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 Post subject: Colchester Grammar prep
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:40 pm
Posts: 25
Hello All,

We are starting prep for our DD. Colchester will be our first choice. At the moment we are looking for guidance/resources and approach which parents are taking towards the exam.

We did looked at last year sample papers from CSSE and they looked very difficult which has kind of shocked us, We have not shown the papers to DD but spoken to her about grammar and she looks interested.

We have some initial question (apologies for a long list)

    What should be our approach on guiding her for the exam ?
    Which topics to be studied for exam? I tried finding a list but apparently there is no published set of topics from CSSE.
    How many hours per day/week should the child invest, we are prepared to invest time with her/for her ?
    Where we can get past year sample papers, if someone has got them can they share or can we buy from somewhere?

Any help guidance much appreciated.

Regards,
Josh


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 3030
Maybe start by trawling back through older threads on here and you'll see where there's some useful information previously discussed.

You will find lots of different views on the amount of work you need to do and if you should get an external tutor or not.

With verbal reasoning playing a lesser role than previously there is much more focus on English and maths so it depends if the primary school is challenging more able children as to how much extra you might need to cover. Then it depends on how quickly a child picks things up and how confident they are working under time pressure.


With a girl you also need to decide if Chelmsford is an option as they have a different style of exam.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:02 pm
Posts: 174
Good luck with the prep. In terms of your questions

"What should be our approach on guiding her for the exam ?"

My recommendation is to work your way through suitable preparation materials. Do not attempt the CSSE past papers yet as they are very hard and you need to work your way up to them. We used Bond maths and English - some people also use CGP. On the Bond English, make sure you focus on the question types that are similar to the ones on the CSSE paper, ie Spelling, grammar, comprehension. I think there are some that are not so relevant.

There is a short piece of creative writing - we didn't spend much time on that but grammar and spelling are important, and we made sure our DD read the question properly eg is it asking for an exciting account, a descriptive account or instructions on how to do something. Then we asked her to write a few short pieces based on that eg how to clean your teeth, describe your bedroom, write about a day at the beach.

"Which topics to be studied for exam? I tried finding a list but apparently there is no published set of topics from CSSE."

I don't know. We worked our way through the CSSE papers ourselves and made sure that we practised anything that appeared over the last few years. Some primary schools don't seem to have covered all the maths question types that come up so that is where some children seem to fall down.

Also remember nearer the time to practice exam technique eg about moving on when you are stuck etc

"How many hours per day/week should the child invest, we are prepared to invest time with her/for her ?"

Hard to answer this. We did an hour or two a week but not necessarily every week. Some people seem to do loads, but kids get bored and resentful.

"Where we can get past year sample papers, if someone has got them can they share or can we buy from somewhere?"

You can buy 3 years worth from CSSE. There are also similar papers on line from Visuteach. But do not give them to your DD until she is really ready eg a couple of months before.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 303
Location: Essex
josh2017 wrote:
Hello All,

We are starting prep for our DD. Colchester will be our first choice. At the moment we are looking for guidance/resources and approach which parents are taking towards the exam.

We did looked at last year sample papers from CSSE and they looked very difficult which has kind of shocked us, We have not shown the papers to DD but spoken to her about grammar and she looks interested.

We have some initial question (apologies for a long list)

    What should be our approach on guiding her for the exam ?
    Which topics to be studied for exam? I tried finding a list but apparently there is no published set of topics from CSSE.
    How many hours per day/week should the child invest, we are prepared to invest time with her/for her ?
    Where we can get past year sample papers, if someone has got them can they share or can we buy from somewhere?

Any help guidance much appreciated.

Regards,
Josh


Firstly your child should know all of the year 6 Maths and English curriculum at the beginning of year 6. That means your child needs to be a year ahead academically in a state school.

Make sure your child reads all the time in different genres. My DD had to do an excerpt from Nicholas Nickleby (Charles Dickens) and my son just sat this year and the text was from My cousin Rachel (Daphne Du Maurier).

Your child will be expected to give two creative writing samples. One will be an imaginative and interesting response to a question such as describe your classroom.

The second will be an instruction text feature such as, how to brush your teeth.
instruction text features:
*clear, sequenced instructions
*use of imperatives (commands)
*choice of sentence type
*precise use of words
*selection and presentation of information
*write appropriately for the audience/reader

For Maths your child needs to know:
*Graphing points on the coordinate plane
*rounding and approximation
*Properties of number
*BIDMAS
*add and subtract negative numbers
*add and subtract Fractions
*Perimeter and area of shapes
*Angles
*Graphs and data
*Long calculations such as 297-114, 262 divided by 14, find the product of 14 and 6

That should keep you busy for the next couple of months :lol:

Use the practice papers yourself to make sure you are covering all the material, but do not have your child start mocks until Easter time. I highly recommend sitting proper mocks as it gives your child a chance to feel the nerves of being in a strange place with strangers and sitting and concentrating for two hours.

Prepare for the first mock results to be shocking. They will improve when you have your child sit another in early summer and you should be greatly improved by a late summer mock.

Use the Csse past papers, that is exactly what your child will face on the day.

http://www.csse.org.uk/index.php?option=com_simplefilemanager&view=simplefilemanagers&layout=list&catid=85&showDate=0&showNew=0&showSize=0&orderBy=a.ordering&order=ASC

With my son we did an hour a week starting in September of Year 5 and that went to 2 hours a week after February half term until a week before the test. He also did two hours a day for 1 week in a summer school but two weeks were on offer. We only did one week as he was performing highly and I didn't want to burn him out.

My DS is highly able and September Birthday and he got a 349
My DD is very able but end of July Birthday and got a 307

Good luck and slow and steady wins the race.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:40 pm
Posts: 25
KB wrote:
Maybe start by trawling back through older threads on here and you'll see where there's some useful information previously discussed.

You will find lots of different views on the amount of work you need to do and if you should get an external tutor or not.

With verbal reasoning playing a lesser role than previously there is much more focus on English and maths so it depends if the primary school is challenging more able children as to how much extra you might need to cover. Then it depends on how quickly a child picks things up and how confident they are working under time pressure.


With a girl you also need to decide if Chelmsford is an option as they have a different style of exam.


thanks KB, I will search through the threads to find some pointers, if there are any sticky's you can refer me to that will save our time, the number of threads are quite a lot here :).


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:40 pm
Posts: 25
thank you Mrs. B and pushymother :)

having googled about eleven plus and CSSE My head is spinning, I am thinking of following approach.

1. for myself - Get all topics from KS2 National curriculum till year 6.
-- some topics from KS3 year 7 [Should I or is it going overboard?]
-- map those topics to questions in past papers/bond assessments and cover one/two of them every week.

2. Get previous years paper, I can go back to 2015 only, how can I get prev. years papers, can someone share papers prior to 2015 pls or point me to website if they are on sale.

Do CSSE past papers myself, understand the topics and question types they cover, see if i can sneak 1 or two questions from paper to her to understand her approach - or is it not recommended - she might already know question types when she does a test later or she will get early help if specific questions are tricky for her?

3. Bond papers -

I will start with (Bond 11+: English, Maths, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning: Assessment Papers: 7-8 years bundle), give her a paper to try, see what topics she can do and what topics she needs help with understanding more.

Then take it from there to year 8-9, 9-10,10-11.

Plan to give her a test every weekend and discuss the topics which she finds tricky.

5. Reading daily 1/2hr atleast - is there a recommended list ? She is reading Enid Blyton.

What is your approach to reading, let her read loud with you in the room listening, finding 2-3 difficult words and finding their meaning in dictionary , trying to write a couple of sentences using them every week/month ?

6. Buy resources from Visuteach.


Other resources which I could find while going through threads were

1. junior maths challenge
2. nrich website
3. http://www.11plusforparents.co.uk/Maths/sequences.html
4. Schofield and Sims Progress Papers Maths 1, 2, 3.
5. Schofield and Sims bk 3 and 4 - comprehension

Am I making sense ? :)

thanks
Josh


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:58 pm
Posts: 68
You can get similar practice tests from the websites of other selective schools which aren’t identical but are good for practice.

If you DIY for the test it requires quite a bit of independent hard work and research on what is required, then you need to tailor it to your child. There is a reason tutors are expensive.

If your child is able, motivated and eager to learn and sit with you it’s much easier. If you have to do lots of hours, years before the exam and have to push a lot then it’s probably going to have to continue once they get into the school. CCHSG work at an incredible pace and the school has very high expectations of behaviour and achievement. Dd has some very unhappy girls in her class, but it suits her personality very well.

Dd was an enthusiastic reader of all genres, had good handwriting, high levels of vocabulary, could spell well, understood grammar/punctuation, was in the top group for maths and was desperate to go to CCHSG. We did about 6 weeks of a couple of hours a day, gap filling and exam practice over the summer holiday before the exam. She got 372 in the exam because that is the approach that worked for her. There would have been no point in starting any earlier because she wasn’t ready (summer born baby).


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:31 pm
Posts: 40
josh2017 wrote:
Hello All,

We are starting prep for our DD. Colchester will be our first choice. At the moment we are looking for guidance/resources and approach which parents are taking towards the exam.

We did looked at last year sample papers from CSSE and they looked very difficult which has kind of shocked us, We have not shown the papers to DD but spoken to her about grammar and she looks interested.

We have some initial question (apologies for a long list)

    What should be our approach on guiding her for the exam ?
    Which topics to be studied for exam? I tried finding a list but apparently there is no published set of topics from CSSE.
    How many hours per day/week should the child invest, we are prepared to invest time with her/for her ?
    Where we can get past year sample papers, if someone has got them can they share or can we buy from somewhere?

Any help guidance much appreciated.

Regards,
Josh


A few random thoughts:
How old is your daughter?
Too much prep can have an opposite affect
Try to encourage it to be something your daughter freely wants to engage with and aim for rather than your aspiration for her
Deciding if your child is academic, rather going down the hot housing path
Not becoming fixated on grammars being the only answer to your daughters education
Wondering why you are considering non-verbal reasoning as it is not a feature of the exam
Read classic texts and discuss with her


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:40 pm
Posts: 25
Daddy cool wrote:
josh2017 wrote:
Hello All,

We are starting prep for our DD. Colchester will be our first choice. At the moment we are looking for guidance/resources and approach which parents are taking towards the exam.

We did looked at last year sample papers from CSSE and they looked very difficult which has kind of shocked us, We have not shown the papers to DD but spoken to her about grammar and she looks interested.

We have some initial question (apologies for a long list)

    What should be our approach on guiding her for the exam ?
    Which topics to be studied for exam? I tried finding a list but apparently there is no published set of topics from CSSE.
    How many hours per day/week should the child invest, we are prepared to invest time with her/for her ?
    Where we can get past year sample papers, if someone has got them can they share or can we buy from somewhere?

Any help guidance much appreciated.

Regards,
Josh


A few random thoughts:
How old is your daughter?
Too much prep can have an opposite affect
Try to encourage it to be something your daughter freely wants to engage with and aim for rather than your aspiration for her
Deciding if your child is academic, rather going down the hot housing path
Not becoming fixated on grammars being the only answer to your daughters education
Wondering why you are considering non-verbal reasoning as it is not a feature of the exam
Read classic texts and discuss with her


Hello Daddycool,

thanks.

she turned 9 this September, she really enjoys maths and like to be challenged, from reading point of view she is a good reader and building up on that.
I was not aware of non-verbal reasoning not being part of exam, due to my lack of the detail on the exam.

regards


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:31 pm
Posts: 40
josh2017 wrote:
Daddy cool wrote:
josh2017 wrote:
Hello All,

We are starting prep for our DD. Colchester will be our first choice. At the moment we are looking for guidance/resources and approach which parents are taking towards the exam.

We did looked at last year sample papers from CSSE and they looked very difficult which has kind of shocked us, We have not shown the papers to DD but spoken to her about grammar and she looks interested.

We have some initial question (apologies for a long list)

    What should be our approach on guiding her for the exam ?
    Which topics to be studied for exam? I tried finding a list but apparently there is no published set of topics from CSSE.
    How many hours per day/week should the child invest, we are prepared to invest time with her/for her ?
    Where we can get past year sample papers, if someone has got them can they share or can we buy from somewhere?

Any help guidance much appreciated.

Regards,
Josh


A few random thoughts:
How old is your daughter?
Too much prep can have an opposite affect
Try to encourage it to be something your daughter freely wants to engage with and aim for rather than your aspiration for her
Deciding if your child is academic, rather going down the hot housing path
Not becoming fixated on grammars being the only answer to your daughters education
Wondering why you are considering non-verbal reasoning as it is not a feature of the exam
Read classic texts and discuss with her


Hello Daddycool,

thanks.

she turned 9 this September, she really enjoys maths and like to be challenged, from reading point of view she is a good reader and building up on that.
I was not aware of non-verbal reasoning not being part of exam, due to my lack of the detail on the exam.

regards


CSSE exams: 1hr maths, 30 min Comprehension (plus 10 min reading time), 20 min Continuous writing (2 exercises) 10 min Verbal reasoning. Guess you have already downloaded the familiarisation paper from CSSE.

An important point is working on expanding her vocabulary, and ability to read and understand a wide selection of text. Be able to interpret, predict, deduce, opinion. Understand types of questions (and WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW)


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