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 Post subject: newbie - please help
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:58 pm
Posts: 5
Hello. You all seem like a very knowledgeable help so I'm hoping you can help me with some answers.

I haven't a clue about the 11+ - trying to figure it out from the forum boards but it seems so alien. My son is in year 5 at the moment and has expressed an interest in doing the 11+. The whole CEM, GDL(?) is just confusing. And I don't know how or what he needs to be studying.

He's top of his year in school but I honestly don't think that helps (the school's standards don't seem to be particularly high). I think he achieved level 5s last year (year 4) or maybe it was level 4 and on target to get level 5 this year (you can see how clueless I am :( ). He doesn't like reading at all. He works hard and is able to motivate himself.

Is it possible to pass the exams without tuition?

Is it too late to start preparing for them now?

Do I have to apply to the grammar schools where I live?

I am committed to helping him now - it's the only thing he's asked for- I'd just very, very much appreciate some help or guidance to go in the right direction.

Thank you so much in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: newbie - please help
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6965
Location: East Kent
Welcome to the forum. First of all, what area are you in? The exam varies from region to region, so in order to point you in the right direction we will need to know what school(s) you are interested in.


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 Post subject: Re: newbie - please help
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 6255
Welcome to the forum.

If you could just let us know where you are then I'm sure the mods can move your thread to the right section of the forum, and local forumites will be able to help.

Please don't worry about not having a clue , if this is your eldest child I can completely understand that this is all new to you and it can all seem very daunting and a bit of a minefield.

Just let us know where you are and we can point you in the right direction.

Goodluck.

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Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad !


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 Post subject: Re: newbie - please help
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11936
DG - did you have to be so abrupt?

OP - we are all here to help - welcome!


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 Post subject: Re: newbie - please help
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:58 pm
Posts: 5
Thank you! I've just been trying to figure it out all out this morning and am on the verge of tears - just feel really stupid that I cant figure it out :(

I'm in Redbridge but am not planning on staying here - hoping to move.

Can a child sit an exam anywhere? I've been on the csse website but I don't understand the whole allocated places thing. I know I'm being really thick and it's all alot clearer - think maybe I'm getting myself into knots because I'm stressing I've left it too late

Thank you in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: newbie - please help
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11936
Personally I'd decide where you might move to and look at the exams in that area.

You can sit some exams if you don't live in the area but some have catchment requirements.

I'm sure an Essex expert can help with the CSSE process - you are not too late and most of us on here DIYed ie prepared our own children for the tests.


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 Post subject: Re: newbie - please help
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:45 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 1488
cluele55 wrote:
I'm in Redbridge but am not planning on staying here - hoping to move.

Hi cluele55
As other posters have suggested, it would be best if you could say which area you are planning to move to. Are you planning to stay north of the river or to move somewhere in south London? From what I know, north London schools' exams are somewhat different from those in south London/Surrey schools. If you could tell us which area you would want to move to, we would be able to offer you some advice relevant to your circumstances.

To answer some of your questions:
You can apply to any grammar school you want, although some have catchment areas, so you need to find out about those beforehand. I would also suggest that you take into account how long your child's journey would be to each of the schools you're considering. Please don't opt for a school which would involve a lengthy and tiring commute.

As for your 'can a child sit an exam anywhere?' the answer is: not really. It depends on which schools you are going to apply for, as they all have different exams arrangements; some have exams of their own and some get together and have a joint exam to cover all the schools in the group.

Finally, if you have a bright and motivated child (as you indicate you do), I think he can do it, but you have to get him to read as much as possible and in various genres, starting now...

(ETA: cross-posted with Guest55)

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 Post subject: Re: newbie - please help
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4604
Also, a lot of exams are now on the same day, to avoid the poor children being entered for several exams (and as has been said, some share results). Don't worry, you have come to the right place :)


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 Post subject: Re: newbie - please help
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:58 pm
Posts: 5
Thank you so much for the replies - you seem like such a lovely bunch.

I should really decide where i'm going to move to. I guess I'm stressing because I have to hurry up and decide. I'll probably end up staying within Essex, outside of Redbridge. Or knowing my luck end up staying in Redbridge (I know, I'm really rubbish at decision making).

He's expressed an interest in King Edward (had to double check that) in Chelmsford. Why, I have no idea. He never asks for much and given that he is motivated to better himself I'm figuring it's the least I can do to help himby getting some information.

I've read that people started tutoring in year 4... Can he still compete. Reassuring that many of you have done the DIY approach - I'll no doubt be annoying you lots with silly questions.

Thank you so much though for being lovely enough to reply. No one at the school gates seems to want to share information and I feel like I'm wandering around completely in the dark. I will pay it forward :)


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 Post subject: Re: newbie - please help
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:45 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 1488
cluele55 wrote:
Thank you so much for the replies - you seem like such a lovely bunch.

I should really decide where i'm going to move to. I guess I'm stressing because I have to hurry up and decide. I'll probably end up staying within Essex, outside of Redbridge. Or knowing my luck end up staying in Redbridge (I know, I'm really rubbish at decision making).

He's expressed an interest in King Edward (had to double check that) in Chelmsford. Why, I have no idea. He never asks for much and given that he is motivated to better himself I'm figuring it's the least I can do to help himby getting some information.

I've read that people started tutoring in year 4... Can he still compete. Reassuring that many of you have done the DIY approach - I'll no doubt be annoying you lots with silly questions.

Thank you so much though for being lovely enough to reply. No one at the school gates seems to want to share information and I feel like I'm wandering around completely in the dark. I will pay it forward :)
If you are planning to stay in Essex, your best bet is to post your questions in the Essex area of the forum:
viewforum.php?f=15
There is also a Redbridge-specific section:
viewforum.php?f=60
Forumites there will be familiar with the schools you are considering.

As for lack of information at the school gate - well, unfortunately that does not surprise me. Some people become so super-competitive about 11+ that they think the smallest bit of information they share might put someone else's DC at an advantage. Try to speak to parents in current year 6 - they have their allocated school places by now, your DS is in no competition against them, so they are more likely to be willing to chat to you and offer advice.

Good luck. :)

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It felt like I hit rock bottom; suddenly, there was knocking from beneath... (anon.)


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