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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:23 pm 
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My DD is Yr 4 and its likely she sit the 11+ in Nov next year. My original plan was to start tutoring either from the start of Yr 5 or after the Christmas term of Yr5.

Im having to reconsider this because I feel she isnt up to scratch with Comprehension at all. Her spelling is awful and even though she is one of only 3 Yr 4s at her school that are in top sets for Maths and Literacy, I dont feel she is being pushed enough to improve. The ability is there but I just feel she is lacking some direction. We do work at home and although her Maths and Verbal Reasoning skills are well above average (scores between 95-100% using the Bond books for her age), we dont seem to making much progress with comprehension. I have to say I find a lot of the answers sometimes a bit vague and feel sometimes she has given what I feel to be a correct answer, but the answer sheet gives something else!

To this end I feel their must be a "certain way" to teach comprehension and Im considering a tutor after Easter to bolster her Literacy skills and maybe do some 11+ work alongside - but not focusing on this specifically till later into Yr 5.

Is this something tutors do or is it more commonplace simply to only teach for 11+ OR curriculum?

Im a bit torn, because as I say she is in top set for Literacy at school and they think she is doing well, but I dont really see this reflected in her work, like I do with Maths.

Id be looking for a tutor in Essex (just outside Billericay) if this is relevant!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
I have sent you a PM


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:49 pm 
I would think this possible provided you make it clear to a tutor what you want from him/her.

I don't often tutor from Year 4 but, when I do, I tend to spend half the time on 11 plus and the other half on precise areas of weakness such as comprehension or fractions.

If you are referring to the Bond comprehensions, I sometimes find children have what I would consider a perfectly reasonable, alternative answer to some of the questions asked. The hardest thing I find is getting the children to understand the questions rather than the passage itself.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
I find it is quite useful to get the child to highlight the words in the question which actually show you what is being asked!

you can also highlight the bits in the text which are relevant (this is where a photocopy comes in handy)
Not reading the question properly is a very common mistake, especially if teh pupil is nervous or in a hurry-- or even half asleep :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:21 pm
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Location: Medway/Kent
when I tutor comprehension skills I like to use the Focus on Comprehension range of books from Nelson Thornes, these split the questions into 3 very differnt areas that require test for the full range of skills, questions are spilt into thinking back, thinking about it and thinking it through.
I have found these to be the most comprehensive (sorry for the pun) lol
Regards
reddebs


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:19 am
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Thanks for all the useful replies (and PMs!).

What Im doing now is the Bond Papers but instead of using them as a test we work through them together and Im trying to get her to talk about the text and her interpretation of it rather than "mark" it as such. She doesnt seem to have a problem understanding the texts - especially character "feelings" etc but struggles more with factual texts (usually the stumbling block is vocab she hasnt encountered before).

I'll be sure to have a long chat with the two potential tutors who have been recommended by friends and see which will suit her best.

Just one more quick question - my two friends who have had their children tutored last year (for Nov 08 11+) both shared the lesson with another pupil (in one case it was their best friend from school, in the other it was an "unknown" child) - are there merits for sharing a tutor(apart from cost!)? Id be concerned if one child was at a totally different level to mine they could either be a child genius that would make my DD seem inferior, or of lower ability and would need more of the tutors time? Are children matched with a child of fairly equal abillities? Is it up to you to find a "share" or does the tutor arrange this?

The results of the Essex 11+ arent out till March and I know if one of the above mentioned children passes well enough to get a Grammar place and the other doesnt, I'll be immediately be biased to that tutor (human nature I guess!) - what questions should I be asking each tutor so I can get a good evaluation of both rather than simply choose on the end result (which I fully understand is a bit of a lottery even for the brightest children).


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:28 pm 
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Hi Jessmum, My DD was also helped along with comprehension, fractions etc. by a tutor in our area. She assessed my DD and tutored her accordingly.Only when she felt she was ready did she move on to test prep.

She also gave her a litle homework which, incidently, my DD loved. She tutored several children at once and always knew which level they were working at.

As far as I'm concerned, I would go with the one you and your DD feel is right. Your DD has to feel comfortable with the tutor and be happy to go there for what could be a year. We are not in your area, so, unfortunately, she cannot help you out!


good luck, proud mum x2


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:19 am
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Thanks again.

I have been in contact with a local tutor (who does advertise on this site and has tutored my friends son) and Ive had an encouraging response.

He is starting a small group of Yr4s after Easter which sounds ideal for us so I'll have a chat and see what pans out.

What I was pleased about is that it he seems keen to work on the curriculum without too much 11+ pressure, which is exactly what we were looking for.


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