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 Post subject: Where to start ????
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:13 pm
Posts: 28
Hi all . Well done to all the dc who have got a selective place and also to everyone who took the first cem test !!!!

My dd is in year 4 in a Bexley school and I am just wondering - where do I start ????
She loves reading and is fairly strong in English ( 3a at end of yr 3 in reading and writing) , maths she lacks confidence in , but is doing fine ( 3b at end of yr 3) Apologies if not supposed to post levels , just want to give back ground .

We have just bought cgp cem verbal reasoning book to go through - however not really sure where I start with her - want to try to get some sort of organisation going , have looked on her and not sure if yr 4 is to early ? Also have bond nvr book to work on , which she seems to be doing ok with so far . She isn't a particuarly fast worker and can day dream.

What have other people done ?

She reads to herself every night and to me every couple of days . Any recommendations on what to do and books etc ? Is it best to focus on verbal reasoning or maths as it is her weaker subject ?

I am going to continue to work with her , but am also aware that test is very hard , so not banking on her getting through ( and not telling her that all the work is for the 11+ - going along lines of helping her for school . )

Thank you for reading essay !


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start ????
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:51 pm
Posts: 31
I'll give my views in this, for what they are worth. I have two boys aged 10 and 8. The eldest has a guaranteed spot in Bexley, and a likely from St O.

For starters, we trusted the opinion of the primary school. they regularly benchmark and when it became apparent that they had one that surpassed normal levels of achievement they added extra challenges, be they maths, literacy or reading homework.

At home, I have read to them every night since they were born (or as near as possible to every night). I read them stories that are beyond their years sometimes, but I hope that the cadences and vocabulary permeate their brains and that it induces a love of reading. (It has worked, we can't tear them away from books).

My background is science, maths IT. So I help with that side, and my wife encourages them with English comprehensions and writing. In fact she manages to coax poems out of them, and my eldest has written a 17 chapter 'novel'. Interesting challenges bring interesting results.

Eldest was tutored for exams for around 7 months. One hour per week. We did a load of exams in June/July, and some verbal reasoning refresher work in September.

All in all? Trust what the school is telling you, concentrate on any weakness they may identify, then keep your child relaxed in the run-up to the exams.

Worked for us.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start ????
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
Posts: 1706
Location: Warwickshire
At this stage I'd focus on building vocabulary, and getting used to worded maths where you have to extract the sum required from the text - perhaps you could try something like the Schofield and Sims "problem solving" books?


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start ????
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:29 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:30 am
Posts: 49
do lots of reading and invest in a good tutor ; it helps to have a coach and motivator


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start ????
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:13 pm
Posts: 28
Thanks all , some helpful ideas !!!! We are happy with the school , but know that in class of 30 not getting individual attention which I can give her at home . She can "do" maths , but seems to panics , then gives me some very strange answers that have no idea where came from :shock: when go through , she gets it right - which can be little frustrating on both our parts ....... She enjoys reading and reads quite a bit ( normally when she is in bed supposed to be sleeping ....)

I ahve bought her a kobo for christmas , and being the meanie I am have added lots of the old free books on , going to show her how to use the dictionary on it .

I hadn't thought of the schofield + sims books - have one of those which I really like , and 2 of the comprehension ones - are they any good for vr part ? We are also going to do lots of maths games for adding etc . I will try on my own before looking into tutor , as would prefer to spend the money on books etc - I teach so can do it , just not this age , so bit out of loop !!!

Any other tips for vocab ( apps etc for android as she loves our tablet !) Thanks again .

p.s Is Dartford Grammar school cem test ?


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start ????
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 3:36 pm
Posts: 44
By the time your dd sits the Kent 11 + they may well have switched to the CEM test too, it is due to change this year

Our experience of the Bexley test this year is that it definitely favours an ability to extract information (maths problems expressed in words, English comprehension) from narrative text.

Maths accounted for only 25% of the test this year

So your daughter's ability and pleasure in reading should be encouraged

Lots of good advice from robofish too


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start ????
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
It depends on your primary school whether you should trust them or not.

There are loads of threads on c e m test. Bexley is c e m. Vocabulary seems all important - not what you use in your writing but the vocabulary you understand.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start ????
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:21 am
Posts: 224
We are in year 5 now, when we started our maths prep in year 4 we concentrated a lot on times tables (mainly concentrating on speed) and quick recall of facts such as how many meters in a kilometre, how to do area/perimeter, mean, mode, median etc...

From the feedback I have heard from this year's parents I think speed in the maths paper is a big issue.

In terms of reading, she reads a lot and I often read books to her which are well above her age. When we come across words she does not understand we add them to our "word book". We also talk about the story to make sure she understands what we are reading.

Think I will continue this now in year 5, will have to see if it works in the end. Still not sure what do do with VR, will it be old style VR or numerical reasoning instead. Not sure but may do both until at least we know what the situation is in Dartford.

In our case we are sadly not able to rely to much on her primary school, especially the maths teaching is not at all geared up to the test.


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