Go to navigation
It is currently Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:00 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:24 pm
Posts: 9
We're having second thoughts about whether the 11+ is suitable for DD1. We think that neither the test preparation phase, nor the experience of being in a large class of extremely bright girls in the better grammar schools, will suit her character. I'm wondering if there is anyone else who has had a similar experience, and what your thoughts might be. See below for some more background.

DD1 seems to be bright---we've done pretty well academically and university-wise in the family ever since DD1's great-granddad, so it's perhaps not surprising---but we are not sure that she has the strength of character and resilience and stamina to prepare and take tests (11+ as well as scholarship exams), and then cope with a "high-pressure" school if she is successful. To be more precise, DD1 has a propensity to go off in a huff, or get teary-eyed, or become very despondent, at the slightest mistake or gentle constructive criticism of her work. She has just started year 5 and we haven't done much 11+ preparation yet.

She is extremely good at creative writing, has been devouring one book after another since Reception, has a large vocabulary, has a natural feel for words and meanings, and totally loves Roald Dahl's Matilda--which makes us think that she perhaps identifies with the eponymous character. (I don't know what this says about our parenting!) However, DD1 isn't so natural with "hard logic" and maths. She does "get" maths fairly quickly once you show her, but not instinctively. She's different from her little sister, DD2, who isn't terribly creative with words, but started doing simple arithmetic with negative numbers all by herself after observing negative floor numbers in a parking lot lift.

We've started to think that DD1 will probably thrive in a minor independent school with small class sizes, not too much competition, and more individual attention. A large grammar school--which we imagine to be filled with ferociously brainy, athletic and competitive girls--might just not suit her very well.

Any advice/thoughts about this? How do you cope with the "emotional" side of things when coaching your DC? Apart from praise, praise, praise, how else do you instil confidence? Are siblings always so different? Are the leading grammar schools any good at nurturing creativity and helping the "quieter" children? (And while you're at it, do you know of creative writing classes for young children?) We're hoping for lots of replies, so please let us have your thoughts. 8)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4608
You probably need to say where you are and what schools you are thinking of, and then people will be able to help you more. Some independent schools will be full of pushy athletic, confident types and others won't. Ditto grammar schools, which I'm sure vary widely around the country. The best thing is to go and visit them - your daughter may suddenly fall in love with the local grammar school and decide it is worth preparing for it. On the other hand, if you can afford it and like the thought of a smaller, more nurturing pirvate school, why not visit a few different one for comparison?

Good luck, it's all so hard when they are so young, isn't it?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:24 pm
Posts: 9
We're on the outskirts of Berkshire and we're thinking of Kendrick.

It's ever so hard to decide about schools. When you go and take a second look, they always appear to be very different. Some of the indies are very slick and probably give off a totally different image from what actually goes on inside.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:24 pm
Posts: 9
And I should add that, when asked, DD1 simply wants a school with people who are like her, by which she means people who love books. She is not fond of "girly types" (I think this means girls who talk about hair and dresses all the time, but I'm not sure--I'm a dad!), and she complains that she cannot talk about books to her current friends because "they don't read books". She toys with the idea of attending a boarding school, probably because she thinks that she will have lots of adventures a la Enid Blyton's Mallory Towers. She is ambivalent about boarding, however. We don't want her to board; although DD1 is only 9, she is little Miss Practicality and we couldn't function without her around. And we probably can't afford boarding either!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
Posts: 3664
My son who is also in year 5 sounds similar to your daughter ( the going off in a huff and crying not the reading !) and I have wondered if he will find grammar too much.However I have just plugged away giving him some easy work so he has been chuffed to bits at getting it all right and then more age appropriate work telling him it's really for a few months down the line and how he's doing really well to get it nearly right. I have noticed his confidence has soared and he's doing much better and not huffing when I get the books out.The best thing is to look around the schools you have in mind.One might jump out at you as being perfect for your daughter.She sounds bright and of course, as I've found with my older son who has just started a large grammar, there will be some girls just like her who are more into books then clothes.I imagine there will be the same types at any kind of school.

They do suddenly come on in a short time, so with practice her maths might suddenly be better then yours !


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:24 pm
Posts: 9
Thanks for your comments, Scarlett. You seem to have got much further with your DS than we have.

We discussed the concept of practice makes perfect at maths with DD1, but I think that she finds it hard to be inspired by repetitive tasks and bland sums, even when cloaked in a wordy problem (the kind with alphabetically-ordered child characters: "Ann has twenty more apples than Bob..."). Her world view is that maths just isn't as interesting as a swashbuckling Beast Quest adventure--and I can see what she means: use of the imagination and all that. DD1 has a nice turn of phrase and her most recent bon mot was that "The fraction is my worst enemy". :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:49 pm
Posts: 143
She sounds a bit like my dd (taking the test next week arrgghh).

I found that giving her set rules on how to do things improved her confidence so she would actually start to tackle to questions. Little and often worked well, one question type, then a break then another etc and plenty of praise. The biggest thing for her was wanting to do it - which only resulted from actually looking at the schools and realising what it would mean lifestyle-wise

Having been at grammar school myslef I think they are pretty 'normal' really and they are not hotbeds of 'geniuses'; generally any child capcable of getting to a reasonable university will benefit.

DS mind is a different kettle of fish altogether .....


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:24 pm
Posts: 9
I entirely agree with "little but often". It's one of the best pieces of advice we got (from an experienced teacher) a few years ago. The difficulty for us is finding the time to fit things in. DW and I both work etc., and a convenient time for us is not necessarily the best time for DD1, but I suppose we just have to be organised.

The point about incentives is also very good. But what do you mean by "lifestyle"? Did you take DD to a few different schools and she saw that it would be more fun at one school compared to another?

Good luck for the test. I don't know how we will cope when we get to this stage--if we get to this stage!--next year, but you seem to have done all the right things. Fingers crossed for you.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
Posts: 3664
Have you tried online maths " games " .They might be a bit less stressful.Get into a routine of doing the work and you'll be surprised at how it all comes together.There's lots of us who have been feeling the same as you ...I think it must be quite normal !


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:19 am
Posts: 888
There's a "Kendrick - positives and negatives" thread in the Berkshire forum that you've probably already read, so I won't repeat myself about Kendrick :)

The open evening is tomorrow, and I would definitely recommend going along in Y5 to get a bit more of a basis for your decision. If you wait until Y6, you only have another month before the application has to be in. Be warned, it will be *heaving* and can be a bit overwhelming! My 14 year old will be doing something in the drama studio I think.

My ds has just started Y6, and a year ago was very huffy and teary if he couldn't do something perfectly immediately. He's so much better now - still does get upset, but only occasionally, and can deal with it better. He's doing the Reading School test in a few weeks, and a year ago his tendency to overreact was by far my greatest fear about it. I wasn't at all sure he could even get through the 3 hours without crying! But he's matured an awful lot this year, and I think he'll be ok. (Now I'm worrying about his English :lol: )

I have found that sitting with him and saying "let's have a look at this together" results in less trauma than leaving him to get on with it. If he thought it was a 'test' he was more likely to panic. Last week (or the week before?) I took him with me to the library and left him at a table in the reference section to do an English paper - thinking that he needs to practice just getting on with it by himself rather than being able to wail at me, or stomp off, or whatever. He sailed through it happily and did really well, and I know there's no way he would have acted like that at the beginning of Y5.

So she may well grow up a bit and surprise you :) And she doesn't have to do maths for the Kendrick test of course :)

But yes, do have a look at whichever schools you think you might be interested in. If you find a smaller indie that you love, then why not go for it :)

If you want to ask me anything else about Kendrick, either pm me or stick it in the Berkshire forum and I'll answer as well as I can :)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016