy to write kids off in early years, especially where sats are concerned, so much focus is given to this. Even more so when your child is not a "shining star" within classroom or are not as articulate as others.

My year 5 daughter will be going through 11+ process this year, she to, gained sats levels ranging from 2c to 2a (in her then high performing school, anything less than 3 wasn't looked at twice, at least where other parents were concerned).

We moved around quite a bit and she is now settled in her current primary where she has been since year 3. We only realised the extent of her trauma retrospectively and consequently was very quiet and withdrawn in class, and in her current school was initially in lower sets.

She is now a differrent person, (although still relatively quiet and certainly not a shining star in her class), managed to acheive levels 4s at end of year 4 + poor lass, in the throes of prep for 11+!!! She may or may not pass, but to be honest, just to achieve all that she has made me proud.

As you have demonstrated, showing faith and confidence in your child, particularly when others don't, can reap tremendous rewards.

Enjoy the moment!!!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:07 pm
Posts: 1149
Location: Finchley - Barnet
[
Quote:

She is now a differrent person, (although still relatively quiet and certainly not a shining star in her class), managed to acheive levels 4s at end of year 4 + poor lass, in the throes of prep for 11+!!! She may or may not pass, but to be honest, just to achieve all that she has made me proud.


This sounds EXACTLY like my son, in fact I do think that my son was at level 4 in year 4. Write to me in another 6 months, she will have launched like a rocket! And remember point (a) please, only the good news for her...


Good luck

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:37 pm 
THank you sj355 for sharing your experience and congratulations to your son for his achievement.

Quote:
Never-ever tell them of their failures, only of their successes.


I feel it's generally counterproductive to hide 'failures' from a child. If he/dshe does not achieve a goal, it is better to deal with the disappointment .Using the term "failed" will of course be inappropiate.It could be explained what was required to make the grade and the efforts in the activity/exam/poject/test/assignment/skill/sport etc should be commended and acknowledged.

After all, we are always learning,even as adults and the child will be to buffetted if parents try to prevent them from facing reality.

It does not have to be brutal truth but a certain degree in honesty is needed,no matter what age the child is, to prepare them for the realities in life.

Not every is a superstar. I find it helps the child to be confident when they know they have strived hard and can do it the next time even if they fell once or twice before.

Just my thoughts.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:55 pm 
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Not every is a superstar. I find it helps the child to be confident when they know they have strived hard and can do it the next time even if they fell once or twice before.


I agree.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:40 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Birmingham
Quote:
]This sounds EXACTLY like my son, in fact I do think that my son was at level 4 in year 4. Write to me in another 6 months, she will have launched like a rocket! And remember point (a) please, only the good news for her...




Will certainly let you know of outcome, and will TRY and heed your advice re the good news........!!!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:31 pm 
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a certain degree in honesty is needed,no matter what age the child is, to prepare them for the realities in life.


Yes,sometimes we are overprotective and that means our child cannot cope when things going wrong. With our help,they can at least understand that it is not the end of the world when things do not go their way.

Quote:
This is not the age for them to reason and think that trying is more important than succeeding. They just do not think like that!


I think 10 is an old enough age for this type of reasoning.After all, criminal responsibilty starts at this age..they should know what's right and wrong without a doubt. They should also be taught from even a younger age to give credence to efforts. If we mentally prepare our children, they can be nervous but they won't be scared to death of an exam. It's normal to be a little apprehensive but I think how we view the exam will influence how the child perceives it.

you know your child best, so whatever approach to exams and all of life's stresses you take may be different to mine but I feel it's important not to over protect them.


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