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 Post subject: Year 5 parent's evening
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:48 am 
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Hello
It's parent's evening next week and my son's school isn't very clear when it comes to communicating how your child is doing academically. They only say whether the child is working toward/at/beyond. No reading age is given and tbh they would rather just say the child is working "at" for ease!

They are also not a fan of the 11+ and so absolutely no work is done to prepare or even talk about the exam.

What information do other schools in Buckinghamshire give to parents to keep them informed?
What questions should i be asking to really get a good picture with how my son is doing?

I'm thinking there's no point asking if his teacher thinks my son will qualify. A better question would be do they think my son has the speed and ability to handle a grammar school?

The only thing we have atm to go by is that he has been put into an Able, Gifted and Talented group for English but I understand this is more a school thing than a recognised government thing.

So any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:12 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
The school's attitude to the 11+ is perhaps not as you infer. Assuming this is a Bucks state primary school, they are not allowed to do any preparation or tuition for the test. The HT at most schools delivers a standard presentation to all parents nearer the time. I think this is a pre-prepared presentation sent to all schools so at some point you will be given the information.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:16 am 
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anotherdad wrote:
The school's attitude to the 11+ is perhaps not as you infer. Assuming this is a Bucks state primary school, they are not allowed to do any preparation or tuition for the test. The HT at most schools delivers a standard presentation to all parents nearer the time. I think this is a pre-prepared presentation sent to all schools so at some point you will be given the information.


I totally understand what you are saying and wholeheartedly agree that a Headteacher shouldn't get involved with the actual exam however I am sure have seen from being on this forum there are primary schools who do do Cognitive Abilities Tests for example and the parents get the standardised score.

Anyway, I am more interested to know (from the people who have gone through this experience) what specific questions I could be asking.
Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:39 am 
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lea2124 wrote:
A better question would be do they think my son has the speed and ability to handle a grammar school?


This a good question to ask. We asked something similar when DD was in Year 5.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:35 am 
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'Is he working beyond age-related expectations?' 'What are his predicted scores for the end of Year 6? [hoping to hear 110 +, greater depth in writing]
You might want to look at his Y4 report - was he assessed at working beyond age-related?

I'd also look at the school's KS2 results - what sort of average mark did the last cohort get?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:49 am 
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lea2124 wrote:
what specific questions I could be asking.


Other than whether your DC has any weak areas that you can support them with at home, none.

I would imagine the end of year reports you have received have given an indication of how your DC is performing.

You have stated that your DC is considered G&T at that school (therefore amongst the top 10% or so of their co-hort). Are you needing reassurance from the school because the primary school is lower performing than others in the area or because very few children from your DCs primary school gain places at Grammar schools?

Are you intending to tutor/have your DC tutored (assuming you've not already started)? If so then I imagine you/the tutor with have a much better insight into how your DC may do in the 11 plus than the primary school who, as you have stated, don't prepare DCs for the 11 plus.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:45 am 
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Many thanks for the replies. Has helped massively.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:57 am 
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loopylala wrote:
Are you intending to tutor/have your DC tutored (assuming you've not already started)? If so then I imagine you/the tutor with have a much better insight into how your DC may do in the 11 plus than the primary school who, as you have stated, don't prepare DCs for the 11 plus.

A parent who is prepared to DIY will have MUCH greater insight than a tutor - especially as the test is changing. Many tutors are not qualified teachers ...


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:32 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
A parent who is prepared to DIY will have MUCH greater insight than a tutor - especially as the test is changing. Many tutors are not qualified teachers ...


I think it very much depends.

If the parent struggles with English and/or maths are they really best placed to tutor?

A lot of teachers I know are also tutoring. My DCs teacher left teaching last year and is now a tutor.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:08 pm 
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loopylala wrote:
Guest55 wrote:
A parent who is prepared to DIY will have MUCH greater insight than a tutor - especially as the test is changing. Many tutors are not qualified teachers ...


I think it very much depends.

If the parent struggles with English and/or maths are they really best placed to tutor?

A lot of teachers I know are also tutoring. My DCs teacher left teaching last year and is now a tutor.


Personal view is that an attentive parent knows their child better than a tutor. No-one is gonna take as much care of a child's knowledge/learning than their own parent! DIY'ing means you can gloss over the areas your child knows well, and focus on the areas they find more difficult. The tutoring offerings we saw tended to follow a fairly set schedule of materials. They boast 'small groups', but of course the group still moves on each week from topic to topic regardless of whether your child has actually nailed that topic of not.

For most people the level of English and/or maths is really very basic (the kids are only aged 10/11 after all) and well within the understanding of hopefully almost all parents. Even if it isn't stuff you already know, it's stuff that is super easy to learn for an adult. I can't imagine many parents would class themselves as struggling once they have looked at the materials, unless perhaps English isn't their first language.

As for test content, teachers/tutors are guessing themselves don't forget...they don't know what the contents will be any more than a parent who has done a bit of research. I certainly think some tutors wheel out the same materials each year without much consideration for the changes in examining board/content.

We chose to DIY having looked at the options. I threw a couple of mock tests in (which many feel are a waste of time, but it worked really well for us - I'm glad we did them) to make sure there weren't any massive holes I had missed in the stuff we prepped. Son passed with a score just as strong as his mates (who had all been tutored).


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