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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:20 pm 
Congrats to all who have had good news on "offers day".

I posted some months back asking, for the benefit of parents whose kids are currently in Year 5 and who are not having formal tuition, for advice on what was in the King Edwards exam in Nov 2009. I gather that at the time I posted, there was still some possibility of "resits" going on. So nobody was able to give the lowdown on what was in the exam (insofar as their kids were able to remember!!)

Can anybody help now?

Also, can anyone reassure me by letting me know that their child has had an offer from one of the King Edwards schools, without having had the benefit of either a private school education, or private tuition? I am doing "home tuition" with my daughter, who is at a run of the mill state primary, but I cannot help but wonder whether paying for private tuition would give her a significant advantage over being "home tutored", not least in terms of having some reliable information about what kind of stuff tends to appear in the exams.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:46 pm
Posts: 47
Location: birmingham
My DS and DD went to an average / poorly performing state school and both got first choice schools. The 11+ is a good leveller and Generally bright children get in with or without major tutoring. My children had some tutoring but other than the first few sessions which enabled them to become familiar with puzzle type tests I'm not sure it made a difference. Two of my DDs friends got in with no tutoring (oxford papers from the library) and two who did the same familiarization as my children didn't.

It also depends how confident your child is - my DS needed only 5 sessions but my DD is less confident so I chose a longer period. If anything this backfired as the longer build up reduced her confidence!

Good luck

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:15 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:53 pm
Posts: 92
Hi my DD had a limited amount of tutoring to get used to the types of questions asked and then we just did some home tutoring and she has got into her first choice.

I do feel the tutoring although limited did make her more confident, however it is just down to personal choice and what type of child you have.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:16 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:03 am
Posts: 52
Location: birmingham
Hi. I only did a bit of familiarization with my ds at home, from September before the exams in Nov(KE grammars) and Jan(KES). He has been offered places at KES and CHB.

However, I did a couple of NVR and VR papers with him around easter last year, just to see how he did. He got over 95% in the NVR first time that he tried, so I decided he didn't need my help to pass this one! He got around 75% on the VR, so we read more over the summer, and I tried to make him focus a bit more clearly on what he was reading, whatever that was; we talked more about the things he read; I encouraged him to read as wide a range of material as possible - newspapers, magazines, comics, factual books, as well as the fiction I love ( I usually read the fiction to him at bedtime!).

I suppose you'd call this a sort of English enrichment programme, which was easy for both of us, very enjoyable for both of us.

By the time we starting looking at papers together, in September last year, his vocab was better, his thinking was less, well, fuzzy. We found that there were 3 or 4 VR question types he disliked more than the rest. I focused on the questions he did like first, so his confidence improved, then tackled the ones he didn't like.

It was fun, not at all stressful. But he's a genuinely clever boy, and always had a good chance of success. All he needed really was nudging and more confidence in English.

What you do depends so much on your individual child. And no-one knows that child better than you! :D

I went by my instincts with my son. He would have been bored and irritated if I'd done lots of extra work with him in maths and NVR. He would have lost confidence in his English and VR unless I'd taken a gentle approach - boys can be so touchy about things they're not good at!! :cry:

What he and I did together worked for him because I know him so well ( we know a song about that, don't we, boys and girls - sorry :oops: )

My advice: know your child, and make whatever you do fun :)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:28 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:16 pm
Posts: 56
Here's my daughter's version of what was in the November 2009 exam:

Paper 1

Synonyms - approx. 30 questions in 7 minutes - words included antiquity, pigment, gregarious

Antonyms - approx. 22 questions in 5 minutes - words included deliberate, din

Long Maths
1. Question about tiling a room - 120 tiles long, one tile 30 cm x 30 cm - what was length of room in cm and m? If tiles were 40p each how much would it cost to tile the room. (3 questions)
2. 3 passengers on bus at stop 1 - different stops, some got off, some got on - how many people on bus at stop 5 (only 1 question)
3. Bar chart of school clubs - 64 children in year, max 2 clubs each, 7 children don't go to a club, how many children went to 2 clubs (5 questions)
4. Table of 6 children - ticks for who has brothers, sisters, pets - how many have at least 1 brother and 1 sister; which statement is true (2 questions)
5. Mini olympics - large confusing grid with gaps - how many points each performance - gave total scores - fill in grid (4 questions to fill in grid, further 5 or 6 about the grid)


Paper 2

Missing words in 2 passages (about 14 in each); 10 minutes - first easy - about plane landing in Hudson River, example words tr---r (trader), damage, extinguisher, through, weapons. Second one hard - about Viking travellers from Norway - example Denmark.

2 Comprehensions - explorer went to Antarctica and saw red sky and amazing views - quite easy eg. what colour sky - 10-12 multiple choice questions
Classroom in Winter - gave you where people sat, some people stuck in snow - 10-12 multiple choice questions - very easy - questions like which statement must be true, why was blackboard tilted diagonally, why were socks hanging from fire.

Quick maths - 30 questions in 10 minutes eg. ordering fractions, lots of algebra

3D shapes - about 21 questions in 10 minutes - questions about shapes from different angles and rotated round


My daughter got into Camp Hill and got an AP at KEHS; she is going to Camp Hill. We didn't have any external tuition and didn't put any pressure on her - we did a timetable from January 2009 doing about 2 practice papers per week. In the month before the exam I "made up" papers in the style of the actual test. She reads for England (and has done since she learned to read) so her vocab is great; this was obviously a big bonus.

I totally agree with tranquility that you know your child better than a tutor so can tailor their learning around their strengths and weaknesses. I went through so many doubts from not having a tutor but I am so glad these were totally unfounded. So many people said to me that you won't get in without a tutor, but I know of increasingly more and more children who do get in without a tutor - it does have its own advantages.

I have to say I don't think she would have passed without the support of this site - of people like fm and DIY mum and their accounts of previous year's exams - and the fantastic advice from everyone. A BIG thankyou.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:33 am
Posts: 125
Location: Sutton Coldfield
Thanks KE hopeful - excellent and very detailed account.

Congratulation on your daughter's success.


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