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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:22 pm
Posts: 526
Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
Hi there

Just wondered if there any tutors out there, or parents who have been through it, who can map out the sort of tutoring ones DC is likely to receive (i.e. best practice) through year 5 and upto the exam itself.

It would also be useful to get the answers to the following (not exhaustive) list:

* the balance in teaching between the subjects e.g. (in our case in Kent) maths, VR, NVR
* when to teach vs when to test
* homework - type and quantity
* when to start doing practice papers and timing
* exam technique and timing
* when is the best time to start
* tutoring through school holidays
* plus anything else I've missed...

Many thanks in advance for your feedback.

Regards, Vilagedad


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 6257
Hi Villagedad - We have just gone through the Kent 11+.

DS is at indie prep school so gets a lot of homework anyway so we had to balance this with everything else. Contrary to popular belief he did not receive masses of preparation at school, but we did have him tutored out of school. He had an hour per week and the tutor gave him homework in each subject (VR NVR and Maths) each week - not too much though. He did not go to the tutor through the Christmas or Easter holidays but he did carry on right the way through the Summer hols - a pain for him but it worked and he did very well.

We also did some at home working on the little and often principle. In the Summer before the test he did about an hour per day and before that he did some each weekend. He hardly did anything during the week as it was hard to fit in around all his homework etc.

I know it sounds a lot but we did keep it "light" and it wasn't a burden or anything. Slowly and steadily was our approach. We used the Bond Assessment books Level More4 and also practice papers. We really worked towards the test in Year 5 (nothing before then) but it was little and often rather than anything too heavy - DS works best on "drip feed" method rather than throwing himself at it all at once.

Please PM me if that would help.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
My son is in year 5 and has a tutor. He has one 1-hour session per week plus homework, usually consisiting of maths and non-verbal work (2-3 sheets of questions). He didn't have any sessions during the Christmas holidays. I'm not sure when the tutor plans to start doing tests etc.

The tutor we have teaches a wide range of abilities and ages, not just 11+ candidates and will accomodate each pupils needs. Therefore, the balance betwreen subjects will depend on the person's ability.

If I felt able and disciplined enough, I probably would have tackled getting my son to do the papers etc at home, and trying to coach him, but I find it easier to get someone else to do it. Also, my son seems to enjoy it.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
PS Forgot to mention, that we're also in Kent, and only started the tutor in year 5.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:30 pm
Posts: 46
Location: London
Hi there VillageDad,

Hopefully you have already found a suitable tutor for your child - if not get your skates on as the longer you leave it the more pressure you will feel under if you are left with a short preparation time.

I made a decision at the beginning of March 2009 to get my DS to sit 10+ exam for 2 indie schools and to get a tutor. I had been pondering whether to go for 10+ or wait and sit 11+. After a bit of a jolt during a parent evening when for the 1st time my son's Maths had not improved since the last report I leapt into action. Maths is his strongest subject and as a parent of a then Yr 4 child I did not think it boded well.

I needed some one to tutor in English, Maths and VR.

After asking a round other parents I decided on a tutor reccomended by a parent whose child had been successfully tutored for 11+ for the same schools I was considering and offered places at both. I was able to glean infomation about how the tutor worked. The parent warned me that the tutor gave lots of homework. She was not wrong. My Ds began going to the tutor mid march which gave him 10 months to prepare.

The tutor on he 1st meeting asked about my sons levels and asked him did he know his tables. To which he replied yes. She then tested this - noting that his response times needed to be quicker. She then proceeded to give him past papers on that and the 2 subsequent meetings to try and assess what his level was and where the gaps were.

During this 10 months the tutor gave lots of homework and nearly every week he had to do a piece of writing such as a story or poem - grammar and punctuation. The 10 months were a lot of hard work and did feel like alot of pressure for myself and my son. In an ideal world I would have liked to have had an additional 2 -4 months minimum to reduce the amount of pressure and work each week as it does take alot of your child's and your time. The tutor also tried to prep him for the interviews as well.

Before taking the tests the tutor noted on a few occasions that my DS should be o.k in relation to the tests. I took some comfort from this and I think we both new that his weaker subjuct was his English and she tried to encourage him to try hard and keep the standard high on his written work.

I think if my DS was not up to it the tutor would have been upfront about it. You need a tutor who will be honest with you and you will need time as well.

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