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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:14 am 
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I have been trying to prepare my 9 yr old dd for the 11+ in September and am just now having a wobble about the whole thing because of her attitude.

We have mainly concentrated on maths because she finds NVR very easy and it is only her vocabulary that limits her VR. The "outstanding" school say her maths is outstanding, but yet she has not covered a lot of the topics so I have had to teach her, though she seems to conceptually "get it" without too much problem.

However, when I get her to do tests on her own, she sits there sighing and does not even attempt half of it, says she "can't be bothered" to finish it. She shows no enthusiasm at all for any of it, it is a chore.

We are outside the GS local authority (but within catchment), so the other kids will be going to the local comprehensive. She seems to have bought into the benefits of the GS, as she has complained for a number of years about school work not being challenging enough and the disruptive boys and the GS is also very good for sport which she loves. However, she is quite a shy and sensitive child and sometimes she cries already about "never seeing my friends again" and is anxious about sitting exams. She also seems to resent having to do the work (we only do 1/2 hr to an hour a week) and doesn't want a tutor "because they'd give me more work than you do". (To be fair, she utterly resents doing homework as well!)

I just find her attitude depressing and wonder if it is all worth the effort. I have to admit my personal interest as I went to a dreadful huge comprehensive where I was often bored and the behaviour was appalling, creating an atmosphere I hated to be in. This local comp may be different - I just want her to be happy, and I feel this is more likely in the smaller, more academic girls' school.

I just wonder if it is worth expending all this effort if she can't really be bothered, whether it would improve if we got a tutor as she works hard at school, to dream up some incentive scheme or something, or whether anxiety about the future is the problem and we need to somehow work on that..?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:35 pm 
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Last edited by Belinda on Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:44 pm 
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Has she been to look round the grammar school? Sometimes that can be a great motivator to pull out all the stops, work-wise.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
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Location: Reading
I'd second this. DD was not interested in 11+ at all until she heard that some of her class mates were going to the open day. I had been planning to go alone but she decided she wanted to come with me and totally loved it. Now, whenever she isn't keen to do any prep, I just gently remind her that she's not the only one to want to go there and she needs to give herself the best chance of getting in. So far this is working


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:06 pm 
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The open day's not till June, unfortunately, just missed last year's.

We did go to one for Withington girls' school (independent) and she loved that, but dh refuses to go that route now, so probably wasn't the best idea in hindsight!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:16 pm 
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Location: Reading
That's a shame. Maybe keep an eye out and see if they have a spring fair or some other event open to the public where you could have a sneaky look at the public facing bits at least.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:53 am 
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My DCs get between 1 and 2 hours homework a day so if you are getting so much resistance to half an hour a day then you have to seriously ask yourself whether GS is for her.

Putting that aside, most schools do offer the chance to informally visit the school. We took DS to the open day of his eventual school and as we parked he said that this was the school he wanted to go to. Thereafter whenever he complained about having to do 11+ prep we just had to ask him if he really wanted to go to the school and that was enough.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
Do you have to do tests on her own at this stage?

Maybe work through them with her, getting her to tell you how she is approaching the question, play lots of games like scrabble and boggle. There are a lot of good games to improve VR, NVR and maths skills online too. Spot the difference games or jigsaws help NVR.
Look at woodlands junior website for a starting point. BBC schools have excellent quizzes and games too.

Problem solving, reasoning and word problems are often sticking points with maths in primary. Games like Professor Layton or adventure games are good for building these skills too. http://nrich.maths.org/thismonth/2and3 have some really good challenging activities for able mathematicians
Make it fun!

You can build to whole papers later on alongside the other activities.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:10 am 
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I was in a similar position to you a couple of months ago, so I feel your pain ! .My DS will be taking the Kent Test also in September and he too pulled out all the stops when it came to moaning and staring at the ceiling /rolling on the floor with the dog. Coupled with scoring abysmally on the test papers I gave him, I was seriously thinking of packing the whole thing in and booking myself a holiday in Barbados or the like.

However, I took it back a notch, gave him the Bond 10 minute tests or online ones such as Yoyo suggests and we seem to have weathered the storm .( or this one anyway :shock: ) This is all normal behaviour..I don't think they really understand the full implications of having to work hard..they just see it as extra work their friends don't have to do and not having a tutor exacerbates this ( I'm doing it myself too ) as it seems as if we are harassing them rather then a child who just trots off to their tutor . It's easy for everyone to become stressed and build it up into a massive great big thing ...it dominates your whole being at times...but it's up to us to shoulder the anxieties , try to find a way to reduce your daughter's worries. What have you said to her when she cries about missing her friends ?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:46 am 
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I explained that she would be more independent when she was eleven, would probably need her own phone (yes, bribery!) and that if these friendships were important to her, she would make the effort to meet up with them after school and at weekends, as they only live round the corner. I have also suggested that even if they all went to the same secondary school, there was no guarantee they would be together - it is ten form entry and her best friend is currently in the bottom set for everything so they might likely be split up at least some of the time.

I think in her case it is her sisters not having to do the work rather than classmates that is the issue, although they would quite happily do it too if I let them.


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