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 Post subject: Furious
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:29 pm 
My child has been receiving tutition from a tutor in the saltley/Alum Rock area for a while. I must admit I wasnt too impressed with his teaching method or the homework he occasionaly supplied.

He spoke highly of himself, his pass rate and his popularity amongst the asain community. He told us that he had researched all the different tests and was more than capable of helping children pass the tests (talk about blowing your own trumpet). His premises are shoddy and the children are crammed in like chickens in a barn. I'm sure this tutor frequently visits this site and will realise that this thread is about him.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, my child and others in his group took the Bishop Vesy test yesterday. My child went for his regular tuition this morning and came back quite dissapointed saying that the tutor J**** did nothing for 3 hrs but asked all the children to write down all the questions that they could remember from the Bishop Vesy exam. It seems that he wanted all the type questions so that only these would be revised in preperation for next years exam.

I was furious to realise that I had paid this tutor so that my child could be grilled about the questions, even I didnt ask my child what the test was all about, I wanted my child to feel relaxed after the exam. I think this was outrageous and certainly shouldnt be allowed to happen, there must be some kind of system where we can ensure that this kind of cheating is not allowed. I say "cheating" because thats what it is, after all this tutor has attained knowledge of most of the questions....less short of the exam paper itself.

I think if this sort of thing carries on we will have children in grammar schools who have gained entry via tutors like J**** and who are less than capable to prepare themselves for what a gramar education brings. It seems to me that the tutor has been dong this kind of thing for a long time. Is this why more and more asain children are gaining entry to gramar? dont get me wrong I too am asain and perhaps also guilty as I have been using this mans services, but my child has worked hard to get to where they are and I have tutored at home most of the time. I am tempted to inform Bishop Vesey and I can only hope that they change the paper every year so that everyone has a fair chance.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:20 pm 
Sorry to seem cheeky, but is your tutor helping children with the Bishop Vesey exam or sending them for a mock exam for King Edwards. It just seems that you are a long way away to apply for this school. I know anyone can apply from anywhere in Birmingham - but I am surprised to find so many entering from so far away while all the King Edwards schools seem closer to you? Have recently discovered this is standard practice.

As for tutor - my childs tutor also asked for lowdown on exam - however I do not see this as a bad point as we all are on this website asking similar questions of each other. Besides which from what I gather the questions were of exact nature to NFER papers you can buy from W H Smiths just selective sections used. I would however ask for money back on session time wasted. A 3 hour tuition session - wow!!!!!!!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:36 am 
Sorry to hear of your recent bad news, unfortunately, 11+ is big business and tutors are exploting the market. As a rule, I have been told that unless your child has attained a level 4a/4B and above by end of year 5, you don't stand much chance of doing well in the 11+ tests. Even if they do pass, they will struggle later on in the school. So, the fact that this tutor has gained an insight into the questions, unless the child is bright, they will struggle, the tutor, if he had morals, would tell himself whether the child will cope. Did he ask you what level he/she has attained in year 5 at school? It should have been the first question before taking on the child!

Secondly, I was under the impression that you have 5 to 6 choices on the LEA form, is Bishop Vessey different, and can be used a mock exam run? What happens if you pass the exam but fail the exam for King Edwards

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:23 am 
With Birmingham LEA you dont have to put this down as a preference to get to take the exam. The admissions send you details of the exam BEFORE the preference forms have to be in - so therefore you can be offered an exam place as early as August whether or not you intend to go to the school. Other areas wait to check you have put it on your form before sending out confirmation of test. Bishop Vesey do not have a bus service other than public transport - and I am always suprised at how far away people are coming from for tests when it would involve several bus journeys - I cant believe that many parents would drive in the morning when it is a congested journey and at least half would work in opposite direction.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:37 pm 
Can you give me the details of weekend school as Alum Rock/Saltley isn't too far from where I live ( Yardly). I am thinking of entering my child for 11+ exams next year.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:56 pm 
All above comments very interesting. My son also sat Bishop Vesey on Saturday and found it "fine."
With regards to tutors quizing pupils to determine exactly what questions were on the paper, I find this totally out of order. I have, however, heard of a tutor who actually gave her pupils "official" past papers from '05 and '04. This is unfair on those of us who are trying to help our children ourselves.
We should all be trying to educate our children rather than second guessing exam questions and concentrating on those areas.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:36 pm 
Hi Furious

Your above post was very interesting, I know of this particular tutor who tutors all asian kids in that area and boasts a very high pass rate. My son was also recieving tution from this tutor last year for a short period until I realised the tactics he uses. My son was also intensly quizzed after his BV test by this tutor for which I also paid. I was also angry as you are and couldnt see the justice in questioning children for 2/3 hours just so he could get an insight into the exam paper.

I eventually withdrew my son from his classes after 4 wks as I didnt think he was teaching my son the way I expected. He rarely set proper homework and when he did it consisted of random questions that were hand written or a single peice of paper that was copied from a work book.

I think what he is doing is outrageous, I understand that most tutors research the questions from this type of source but intense questioning over long hours is stressful for children.

I tutored my son at home after that and he managed to get a place at BV. One other thing I want to point out which you raised about asain children and Gramars. I noticed last year that 70% or more kids sitting for the BV test may have been asain, has anybody else noticed this trend this year? Before anyone says, I am not racist I too am an asian parent.

It worries me that asain tutors like him are getting hold of information in this way and are hot heading pupils for the BV test which will adversly affect gramar schools. Soon they will be filled with children of average ability hence the standards of our gramar schools will fall.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:28 am 
I have a daughter in yr 10 at one of the KE Grammars and another taking test this week. I have done all tutoring/coaching myself using materials from W H Smith.

Don't use tutors who teach in a large group. If you want to use a tutor, look for someone who will take no more than 2 or 3 friends together. Ideally, tuition should be one-to-one as tutor should be looking at overall academic progress and not just cramming for the exam.

Encourage reading of both fiction and non-fiction books, and turn off the TV!!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:47 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:14 am
Posts: 43

I know that when the 11+ exams approach parents are extremely
stressed and want to do everything that they can to help their child to try to get a place in a good school.

My own opinion if you have had the marbles to tutor your child at home then why send them for a mock exams, when you can easily do it at home(this is what you should have been aiming to do in the last few weeks before the actual exam)

The vultures out there now the stakes and the measures parents will go to, to give their child every chance to try to attain a place and market the opportunity to make lots of money from nervous parents.

The LEA grammers use NFER papers, they only publish four for practice of each topic,which there are four and should only be used towards the end as the mock papers. These you can use to see at what standard the child is.

Paying to do a extra mock paper will have no effect on how well they do in the actual exam. Money better spent on taking the child out(pictures, ten pin bowling, golf,mcdonalds or whatever your child enjoys) and telling them how proud you are of them for putting in all the extra work.

A hug, a kiss or a pat on the back works ten fold better at the end then push push push.THE feel good factor in the child is the name of the game.

Hope this helps some worried parents who pass the worry onto the child
in their over zealous ways.

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