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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:28 pm
Posts: 7
Hi All,

My child failed by 1 point in 2012 sept exams... I am over the disappointment. We had an excellent tutor and using him to to help prepare for independent schools. But on reflection here are things we went wrong which
may be of benefit to others:

1) We started late - 3 months; I assumed schools covered the syllabus - they don't.
2) We tried to teach it ourselves rather than a tutor. Some parents can do it - but you need
plenty of time, patience and experience. finding a good tutor was hard work - as most are money orientated
or assessments are used to weed out the bright students (some don't take students unless they are considered 'bright')
3) Went on holiday during the summer...this was my fault - I thought of taking the work during the break but it clearly disrupted my child's study pattern

Hope this helps...onto the private schools exams. Wish me luck

Thanks

Sports


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:45 pm
Posts: 117
Thank you so much for the advice Sports!
So sorry the result didn't go your way. It is difficult to know when to start preparing. I must admit I have already started with DD for 2013, she is very good on VR but has no confidence in Maths, although once she understands things she's quite good. She does have a tendency to panic, even at home! She is very slow at the moment and has to think everything out loud, but will shut you up if you try to help her.
Not planning to go away next summer though, will leave it until October half term!
The thing is, they can do well or badly on the day, it is so unpredictable.
Hope all goes well with your prep for Indies (not an option for us unfortunately).


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:36 pm
Posts: 107
Hello

I used Bonds and GL Assessment plus some epapers from this website.

I DIY'd at home. I brought the "how to" 11+ books.

I started off with the Bond books, and did 10 mins maths every day, working through the Bond How To do 11+ maths book, with 10 mins of either verbal or non-verbal each day.

After Christmas I introduced the bond papers working throught the questions. At the begining of March I gave her her first full GL papers, we did two on the Saturday and one on the Sunday. I timed her, drew a line underneath when time was up then let her continue.

We then carried on with 20 mins per night and again at begining of May I gave her the next three papers, and carried on in this vein until August. During August I used the GL papers and went through the questions with her. At the end of August I gave her the papers she had done best in, got her to redo and then showed her how she had improved.

I did give her some incentive - she got 50p a day when she did the 20 mins, and a £1 for every full paper. We got a little pot so she could see her money build up!!

She got Sundays off.

BTW, the first paper in GL pack 1 in NVR is evil!!

My DD got 48% in the first try, but when I gave it to her again she got over 80%

Luckily this approach worked for us - we were successful in Bexley, Kent and Newstead.

Good luck!

Good luck


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:23 pm
Posts: 8
I started giving my DS private tuition in years 3, However I made it clear to the Tutor that the extra tuition is not in preparation for 11 plus but to give him a good grounding in writing, comprehension, and maths. My DS was identified as Gifted and Talented, so I made sure I kept him challenged all through, we started with the 11 plus stuff in years 5, and because he had started early, it became natural and stress free. He passed all the test in flying colours including St Olaves. So my advise is to start early, but not emphasising on the 11 plus until year 5, otherwise you'll run a risk of tutors only teaching to pass the 11 plus, the danger being the child might struggle in GS.
Starting early takes the stress away from the child and the parents, expensive though, but a lot cheaper than indie !!!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:10 pm
Posts: 20
ALERT: sorry for very long post. :oops:

My advice is somewhat different from the others, but I expect there are many approaches and I am sure that all have their pros and also some cons, the point is we all care enough about our children's education to put some effort in.

I was lucky enough that my DD was always in the top set for english and maths at school, she was reading before reception and I have always tried to challenge her, mostly with reading and educational games. With conversation in the car about topics far and wide and mental maths on the way to school, etc. I believe she learnt a lot on our twenty minute walks to school. My DH is much better at times tables than I and he used to run through these all the time. Basically I just did this all naturally and always made sure she put in her full effort to any homework she was given. We were not thinking about the 11+ but just about her education.

Then at beginning of year five I began to think about some preparation to make sure my DD would know what to expect in the 11+ and to check if she had covered the types of mathematical questions that I had seen in the GL NFER practice papers, which I was amazed to find out, were exactly the same as the old set of NFER practice papers I had from 14 years ago!

My daughter began asking me if she could have a tutor, I thought she was doing well and told her that she was lucky to be very clever and really didn't need one and that they were very expensive. She continued with the parent nagging though telling me that all her friends had tutors. On checking with other parents I realised that she was right and did some checking on line.

I found a company that did 11+ lessons, these were not one to one but mostly one teacher to 10 or 12 children with one or two sixth form assistants. These only worked out at about £15 per lesson. I was happy that we could afford this as it was no more than some of her after school activities that she attended. She did one hour per week from about February but looking back I probably should have started earlier.

We worked on some Bond revision at home during the summer holiday as I was mindful that a long break might mean some regression so she had only a two week break when we went away on our holidays. On our return we had the missed lessons that we could do a free catch up on and with the same company my DD did a summer course and an 11+ mock test. If there were any sticking points I could message the teacher and he/she would go over it in her lesson. We then started doing some of the NFER practice papers just one or two a week and I began to reward her with 50p per effort put in at home and we put this in her special purse. We continued the lessons which she was committed to, perhaps because she had asked for them and we practiced right up to the 11+. In the last few weeks we covered test taking tips, such as working through quickly all questions then going back to ones that needed more time and educated guesses for all the rest.

I rewarded my daughter with the pair of kickers she wanted and some one direction paraphernalia straight after the test and not after we found out she had passed, at this time we just just gave verbal praise, lots of hugs and kisses and a cheap meal out. I believe in praising and rewarding effort whether she had passed or not I was very proud of her and the effort she had put in.

She passed both Bexley and Kent and missed the Newstead historical cut off by just two points. We could have still applied for Newstead and I will be interested to find out what the 2012 cut off actually goes down to by August. But we decided mainly due to ease of journey to apply just to all three Bexley Grammar schools and are very very happy with our choices. Finger crossed for March.

I hope this is of some help, feel free to PM me if your have any questions, all the best and very good luck to all your DDs and DSs. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:27 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:02 pm
Posts: 121
BFal wrote:
I started giving my DS private tuition in years 3, However I made it clear to the Tutor that the extra tuition is not in preparation for 11 plus but to give him a good grounding in writing, comprehension, and maths. My DS was identified as Gifted and Talented, so I made sure I kept him challenged all through, we started with the 11 plus stuff in years 5, and because he had started early, it became natural and stress free. He passed all the test in flying colours including St Olaves. So my advise is to start early, but not emphasising on the 11 plus until year 5, otherwise you'll run a risk of tutors only teaching to pass the 11 plus, the danger being the child might struggle in GS.
Starting early takes the stress away from the child and the parents, expensive though, but a lot cheaper than indie !!!


I do agree with you. Children with good foundation in Maths and English will pass St. Olave's from my own experience as a parent tutor. when children start in year 3 and 4, they should concentrate on Maths and English then 11 plus preparation should now crown it up in Year 5.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:02 pm
Posts: 121
roundthree wrote:
ALERT: sorry for very long post. :oops:

My advice is somewhat different from the others, but I expect there are many approaches and I am sure that all have their pros and also some cons, the point is we all care enough about our children's education to put some effort in.

I was lucky enough that my DD was always in the top set for english and maths at school, she was reading before reception and I have always tried to challenge her, mostly with reading and educational games. With conversation in the car about topics far and wide and mental maths on the way to school, etc. I believe she learnt a lot on our twenty minute walks to school. My DH is much better at times tables than I and he used to run through these all the time. Basically I just did this all naturally and always made sure she put in her full effort to any homework she was given. We were not thinking about the 11+ but just about her education.

Then at beginning of year five I began to think about some preparation to make sure my DD would know what to expect in the 11+ and to check if she had covered the types of mathematical questions that I had seen in the GL NFER practice papers, which I was amazed to find out, were exactly the same as the old set of NFER practice papers I had from 14 years ago!

My daughter began asking me if she could have a tutor, I thought she was doing well and told her that she was lucky to be very clever and really didn't need one and that they were very expensive. She continued with the parent nagging though telling me that all her friends had tutors. On checking with other parents I realised that she was right and did some checking on line.

I found a company that did 11+ lessons, these were not one to one but mostly one teacher to 10 or 12 children with one or two sixth form assistants. These only worked out at about £15 per lesson. I was happy that we could afford this as it was no more than some of her after school activities that she attended. She did one hour per week from about February but looking back I probably should have started earlier.

We worked on some Bond revision at home during the summer holiday as I was mindful that a long break might mean some regression so she had only a two week break when we went away on our holidays. On our return we had the missed lessons that we could do a free catch up on and with the same company my DD did a summer course and an 11+ mock test. If there were any sticking points I could message the teacher and he/she would go over it in her lesson. We then started doing some of the NFER practice papers just one or two a week and I began to reward her with 50p per effort put in at home and we put this in her special purse. We continued the lessons which she was committed to, perhaps because she had asked for them and we practiced right up to the 11+. In the last few weeks we covered test taking tips, such as working through quickly all questions then going back to ones that needed more time and educated guesses for all the rest.

I rewarded my daughter with the pair of kickers she wanted and some one direction paraphernalia straight after the test and not after we found out she had passed, at this time we just just gave verbal praise, lots of hugs and kisses and a cheap meal out. I believe in praising and rewarding effort whether she had passed or not I was very proud of her and the effort she had put in.

She passed both Bexley and Kent and missed the Newstead historical cut off by just two points. We could have still applied for Newstead and I will be interested to find out what the 2012 cut off actually goes down to by August. But we decided mainly due to ease of journey to apply just to all three Bexley Grammar schools and are very very happy with our choices. Finger crossed for March.

I hope this is of some help, feel free to PM me if your have any questions, all the best and very good luck to all your DDs and DSs. :)

Thank God that you listened to your daughter. I do agree with you 100% on "I believe in praising and rewarding effort whether she had passed or not I was very proud of her and the effort she had put in."

I also agree with you on this.
I found a company that did 11+ lessons, these were not one to one but mostly one teacher to 10 or 12 children with one or two sixth form assistants. These only worked out at about £15 per lesson. I was happy that we could afford this as it was no more than some of her after school activities that she attended. She did one hour per week from about February but looking back I probably should have started earlier.

The main benefit of this from my own experience as a tutor, is that it normally brings the best out of the moderate and high ability children. When they are doing test, they work hard in order not to be the "left behind". It is like competition for them, they all want to score the highest mark especially children that join the group willingly not with mum or dad's push and bribes. The most important thing is how the teacher and his assistants run the class, not pulling any child down, words of encouragement and motivation. helping them to see that 11 plus is not a mountain that is too high to climb. They can climb it if they are willing. There are a lot of things that can help children to pass in addition to their practice. Two parents have told me that it was the belief I have in their children that made them to pass, they always tell their parents "uncle told me that I can pass, therefore I am going to work hard to pass" We also try to prepare them for problems that normally happen during the test from other children in the class as well.
I hope many parents will learn from your experience.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:28 pm
Posts: 7
I still maintain that a teacher one to one (@ 20 pounds for me) is far better than a class at 15 pounds a hour


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