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 Post subject: Word of Caution
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:39 am 
A survey reveals that the 11plus parent begins preparing for the exams between 9 months and a year in advance of the first exam, engages a tutor at between £20-30 an hour, and believes that this will significantly enhance their chances of success, spending under £500 for the preparation (presumably excluding the costs of the tutor, though 8% would spend greater than £5,000).

The 11+ just determines which school is most appropriate for the individual needs of your child from a test on one day of their lives.

My advice is beware of forcing your child into a direction that may not be suitable for them. If they had the natural capability they wouldn't need to be coached at all.

My daughter is taking 10 GCSE's and predicted A/A* is many subjects. She's in the A Level Group for Maths and English (she didn't pass the 11+ by the way)

Meanwhile my friend's child who is at the local Grammar School - a nice, quiet lad - is really struggling and is on a report card. I don't even know what one is!

Don't write your child off if they don't pass - there's a whole world out there.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:14 am
Posts: 171
Location: Lincolnshire
Well said


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
Dear Figgy 16

I agree that we should not write off any child, however the unfortunate matter is that......not everyone is in the fortunate position of having a good comprehensive/upper school in their catchment.

I do believe that most children, if they WANT to perform will do so at a comprehensive/upper school.....as your daughter has. There are equally a number of children who do not WANT to work in a grammar school.....they are not hot houses.

I would have to disagree with your opinion that a child would not have to be coached if they had a natural ability. Many bright children fail to pass the 11 plus through lack of coaching [whether by a private tutor or by the parents]

Personally I think children shouldnt be coached if they are not going to pass, too much stress for little minds.

Report cards are normally issued if child is not attaining decent grades, my son has been on report in the past [grammar school].......it was like a kick up the backside.......he soon put the effort back in [helped by a grounding by me!!!]

Patricia


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 5:03 pm 
I actually wish it was a level playing field and NONE of the children were coached and NO-ONE had any idea what would come up in the test. That way the brighter kids would naturally get through. However, the intense coaching of less able children does mean that a child who will not thrive in grammar school could get your bright kid's place simply because they have been introduced to the exam and understand aspects of exam technique. So, it not being a perfect world, nor an ideal system, we have to coach them. However, I do believe that genuienly bright children will grasp NVR concepts and be naturally good at VR with only gentle coaching and plenty of encouragement - without that, and competing against 'coached' kids, they will struggle and lose out.

A friend of ours had her son coached and he got a place at the local grammar school and hated it. He was in the top half in primary school, and bottom 10% at Grammar. I'm sure I'm right in saying that he hated every single day of secondary school and educationally his confidence plummetted. My son, however, only did papers with me at home, we had no idea of intense timing in the exam, but he did pass - although he said he prayed all the way through the test, poor thing! He is now taking his GCSE's a year earlier than his peers, can't wait to get to school each day and is always the last kid out! He is thriving on the opportunities available to him and all it cost us was the price of two Nfer packs!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
Dear Bo Peep and Figgy 16,

Please read this, and particularly the comments by SPIRIO.

viewtopic.php?t=805

She makes a very good case in favour of coaching.

Regards


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 Post subject: Re: Word of Caution
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:02 pm 
Figgy16 wrote:
The 11+ just determines which school is most appropriate for the individual needs of your child from a test on one day of their lives.

My advice is beware of forcing your child into a direction that may not be suitable for them. If they had the natural capability they wouldn't need to be coached at all.



I think you make some good points but the fact that it is all dependant on one (or more usually two) days is perhaps part of the problem.

I think that many parents of reasonably capable children are very concerned that one off day (or nervy day) can ruin a bright child's education, particularly if the non-grammar alternative is a particularly poor one.

A little extra coaching may be seen as an insurance policy to ensure that the child has something in hand in case the actual day goes badly.

I think the alternatives dictate how crucial the 11+ is - and some are in a much more fortunate position than others.


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 Post subject: Re: Word of Caution
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:05 am 
Figgy16 wrote:
A survey reveals that the 11plus parent begins preparing for the exams between 9 months and a year in advance of the first exam, engages a tutor at between £20-30 an hour, and believes that this will significantly enhance their chances of success, spending under £500 for the preparation (presumably excluding the costs of the tutor, though 8% would spend greater than £5,000).

The 11+ just determines which school is most appropriate for the individual needs of your child from a test on one day of their lives.

My advice is beware of forcing your child into a direction that may not be suitable for them. If they had the natural capability they wouldn't need to be coached at all.

My daughter is taking 10 GCSE's and predicted A/A* is many subjects. She's in the A Level Group for Maths and English (she didn't pass the 11+ by the way)

Meanwhile my friend's child who is at the local Grammar School - a nice, quiet lad - is really struggling and is on a report card. I don't even know what one is!

Don't write your child off if they don't pass - there's a whole world out there.



Most people have cases where the know a child at grammar who is struggling but it is not always that they are not capable and in fact I know bright children that have gone to comps and have not been pushed and have not achieved their potential. As far as coaching goes, I believe that they do need some coaching for the 11+ purely because if they have never seen a VR paper before there is absolutely no way they would be able to do the paper on the day. Saying that, if you are helping them and they cannot grasp VR, then maybe it is best not to go down the grammar route. There are always arguments for and against the 11+. In my case, I felt both my children were bright enough to be given the chance to try for the grammar school they wanted and they are both thriving there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:03 am 
Just wanted to say, that of course children can do well in comprehensive schools, after all the majority of children in this country attend them. I think that some problems arise when children are coached very heavily for school entrance tests - for example, I know that some private schools in my area actually timetable lessons in VR and NVR, from about the age of 6. This excessive coaching also means that parents of state educated children need to try to even up the playing field, by having private tutors, etc.

I have heard so many stories of "my child failed the 11+ and did well at school", well . . . yes . . . just because they don't go to a grammar doesn't mean that they will end up sweeping the streets. Teachers in comps are teaching the same subjects as in grammar schools after all. Figgy is clearly very proud of her daughter - great - I am equally proud of mine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:14 am
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Location: Lincolnshire
Might I just add that even if you have a bright child that has had little or no coaching and they pass the 11+ it doesn't necessarily mean that the or a grammar school is necessarily the right school for them as an individual. I agree that if you do not have the option of decent comp schools in your area then it is much more of a concern, but then you have to way up all the positives and negatives of each school and make an informed decision. It sounds much easier than it is though, because even if the grammar school is the right one for your child, you are not necessarily guaranteed a place, because of the admissions criteria/location etc and therefore you have look at all of the options anyway!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:07 pm 
Last year there was a parents' meeting at my son's school to give out the latest information on CAFs, 11+ etc. One of the subjects that arose was that of extra tutoring for the 11+. Generally speaking, the school's view was not in favour of hiring tutors on the premise that if a child needs intensive coaching then Grammar school is probably not a wise option, as they will probably struggle to keep up once they are in the school. They do advocate plenty of practice with 11+ papers to familiarise the child with formula and strategy and have been holding practise sessions with the 11+ candidates once a week since the CAFs were returned. The sessions were not to 'tutor' the children as such- but to build confidence and help them best utilise the abilities they already have. Sounds 'samey' but I can see the difference. We didn't go for private tutoring but have practised.
Tricky, isn't it????
My neghbours had a private tutor for their daughter to get her through the 11+ as they were worried she wouldn't pass without extra help. She did pass and seems to be coping at Grammar school. On the other hand, another friend had her daughter tutored. She passed last year's 11+, started Grammar in September 06 and has been very unhappy, struggling and lost alot of confidence.
I suppose the main thing is knowing your own child!

Reasurringly, the Year 6 teacher who runs the practise sessions told us that he failed his 11+ miserably, went to his local Secondary and ended up graduating from Cambridge University- basically because he was determined that he was going to work no matter what!


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