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 Post subject: How much time tutoring ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:25 pm
Posts: 12
I am taking the DIY tutoring route, have 1 year time to prepare for entrance test. DS will get creative writing test / verbal and non verbal & maths test (incl. mental maths).

She is very good at maths, starter in verbal and non verbal and needs fine tuning with creative writing, she gets approx. 1 hour homework each day incl. maths, 1 writing task but no verbal or non-verbal.

I can spend time with her after homework and weekends, we have 1 year time to work towards this goal starting this weekend.

How much time should i spend to max. her results without putting immense pressure on her. Any suggestions? :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:46 pm
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My son had 1 hour a week tuition, (15 minutes a week school homework!!!) for 16 weeks prior to the exam. For a month before the exam he did, say, 3 papers a week of 11plus topics. Some parents on this website do an incredible amount of prep, some children are heavily coached and I suspect there are lots of kids going off to GS who without a huge amount of input would not have made it, and then you have to wonder whether it is the right school for them.

If I had my time again I would have concentrated more on relaxing and de stressing as he was always going to be able to pass academically, it was panic and unfamiliarity that "did for him" on the day ! (he did pass though!)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:27 pm 
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My DD had a bit more than Daffodil's but not enough to stress her out, and we didn't drop any of her normal activities or family days out etc. if they are the right academic standard it shouldn't take too much time each week. She did 1.5 hours with a tutor once a week from the beginning of year 5, plus about 1 hour a week of homework. In the last month before her exams I did about an hour a day with her myself, revising different topics/papers each day. The crucial preparation in my opinion is doing mock tests in a realistic exam situation - otherwise however bright they are they can be thrown by the unfamiliar and potentially stressful exam surroundings. My DD did the mock test arranged by Sutton Grammar PTA plus a couple of private ones.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
I would strongly recommend the Sutton mocks. They will help you get a good idea of where your dd is. Which school are you applying for? Nobody can tell you how much work you need to do because you have not given us any idea where your dd is at present. What are her Sats levels? Does your school set in English and Maths? Is she on the top table of the top set? What is the ratio of applicants to places for the school you are interested in? Find someone who has already got a place for their dc and ask to see examples of their work shortly before they sat the exam. You need to know where the bar is so you can aim for it. Every year parents are devastated when their dc's not only fail to win a place but are hundreds of places away from it. The problem was that they did not do enough research to know where the bar is and were never going to get anywhere near it with the level of work they were doing. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:25 pm
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Another Q if i may.

Can anyone suggest a good online testing tool for Verbal / Non Verbal reasoning. I bleieve the papers she will be sitting will be GLassesment. Thought it might make it more fun to work on the computer instead sometimes.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:29 am 
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Daogroupie

Ratio of acceptance isn`t so bad 1 in 5, her sats last year (Year4) were all 4A's which i was told was good, but they did not include verbal and non-verbal testing.

Thank you for the mock test advice that is really! good to know and something i will sign her up for.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:00 pm 
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I think level 4A for English and Maths at the end of Y4 is quite good and DS was about the same and he managed to get within top few percent for a super-selective.

DS has always seemed reasonably competent and I always had my sight on GS for him. My approach was mainly DIY but time was always tight and I certainly couldn't have allocated an hour per day from one year before the exams. I used school homework to keep DS's literacy level ticking over at a reasonably high level. DS had options for spelling related literacy tasks and I always encouraged him to select the tougher options, such as writing poems or stories rather than doing colourful graffiti or clouds - I do think art is important but at some point something has to give. Unfortunately DS's maths homework wasn't particularly demanding so, from time to time, I would get him to dip into the later S&S books or do maths puzzles taken from Habs papers. I can't help with VR and NVR prep as DC seem to just get these so we've never really put much effort into them.

When DS took the Sutton Mocks he didn't do particularly well, about top 15-20%, as he hadn't been in exam prep mode, just ticking over. Those mocks did make it clear to us that ticking over wasn't going to be enough as, I suspect, a lot of the other children had been in prep mode for quite a while.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:42 pm
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The total time my son spent being tutored was the total sum of the time it took to sit 6 mock papers in English, Maths and VR (2 of each) in the two weeks leading up to the entrance exam. Prior to that, he did absolutely nothing bar going to school and doing his homework...

I had my reservations about applying too much pressure so he had a negative experience or over tutoring to the point that it was likely that he would pass the exam because he'd already come across the question at some point during all the preparation.. The papers my son sat were basically to get him used to the format, the language used, the sorts of questions that were asked.

I guess, my worry was that he would be coached to pass the exam, but not necessarily have the ability to keep up IF he managed to secure a place at such a fast paced school.. I tried to balance it so that he felt prepared and somewhat familiar with what needed to be done, but when it came to the test, he genuinely had to think about the questions and use whatever ability and aptitude he genuinely possesses to pass the exam..


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:57 pm 
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The quality, quantity and diversity of the primary school teaching will greatly effect the outcome if no tutoring occurs for many children. A local indie primary school uses the very books I am using to diy my son and has extra classes in the evenings, so whatever level of tutoring we pitch at there are blurry lines.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:13 am
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We did not wanted to take any chances so went for DIY + tutoring route. However, we realised that the tutors we tried were not what we expected and in the end it was the DIY which helped my ds to get into grammar. But it did require lot of hard work for whole family, spending long nights researching and reactive approach (not pro-active). Sutton/Wilson/Olave's are difficult due to Creative Writing element which isn't the case with Kent/Bexley/QE etc.

I found mock exams as waste of money and useless - there's a lot of hype around them so it is your call. It is not a true indicator of child's potential. Some of them have unnecessary high standards (quite different to the actual paper) that result in demotivating the child (and frustrate the parents). My ds did just ok in Sutton & other mocks but he got into all top GS's. I think the last 6 weeks summer term are very crucial to the whole preparation and should be effectively used to shoot up the confidence.


Last edited by parent2013 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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