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 Post subject: Oh My God!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:11 pm 
I have just been in touch with a tutor who came highly recommended.

I was hoping for reassurance that the optimum time to start preparing for the 11+ would be at the beginning of Year 5. In fact, the advice I received was that to wait until Year 5 would be cutting it fine! This particular tutor (who as I say came highly recommended) swears by early preparation, and believes that 'cramming' is often counter-productive. He claims that his best successes have been with children he has tutored for 3+ years. This I find very worrying.

My instincts tell me that he is probably right with regards to 'cramming', but surely 12 months prep cannot be regarded as 'cramming'? The tutor was very pleasant, but am I being quietly frightened into 'buying' something I do not actually need? Or is he right? I live in North West London. The grammer school choices in this area are limited, particularly for boys; effectively it boils down to QEB or Latymer, and we will have to move within the next couple of years so that we are in a location where our son could travel to either school fairly easily. I wonder whether the limited choice, and the fact that the above schools do not have formal catchment areas, (I am aware that for Latymer is that the school can be reached by public transport within an hour) makes the competition in this area particularly fierce?

I had planned to concentrate on helping my son with his Maths and English, by doing some extra work with him at home, and then if necessary engage a tutor in Year 5 as I would not be a good tutor in the run up to the exams. Is that still the best plan?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :shock:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:54 pm 
:shock: Wow, That seems an awful lot of tutoring (and money!). If a child needs 3+ years of tutoring does that really make them Grammar School material? Although not in your area (we live on the Bucks/Berks borders) our son passed the 11+ last November. We were also recommended a tutor. I rang her in the September as my son started year 5 and was told that she started tutoring from the January for that years 11+ - ie 10mths tuition. He started in the January of Year 5, took the 11+ in the Oct/Nov of year 6 and had 1hrs tuition per week with a further 1 hours homework per week. (and had school holidays off). Any more than that she felt unnecessary - you can not 'teach' a child to pass she said. This worked for us and our son but only you know what might be best for your child. This is just my experience. Hope this helps.

Sandy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:32 am 
I don't agree with tutoring to that extent! My daughter started looking at some papers in the Jan before the Nov 11+ exam. She got into one of the top girls grammar schools in Essex so that was enough time. Interestingly, another girl in her class had a tutor from year 4 - in fact she had a tutor for English and another for Maths and VR. She didn't get into any of the grammars she selected, so it doesn't always work. Don't panic that you have left it too late - if you have a bright child, 10 months or so before should be enough.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
I think I left our 'tutoring' a bit late...... 7 weeks before the exam. I would definately start earlier in hindsight (wonderful thing - hindsight). Luckily my son scraped the pass mark.
I agree with the two replies already given.... 10 months should be plenty of time. It may be worth posting the same question in the 'area forum' as there will be more experience of yourparticular schools and the standard required. Good Luck


Last edited by chad on Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: tutoring
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 3:31 pm 
Our daughter was tutored for a year before she sat the 11+. One hour per week and then a Bond Assessment paper for homework, maths one week, english the next, etc. Nearer the time we gave her the old 11+ papers to do which we obtained from CSSE and also NFER VR papers we purchased from WH Smith. It worked for her, she got into CCHS.


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 Post subject: Re: tutoring
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 3:53 pm 
another mum wrote:
Our daughter was tutored for a year before she sat the 11+. One hour per week and then a Bond Assessment paper for homework, maths one week, english the next, etc. Nearer the time we gave her the old 11+ papers to do which we obtained from CSSE and also NFER VR papers we purchased from WH Smith. It worked for her, she got into CCHS.


that's almost exactly what we did but 10 months before. My daughter also got into CCHS.


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 Post subject: oh my god
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:41 pm 
maggie

I have a child who will be in year 5 in September, which was when I was going to start getting papers together myself. I don't think I will engage a tutor, but will try and prepare myself. I too thought that was plenty of time. I agree you need to be aware of what is required and prepare properly, but it certainly sounds as if he was playing into your fear of not obtaining a place by suggesting you have left it to the last minute. I am quite sure my own child would lose heart and interest if tutoring lasted so long (3 years plus) and it would be counter productive. I don't live in your area but the pressure is pretty much the same in most counties where selection means a fantastic school, but not getting in can leave you with very little options. Tutors are very aware of the anxiety parents face, but I guess you should be firm and stick to what you feel is best for your child. Good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 5:35 pm 
My child got into Latymer. We started doimg maths in May, about an hour a week. During the Summer Holidays we intended to do more, but she took a sudden interest in piano practice and reading books. So I let her be, thinking a life long interest in books actually pleased me more than getting into a good school. We were nearly certain that she would get into a good comp in the second round of allocations.
When she went back to school in September she found out that most of the children were applying for grammar schools so decided that she too wanted to.
We didn't bother with the bond books, just practised the Athey and NFER papers as well as the old practice papers from Latymer School. I am a teacher and had recently had another baby so had plenty of time to help my daughter.
Please don't feel you have left it too late. Go onto the Hertfordshire (London Borough if Barnet ) forum. There are numerous people who have successfully tutored their own children for QE Boys. They have lots of great advice.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:19 pm 
Thank you all for your helpful comments.

I feel reassured. :)

I think part of the anxiety is not knowing if my son is grammer school material. His teacher says he is doing 'very well' but what does that mean? He got 2s in his sats, but his reading and spelling is above average. Does he need to improve significantly to stand a chance?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:56 am 
Hello Maggie

Glad you're reassured by all the sensible comments on preparation. Too early is as bad as too late if you ask me.

I agree that "doing well" means almost nothing (except that you don't have to apply for a statement!). Children all develop at different rates. Some (like my daughter) are infant school stars (all level 3s & top of class) and then level out at junior (116 in 11 plus but in good comp so no worries). Others, especially boys, are average in infant (or even struggle) but then leap forward at junior. I know of some children like this in my daughter's primary - you've made the mistake of labelling them "not academic" and then they suddenly surprise you. Some children don't even get going properly until secondary.

It's probably a bit early to tell with your son. I would just keep him interested in reading (& see Patricia's vocab lists) and perhaps do some additional Maths, and then assess in Year 5.


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