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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:46 am
Posts: 12
Hi All,
I thought to start this topic for new parents who might be nervous or may be clueless about the whole 11plus process like I was one year back. I would like to share some of my experiences and insight I gained through the process. Though my experience and suggestions won't be suitable for all, as every child and family is different and unique. If someone else wants to add on their experiences then they are most welcome.

Firstly, make it a family project. At this age your child should not feel like that he/she has to go on this daunting journey alone. When you are starting then don't discuss the schools they should be targeting on or anything related to results. Always focus on the learning and how you can improve the learning environment at home.
Learn together with your child. My husband did maths with our DC and I did NVR and English. Believe me I learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed solving NVR questions with my DC. At one point of time, it was like a family game for us to solve the NVR and maths problems. We all were always very excited to solve it first. I think, it immensely help my DC to increase the speed and never felt bored doing the work. Basically, don't leave your child alone in this learning process and always involve yourself in a fun way.
Secondly, I personally, felt like vocabulary is the major building block in 11 plus. It is always better to focus on reading early on. Reading alone is not enough but understanding the meaning of all the words and comprehension are infact more important. Ask your child to underline all the new words in the book while they are reading so that later on you can discuss that word with your child.
For comprehension, I think the most important thing to understand in a fiction is to understand the emotions( always ask your child how the character is feeling and why). It is also very important to understand all the characters and environment around them in the story to precisely give the answers.
My DC is good at reading but when it was time to answer comprehension in a limited time then it was a problem. What helped us that my DC started reading half comprehension and doing subsequent questions. Normally, comprehension questions are in sequence of paragraphs. So if you read first paragraph then you should be able to do first few questions and so on.
Reading full comprehension first or reading questions first never really helped my DC. We applied all techniques to improve his speed what worked for us is to read comprehension in small sections and answer respectively.

Thirdly, jumbled sentences were daunting at first but once you have a hang on it then it's not difficult. For that you need to teach your child about the sentence structure. How a subject, object and verbs work in a sentence. Also by judging the words what is the mood in that sentence like if it's about a sport, kitchen, garden, school, picnic etc etc.
Sometimes in jumble sentence there is some grammatical mistake for that you even don't need to make the sentence fully like they will add "an" when there is no word starting with a vowel or was and will together in a sentence. More practice more capable you will be to do jumble sentence efficiently.

Fourthly, Cloze : again reading is important to understand Cloze. Books are available to practice Cloze. We did all evelvenplusexam books and cgp books for Cloze. Missing letter Cloze might be more difficult for some children but again practice makes it easy. For Cloze they need to understand what kind of word is missing e.g an adjective or pronoun etc.
Fifthly, teach your child grammar. Different forms of verbs, noun, pronoun, clause etc basically everything covered up to year 6.

I will add on about maths and NVR whenever I have time. I hope this post will be helpful for some. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2020 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:21 am
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We're currently on our second journey and DD is currently in y7 at Crypt. We found it useful to look around the schools first to see whether it was worth doing the 11+. At that point she really liked Ribston and Crypt over the comps we looked at. It's really important that your child wants to do the test and is invested, friend's children who were tutored weren't bothered/interested and it was a constant struggle and they didn't pass.

Most importantly is to make it clear the 11+ just gives you more choices and ensure they don't see it as grammar or bust. Any learning they do will help them with y6, sats etc


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2020 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:33 pm
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Thank you, very informative. It will be my first time next year


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:03 pm
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I would second Bracken’s advice to look around the schools if possible; then both you and your child can decide whether they are motivated enough to get through the preparation for the exam.
Frame the test as just giving them more options and emphasise that it’s not a perfect system, and if they don’t pass they will still do well at secondary (and the prep work will help with SATS.)

Being consistent is important, we didn’t do a massive amount of preparation but it was well targeted. (First time around my son went for an hours tutoring once a week from the end of March until the end of August, this time around my daughter had the same but from September, so a full year.)

Lots of reading, including challenging materials and sources other than books - newspapers, non fiction etc and encourage them to look up words they don’t know.

For NVR, learn how to look at each element of the pattern independently to assess which changes over the sequence, and how.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:03 pm
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An alternative viewpoint, for what it's worth.

Look round the schools, get your kid on board with the decision to attempt the exam. It will give more choices, should they be successful.

Don't do any tutoring. If your child is tutored or does masses of home preparation for the exam, and then you turn off all the help once they have gained a place, they will struggle like mad at the grammar they end up in. They are either capable or not, don't force it. By all means do some familiarisation, so they know what they will be looking at once they get in to the exam.

We did no tutoring, and my DD qualified for Ribston and Crypt. This was exactly where I thought she would be academically, as a child who I would term 'quite bright'. She was never at the top of her class at primary, but sat on the 'top tables' if you will. I didn't think she was bright enough for Denmark or Pates, and she wasn't.

Don't make it the be all and end all. The non-selective schools in Gloucestershire are really very good. If it is not meant to be, and they have plenty of support from home, then they will do well wherever they go.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:57 pm
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Interestingly icantthinkofagoodone your DD would have had a better chance of qualifying for Denmark road this year than for Crypt. Funny how things change!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:21 pm
Posts: 251
We sat the test a couple of years back....

Looking around schools with DC is helpful - they get a feel for where they like / feel comfortable as well as having skin in the game to want to work towards...
I think you want your child to be 'capable' otherwise they may struggle when they get to grammar school. The 11+ is a lot around exam technique - knowing 3 areas, to move on, fill in the answer sheet correctly etc
Given above you don't have to 'tutor' too much but preparation in exam technique is worth it
Think about what works best for you & your family - a group tutoring situation may brings friends in a similar situation, some friendly rivalry, someone else doing the 'teaching' has an objective perspective, may have alternative techniques / explanations (in today's language that they use at school) and allows you to be parent. Can you work with your child?
Be aware of starting 'formal' prep too early - but encouraging reading, secure times tables are good, games & puzzles
Don't let it dominate your lives - there is life outside the 11+ - keep doing sports & other activities - if you need to do so much work then maybe grammar isn't right for you / your child
Build confidence in the 'how' to do a question before adding in timing / speed pressure
A mock exam is useful for as close to the real experience as possible (lets children be familiar with what is coming up) as well as the feedback on what areas you need to work on
Don't spend all summer holidays prepping - down time & relaxation is important
Have a plan for how you will handle failure as well as success - with friends, with your choices of schools
Reward the work & effort, not the result
Keep it all in perspective - easier said than done!

Only suggestions - you know your child best :)

Best of luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:46 am
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https://comprehensivefuture.org.uk/absu ... us-scores/

An interesting link to understand standardised score system.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:56 am
Posts: 165
Sorry, the title of your thread made me chuckle....

Anyway, assuming that you mean your child will be taking the test, my advice is to make sure they know how to complete MCQs, they read loads and know the times tables.

Other advice- a grammar school is just a school, have in your sights a non selective that your child can get excited about too.

Find plenty of time for your child to play and enjoy the last time in their life (for the next years) that they don’t have masses of work to do out of school.


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