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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:53 am 
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My child is in Year 5 now. We have made the decision to apply for a place at an independent school. The exam is in January. Up until last week, I had never heard about the 11 plus exam and only just discovered that my daughter will need serious preparation. I am in the process of trying to find a tutor but am worried that I will get the wrong one. I have got an initial assessment with a tutoring service - they have a number of tutors servicing the west midlands area and their website claims to be all about preparing for the 11 plus exam and they link the child with the right tutor. I have also been speaking to a TA who is studying to be a teacher and she is currently working with Year 6 children and has done for some years and tutoring children on the side (not necessarily for 11 plus exams) and sounds like she knows what she is talking about. Bearing in mind, I know very little about all of this. The tutoring service is ten quid an hour more than the TA. I don't know how to choose between the two. I can PM people the name of the tutoring service to see if they have heard of them or used them. Please advise. Any help is gratefully received. From an ignorant mum who is learning fast!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:06 pm 
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If it were my choice I'd go for the experienced 11+ tutor. A TA may only know what is expected of a state school pupil by the end of yr6. However good she is, that simply doesn't cover some essential 11+ material.

First thing to do is to find out what exams your DD will sit for this independent school (or if more than one school, do the exams differ?) Will she need VR? Non VR? Maths? English essay? Comprehension? Multiple choice or written answers?
Once you know all this (the schools usually give sample past papers or clear advice) then you can tell each prospective tutor what you need and ask how they'd prep your DD.

you'll get a strong idea of who's right from their replies.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:39 pm 
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Thanks for the comment. I just spoke with the school who stated that they do not recommend that my child be tutored. They say that when an application is received they post copies of past exam papers to me. Why would the school not encourage tutoring? Is it because they think the child is then not academically bright enough to be at that school if they have to be tutored to gain a pass? But then, the only way to learn and improve would be to dedicate more time to learning. I mean if I have never heard of NVR and VR before this week, I can be sure my local school is not falling over themselves to teach my child this. Moreover, how could one not prepare for any exam? In addition, I know that with large classes, teachers don't always have time to give children individual attention. Even if my child does not get through the 11 plus test, the knowledge won't be wasted surely?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:44 pm
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The schools have to say that!

Find out what tests your child is going to have to take and then find a tutor who specialises in that. I would not necessarily assume that an agency will find the best tutor - they are more likely to find the most available tutor!

Look on line and find someone who is in the right area and has tutored children to get into the school you want.

Alternatively, you cando it yourself with material from here. My child was better being tutored by soneone else! Depends on the child!

You need to do the school research (or ask on here as likely someone will know) and then take it from there.


Last edited by faitaccompli on Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:49 pm 
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all schools say you do not need to be tutored fro exams - however some kids will manage fine without tutroring, others will never get through the exam regardless of how much time you spend on tutoring while many will benefit from familiarity with the techniques of answering the questions. Again some only need a brief introduction while others need much more.

many people start tutoring quite early and you may find that many tutors are booked up now for a child in year 5. However if you let us know which schools it is someone may be able to help - also point you in the right direction of DIY... plenty of parents manage this,


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:39 am
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Thanks for the replies. The school in question is King Henry Viii in Coventry. It is an independent school. Though I would love to tutor my child myself, I know we would clash because I am not very patient, nor do explan things well. I am also not much of an academic either. I recognise that there is a risk that even with tutoring my child may not make the grade, but we have to try and she is keen to give it a go.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:57 pm 
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do you know any older children at the school? Can you ask their parents about tutors? There is someone sending their DC there this year ? Blueocean?? Might be worth contacting to see what they did.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
You already have the most essential ingredient, a dd who is keen to have a go. In my opinion this is the most important thing. If she really wants to go there then she will be very motivated to do the work that is required. What information does the school give you about the format of the exams? There is lots of material available to get started but you need to know what to focus on. You can make great progress in five months if you have a dd who wants to secure a place. Little and often will really help. What are her predicted Sats levels for the end of Year Five and her existing levels. Has the TA tutored for local eleven plus exams? DG


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