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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:00 pm
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There's around 7 months to go until children sit the 11+ for Sep 2015 entry. What are parents doing to prepare?

We're spending around 20-30 minutes per day Monday to Friday doing various VR/NVR/Maths/English exercises. Then we do 4 tests over the weekend (1 for each subject area. 2 on Sat, 2 on Sun) and go over corrections for those tests.

There are times when I think I'm doing too much, too early, so I think I should slow down.

But then there are other times (especially when I hear about Appeals) when I get into a minor panic and decide to maintain my schedule.

My daughter actually doesn't mind the tests and preparation. She's getting around mid 70%'s for English and mid 80%'s for everything else. So starting early has given me notice to spend some time with her on Comprehension and Cloze (the two areas she finds most difficult).

I went through this with my eldest daughter 2 years ago and would like my youngest to go to the same Grammar as her sister. My youngest is achieving better results at school than my eldest did. But of course the 11+ format has changed now, hence my apprehension.

Just thought I'd share my thoughts. I'd be interested in hearing what others are doing.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:06 pm 
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Imo if you are doing about 2.5-3 hours both Saturday and Sunday, by September you will both be completely sick of the sight of papers. Maybe have one day off a week?

Are you matching quality time with test paper time? V important!

Great scores though, for this early in the year.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:27 am 
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Hi southbucks3,

I think you could be right about getting sick of papers. I was also concerned about peaking too early. I think I will slow down.

Yes, we're always trying to get a good mix of quality/work time. Agree that's very important.

Thank you for your comments.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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What are the tests you do at the weekend?

We have been beset by family disasters this year so I'm feeling very behind. You sound very organised and well ahead.

I would be tempted to keep going at your current pace while you can and then ease off for a while when needed and then resume again etc. I say this because although the getting bored thing could be a real danger, events can take over and if you feel more relaxed getting through the bulk early I don't see that can do much harm and it insures you against disasters.

We are GL in Kent, not CEM, but potentially four subjects (maths, English, VR and NVR). My vague plan is to get to the point where we are ready to start the GL assessment papers in all four subjects by Easter ---- not sure if we are going to make this target though.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:41 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:52 pm
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We are not in bucks but this is an interesting topic so I will answer. Completing homework seems to take most of or time at the moment. We haven't started questions papers yet. We will probably start around May as she is still being introduced to some of the curriculum.
Usual hw is - Single topic workbook exercise for Maths, VR, NVR, cloze & comprehension(just started) in a week.
DD is a quick learner but repetition and stamina (long time) are her weaknesses so few things and more variety suits her.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:45 am 
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Hi Mystery

I'm sorry to hear about your family disasters and hope you manage to stay on top of things.

So far, we've been doing SWOT, CGP, Bond and ElevenPlus tests. We're planning to do GL, NFER and a few others from around May/June.

I'm purposely doing a wide range of papers. I find this helps me to find areas of weakness/strength. Then I can fine tune my weekday work around that.

It's been far easier to engage my youngest in this process than it was my eldest 2 years ago. I'm blessed that my youngest seems to be a faster learner and also has a bigger appetite to learn. She has a determination to improve on her previous test papers which drives the both of us. But I don't want her to 'burn out'. I feel like I've got my hand on the dial and can turn it up or down, but I'm not 100% sure where to set it right now (hope that makes sense!).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:01 pm
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Very interesting post. I am not from your area, but would like to share my routine and keep an eye on this post for some ideas.
We are Trafford and use GL assessment ( English, Maths n VR) .
I have been told to begin GL assessment papers from April, in Easter holidays. I am sticking to this advice.

On Weekdays, we do 10 min Bond in VR ( usually 2 papers) , Reading Comp practice from Schofield & Sims book, Maths 10 min Bond ( 2 papers) all depending on homework. Easy HW means more self studies. We try to do English on Maths homework day and try to mix and match our studies with HW.

DS has become independent in doing 10 min Bond papers, so he sets time, finishes it and checks answers himself and if score is not satisfactory, he attempts another test. He enjoys it, so I have no complaints.

We don't study on Fri night and Sunday night.

DS goes on ipad apps for NVR and a website for online maths ( from school). We try to read 10 mins everyday.

If for some reason, he feels like taking a day off from studies, I agree ( with a promise to cover it later :lol: )

Weekends work is entirely optional. We might not touch books or sit 1-2 hours for understanding something that requires extra work.

DS gets lots of xbox time, play dates with friends, movies, B'day parties - so he is getting fair share of fun as well.

PS : Singledad - I hope you don't mind that I have posted similar topic in Trafford forum .


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:00 pm 
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Hi Rimi01,

Thanks for your comments.

You're at least the second person that has mentioned doing GL/Nfer from Easter. I was planning to start them from May/June, but might rethink that now.

However, my concern with starting in Easter is around the number of GL/Nfer papers there are. Let me explain; Unless I'm mistaken, there are 8 GL/Nfer tests per subject. Based on doing a test a week per subject, that's around 2 months worth of tests. Starting in mid April means you'll have completed these papers by around end June. With 2 months still to go, which test papers would you do next? I thought it was better to leave GL/Nfer papers closer to the end, nearer to the time of the actual tests, but I could be wrong.

I like the idea about empowering your ds about choosing to take the odd occasional day off. I think I'll try that too.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:39 pm 
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Singledad -
Sorry for confusing everyone with my 128 papers comment !! Edited it now!!

If there are only 32 papers, I will also begin in June/July.

I empower DS a lot and make him responsible for sticking to his routine. He is a boy, so I have had bad days, but it works in general :lol: . Sometimes getting low marks in school gives him a wakeup call :lol: and we always make a connection between his performance at school and work at home.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:48 pm
Posts: 63
Please could anyone tell if keystages (from Birmingham I suppose, which also does questions for CEM, Bucks) is relevant for Bucks?


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