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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:43 pm
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Hi Y'all,
Soooo eldest son just did his 11+ last week, and I have another son in Year 4 about to do his CATs.
Our school has chosen to do CATs for years 4 & 5, and it does seem to be very useful for 'evidence' if any 11+ appeal is necessary later down the line.

We are not sure a grammar system would be a good fit for our youngest - more in terms of personality than academics, but I am trying to keep options open for him as a lot can change in two years! Therefore, the ideal would be for him to do well in the CATs, just in case he ends up down that route.

The point of CATs is not to prep for them...too get a proper idea of where the child is at, to aim developing kids with different strengths/weaknesses in different ways through different teaching styles etc.

I know the eight questions types from Googling. Dilemma is, do I run through the question types with my son? Or do I remain purest and let him just do it and see what happens? I wasn't going to give him practice questions, I was just going to make sure he understood the question styles, but I am wondering if even doing that is 'wrong' really?

The classes are all mixed ability, so I'm not convinced there is actually much benefit/evidence of the results being used for optimal teaching etc. It would be good to ensure he gets the best mark he can in case he needs to rely on it later on.

On the other hand, is it wrong to prep him?
I have been quite purest with eldest child - he wasn't even tutored for 11+ because I felt that, "If he is capable he should do fine, and if he needs extensive tutoring then he probably isn't suitable for grammar." Having gone through the process once though, I have concluded that the system is a bit flawed in places, and that it is (arguably) better to give your kid every advantage you can given that they are working within a system that isn't ideal anyway!

Views appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:59 pm
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Everything you have said implies that you have already made your mind up to prep him for the CAT tests, so I think you are just looking for validation of your decisions. Unfortunately you won't get it from me! As most state schools don't do CAT testing, can I assume you are in an independent? If so, you have probably already given your son an advantage over the vast majority of kids as they are well versed in the type of presentation of CAT tests.

You also comment that you are not sure grammar is the best place for him - why not then let him have a go at the CAT tests in the way they are meant to be taken - unprepared, testing innate ability. If he does well then you can consider which GS might suit his personality best. If he does less well then you can focus on what type of education might best suit him?

I certainly didn't prep my sons for SATs in school - they pretty much did the 11+ under their own steam - one son was CAT tested as part of an asd assessment - I didn't know anything about it until afterwards, when we were given his results - it didn't phase him in the slightest. The whole GS/independent school system is flawed, in my opinion, though as I am more in favour of universal schools that are good for everyone.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:33 pm
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greengekho wrote:
Is it wrong to prep him?


greengekho wrote:
The point of CATs is not to prep for them...too get a proper idea of where the child is at.

You've answered your own question. Yes.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:43 pm
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We're not at an independent.
Genuinely seeking views rather than validation - if I had already made my mind up I wouldn't be bothering to ask! I thought maybe there are other factors/aspects of it that I haven't considered so thought it worth asking.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:04 pm 
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Alternative view.... CAT testing can be used to show progress... so just let them do them unprepped. The usual classroom learning will be enough. Our school asvised this for PIRA and PUMA testing, though they did send the children home with some CGP stuff prior to the actual KS2 tests.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:43 pm
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Thanks all for the views. Haven't really come to any conclusion, though as the general feeling seems to be to leave well alone I am veering more that way. We took great care with our elder son to ensure that whatever he achieves (whether that be a little or a lot), he will know he has done so of his own back/bat and have a strong sense of self esteem as a result. So I guess we should give our younger son the same sense of self worth too.

A mighty strange feeling for me to have such a dilemma - I am usually very clear on my opinions and rarely ask others for advice (not necessarily a good way to be, but the way I tend to be nevertheless!) I have found there have been two/three occasions throughout my eldest son's 11+ journey though where I have felt unsure and sought views/advice from this forum...and as such I am grateful for those who take the time to answer.

Might find myself cursing one and all though if younger son flunks CAT's because he didn't understand question types - heh heh! :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:21 pm
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Do not prep him for CATs - it is pointless.


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