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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:23 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:42 pm
Posts: 867
Dear All

Having finally got round to registering with this forum I thought I'd ask you all a question.

We live in Bucks and so my children will be going through the 11+ system. We have a few years before the first one will do the 11+ but I'm interested to know a few things from those who've already been through the system.

My understanding is that familiarity and competancy in mental maths and a wide vocabulary are key to allowing pupils to perform to the best of their ability when taking the 11+. What strategies did people put into place (from early on - KS1) to help build / reinforce these skills? I'm thinking of this from a non onerous / fun / age appropriate perspective if that makes any sense.

Thanks for your help.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:09 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:11 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Bucks
my tip would be:
Hear them read as much as possible and talk through meanings of words.

I mistakenly stopped hearing my DD read as regularly when she became a confident reader in year 3 and it was not until later, realised that whereas she could read every word she was not necessarily understanding the complex words accurately,despite having a reading age 4 years above her actual age.
read, read and read!!

Also practice those Times tables....

However as low key as possible... there is enough pressure on them the year before the 11+ without too much before that. I have heard to a year 3 "you'll never get to grammar school if you don't do this homework...."

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:44 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:05 pm
Posts: 100
Hi Kittymum

I would agree that reading seems to be key. My dd read a wide range of material from 1st news and childrens NG to fairy stories, poems and sometimes we would just open any page in an encyclopedia and read a couple of pages. I also took advice from this forum and invested in an electronic dictionary, which really helped as she did not lose the flow as much as stopping to look something up in a paper dictionary. Crosswords were also good and seen as fun. later on we used ds games brain training and maths games also used www.teachingtables.co.uk Also I would say read patricias advice on home tutoring. We did, almost to the letter and dd was absolutly fine when it came to the tests and with a very positive outcome.

Good luck, if you keep posting there will always be someone to help.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:20 pm
Posts: 191
My DS has just successfully gone through the Bucks 11+ exam. Although a very able reader, we found it hard to persuade him to read books. I started to try and use more unusual words when I spoke to him and found that really helped widen his vocabulary. It's an effort but worth it.

With mental maths, the most important thing to practice in my opinion is times tables. Even when they are young you can make up small timetables squares and let them complete them against the clock. You don't have to wait until they know all their tables inside out. It gives them much more time on the trickier vocabulary questions if they can complete the maths sections quickly and accurately.

Good Luck! I am sure other people will have valuable tips.

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