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 Post subject: Starting Out- Need Help
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 3:46 pm 
Hello, I have a son who I want to prepare for the 2007 test for Kings Edwards Vi Grammar school.

I asked the teacher regarding this year's test and what it was like. He made the point that it was one the hardest he has heard of in years and the standard of enterants would be high. This has scared me slightly, my son is in year 5 and he is gets good SAT grades.

To anyone who has taken the test this Nov, was it hard and what would I need to prepare my son for the tests next year?

Your help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:19 pm 
Hi there!

My daughter didn't sit the test this year, but sat it last year. Unless this person who you spoke to actually sat the test how would he know? My daughter said that the test was very hard the year before! If the test was particularly difficult this year, the children would all get lower marks anyway, so it wouldn't really make much difference in the long run. I always kept in mind that the children are "competing" (don't like using that word) against other children of the same age.

I think with this 11+ business you need to ignore flippant comments from others and just keep your eye on the ball. If you want your child to go to a particular school, don't be put off and just go for it.

Good luck with your preparation.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:23 pm 
My daughter took 11+ this November. She has been assessed as gifted at English by her primary school; but I was despairing of her Maths when I tested her using Nfer papers from Smiths. In the end, she said that she thought that the Maths on the day was easy.

From what she has told me, the papers seemed to mix things up rather than being straight forward splits of different types of questions on different papers. Some people got upset because there were words that they didn't know, and they had to give meanings. My daughter said that these were made-up words and that you had to infer the probable meaning. Like Jabberwocky, she said. There were "bug" questions, which were Non-verbal reasoning (as far as I can make out); she didn't finish these but is confident that what she did was correct. Time will tell whether she has got a place!!

I didn't use a tutor because I think that coaching for the exam is counter-productive. I gave her test papers myself, and talked to her about general exam technique. I encouraged her to read (and talked to her about what she read) and gave her a general year 6 Maths workbook to go through.

I have an older daughter in year 10 at a KE grammar school, whom I prepared for the exam, and know how hard they have to work once they get there. She got all level 5s at Key Stage 2, but there were girls at her school who hadn't and were struggling because they weren't performing at the same level in Class. If you use a tutor, they should be helping with more general topics than just the 11+

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:22 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Birmingham
Hi 2007 Parent

I would be careful about the claims or comments made by Tutor Schools or Saturday Clubs. Most of these simply do group tuition and use generic NFER type material. (See some of the postings by Patricia on the subject)

Unless you are able to find and pay for a good local tutor, you are probably better off following a DIY approach using the materials and advise on this web site.

The KE Foundation do not publish details about the test, so anyone who makes claims about the content or difficulty from year to year is just guessing.

If you have a look at some of the forum postings on this site under Birmingham that probably about the most detail you will be able to find.

As regards you doubts about son and the test, if he is getting good SAT grades and is doing well at his junior school then you should take encouragement from that.

Look at it this way - the pass mark for the KE Exams is round about the 86th percentile (give or take a couple of points). That means that about 14% of those that took the exam pass - or to put it another way, 1 in 7 pass.

Granted the ability of all of the children taking the test is probably going to be higher than average, but if you child is performing in the top 10% in his class or year then he must be a good candidate for the KE Foundation grammars and one that the Foundation themselves would be keen to take the test.

Some good DIY tutoring by yourself should help significantly. The key thing is to start early and make sure you get into a routine. Little, Often and Fun should be the emphasis.

Hope this helps

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:42 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2668
Dear Ken

For prospective parents wishing to employ local tutors....a word of warning.....


Dear 2007 parent

If you feel confident, then DIY, you have enough helpers on this site...


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:51 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:31 pm
Posts: 119
I see that this company offered mock exams again this year in October, I wonder how many children sat the tests... Hmmm


PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 5:52 am 
My son (born June 1996) has just taken exams for KE Camphill/Aston, Queen Mary's Walsall and Bishop Veseys.

My experience tells me that you (the parents) must remain chilled and encourage your child to do their best - not put them under pressure to achieve. Neither would I engage a tutor. Firstly, it costs a fortune (I certainly couldn't afford it!), secondly, the KE exam in particular was very tough and most of my son's friends who had undergone months (and also years) of tutoring, found themselves in a panic because it was nothing like they had done before. My son, on the other hand, was very relaxed and felt he had done well - so many of the candidates entered the exam centre crying or white with fear - many more exited in tears and were scared to meet their parents. Indeed, some parents were nagging and testing their children right up until they went to their test room - how inappropriate!?

I did about 5 hours of test papers from WH Smiths with my son so that he was familiar with the format, nothing more. My firm belief is that you should only have a child at a selective school if they are able to prosper there, regardless. For example, my 13 year old nephew is at the Walsall Grammar School and he had the same 5 hours coaching from me - he was then on the waiting list for 2 days (i.e. not an automatic pass). Yet he has been at the school for 3 years now and is excelling at every subject (will be entered for 3 GCSE's a year early and is 'gifted and talented'!). On the other hand, many of his classmates (who would have got better entrance exam results than him) are struggling and having to undergo literacy and numeracy support!! Do you want your child to feel like a permanent under-achiever or feel happy and able at school? I will be happy with whichever school my son is allocated, even if it is the local Academy, where I am sure there is every chance he will do well if he enjoys it and is encouraged to do well by teachers and me and his dad.

Good luck anyway - it can be stressful, but don't let it be - feeling able to pursue an interest or passion can lead to a very successful life and I should know! :D

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:27 pm 
I personally would use a tutor (again) .. If you can afford it !!

I just don't think that my daugther would have had any mtoivation is DIY 'ed by myself.

That's not to say that the tutor was worth the money, or my daughter has passed (results waiting) ... But for just getting the kids out the house to different environment with the pressure of getting the home work done before the next visit was worth the Money.

The last 4-6 weeks before the exam I did far more than the tutor and new more about the exam (via this website) than the tutors.

I'm sure most of us can afford once a week/fortnight tutor. Mine was £15,, If your kids are going to Grammar schools I expect you will be forking out more than this for Trips, Uniforms, Clubs, etc etc.

If I would have DIY'ed and she does not pass then I would have thought I must have taught her differently or not pushed enough.

Just my opinion

Good luck whatever you choose..

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