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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:01 am 
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Clearly the main reason why we push our children hard and in some cases send them to tutors in year 5 is to pass the 11+, however, there are other, potentially more important, benefits of all of the extra work.

I think that year 5 is a crucial time in a child's education, prior to this point, it is clear that a few children have exceptional ability and a few children require extra help, however, most other children (70-80% of the group) are performing at broadly similar levels. Many children are still getting to grips with the basics of reading fluently, writing, spelling, times tables and simple maths. Then in year 5 a group of children advance beyond the basics and start to progress much faster than their peers, and they maintain this advantage for many years to come

My 3 children all worked really hard for the 11+ in year 5, one passed, one got in on appeal and one didn't pass.... however, all 3 saw a huge jump in performance at school in year 5 and 6, that they have maintained into secondary school. The most significant step was my DD, who suddenly found that she was at the same level as the top students in her class, this has had an incredibly motivating impact on her.

Irrespective of whether my children went to GS, I am really thankful that we pushed them hard for those 6-9 months leading up to the 11+. Without the incentive of working towards the 11+ exam in September, there is no way that we would have worked that hard in year 5, and if that had been the case, I am sure that the long term outlook for my children would be worse than it is today. As I look back on it, I may even go as far to say that year 5 was the most important year of my children's education.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:12 am 
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Great post mattsurf and I totally agree with you :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:21 pm 
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Really great post. Makes a change from the "robbing them of their childhoods" argument. DG


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:27 pm 
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Daogroupie wrote:
Really great post. Makes a change from the "robbing them of their childhoods" argument. DG
That would be me; and as I am ill today, you can rest assured I don't have the will for a fight, so you can all carry on. :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:01 pm 
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Well it's a great post if 'push' means gently encourage learning at the same time a gently encouraging and giving equal value to all other aspects of your child.
It's not ok in my opinion if 'push' means, yes, making your child's year 5 a round of homework and cerebral activity that gives no time for just sitting around contemplating a butterfly, swinging on a swing or talking nonsense with your friends while you build a den.

The former leads to balanced individuals who take pleasure in many things and whose self esteem comes from many areas of their life. The latter can lead to a child who, whilst academically high flying, can feel that it is only that academic achievement that is important about them, and their self esteem is dependent on that academic success.

I'm not saying that is what the OP meant in their original post, but there is a risk in pushing too hard, for a short term gain.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:59 pm 
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We got a really high score on the first CEM test, but I think did several things wrong for the main tranche (against the advice we had been given)

1) pushed too hard
2) Assumed higher level content and wider content would help. Consider very very carefully what stretch and challenge means in particular. Mine knew for example how to apply Pi*R squared to determine the area of a semi circle at the end of year 5, (or could use algebra to determine the unknown angles in a variety of geometric shapes. Arguably basic GCSE level stuff. Is it needed? no! Did it help? not really.

Was DD angry with us for having told here all this stuff was necessary because she was up against over tutored preps yes.

3) We should have listened carefully more to our tutor / advisors, regarding mastery of the basics, speed and wide vocab
4) Above all working hard does not mean stressing the living daylights out of them, or robbing them of their child hood


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:21 pm 
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Great comments. Well done to mattsurf for putting it so well. Having done something similar I know benefit my child has had and is having at school. I am a believer in academic achievements as they are key, along with many other things of course, which might help my son get into a good uni then a good job and so on.

I am however puzzled by some parents in DS's school who have not stopped tutoring their children. This, apparently is to ensure that their child is in the top group/set when they go to secondary school. I wouldn't even consider doing something like this. But is this a wide spread practice and does it really help the child in any way at all?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:21 pm 
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mumsdarling2 wrote:
I am however puzzled by some parents in DS's school who have not stopped tutoring their children. This, apparently is to ensure that their child is in the top group/set when they go to secondary school. I wouldn't even consider doing something like this. But is this a wide spread practice and does it really help the child in any way at all?


Talking about continued tutoring - I know of children who were intensely tutored for 11+, got into their choice of a selective school and are still being tutored - in year 7, 8 and beyond. Apparently they need that to keep up with the demanding pace of their school... Now, this is definitely robbing them of their childhood - and in the name of what? Are they going to be tutored through university, too? (Amber - I hope it's nothing serious and you will be better soon :) )

As for the OP's comments referring to year 5 being the most important year in primary education - yes, I am inclined to agree. I've said myself many times that 11+ prep is never wasted - even if children miss on their selective places, they are in a very good stead for their secondary education. I also very much agree with Yamin151 - a careful, balanced approach is key to keeping children happy and motivated. Happy children learn by far better than those who resent what they have to do. Yes, it's good to encourage them, stretch and challenge, but it's also important to go with the flow and let them have their down-time, even if that means that totally unplanned play date instead of maths or English revision.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:49 am 
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If they really do need outside help to cope with the pace of work in the school in Key Stage 3, then they are in the wrong place.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:03 am 
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mumsdarling2 wrote:
I am however puzzled by some parents in DS's school who have not stopped tutoring their children. This, apparently is to ensure that their child is in the top group/set when they go to secondary school. I wouldn't even consider doing something like this. But is this a wide spread practice and does it really help the child in any way at all?


This may be for a number of reasons.When my dd finished her 11 plus exams in September 2014 in year 6 we decided after discussing it with her to continue her tutoring until January 2015 with her friends who were all sitting Independent exams.This was one hour per week on Maths with some extension work and English, in particular imaginative writing which they had not done much of in school.Others were doing other work with their parents.After January again in consultation with our dd we continued with some of the children until July. We asked for work in English.Prior to being a tutor her teacher taught English to primary school children and he teaches English in his tutoring to children in their early teens.

Now our dd is in year 7 at her Grammar school we don't have any tutoring but she is recieving extra lessons for her vocabulary from her school.

I am aware of other children who passed their 11 plus who do have tutoring for various subjects and I believe some of these children are struggling in their selective education.

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

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