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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:41 pm
Posts: 12
Hello all,

We've just gone through the arduous process of the SW Herts 11+ and I thought I would share some tips I picked up. This sites been really supportive and I wanted to give a little back.

My DS was really motivated and, as well as the odd treats and general encouragement, we visited one of the schools in Year 5 (watford Grammar Boys) so he knew what he was working for. I pointed out the opportunities the school gave and some of the school trips and this kept him going through the year.

The maths exam will be at curriculum level so don't worry about teaching to private school level. Stick to the 10-11 Bond, CGP and FPTP books. Start practice papers in June (we used CGP, AE and GL STANDARD format as this is what the children will sit). Work on accuracy as with a simpler exam accuracy will be the thing that differentiates your child.

For the VR, the CGP 10 minute tests seemed to be closest to the real paper. The FPTP Vocabulary and Vocab in Context books were also great. However, building vocabulary and context is key so a lot of reading (don't let doing papers take your DC away from reading) and vocab building. We had a exercise book where new words were written (from papers or reading) and my DS looked up the words in a thesaurus as this gave him a better understanding of the synonyms to a word and there are example sentences. At the end of every month we would go through the words again from the book and revise anything difficult. When my DS sat the paper, he said at least 10 words he had written down in his book came up.

Finally, I did get a tutor for 6 months but I felt me son learnt more by far at home (how much can you cover in an hour!) so I think if I was doing this again I would go for teaching at home. A motivated and caring parent is the best aid.

Above all, its a hard year but its really encouraging to go in on the day feeling prepared and knowing my DS has tried his best. Good luck and hopefully some other parents can add to my tips :)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:52 pm
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This is very helpful.

thank you

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Thank you,

Worrybot


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:38 pm
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Just to give some additional tips. We unfortunately started really really late as did not realize the preparation that everyone was doing and did not even know that tuition companies were running Mocks ! We kicked off in early May and had the kid work throughout the summer. He got a pretty high grade with limited tuition, but my English and Maths is up to speed so I could help.

We had him go through all the CGP English books plus a load of other 'red' maths books - cant recall the brand. We had him work through all the books and there are some companies on-line that can provide sample papers.

Key thing is not volume of learning but to read the question properly and answer the question properly. Easy marks can be gained (and lost) for reading things properly and being accurate.

Vocab is important and whatever technique is needed you need to do this. Its a hard slog for the kid to do and some can't do it.

Don't get detracted by the higher level private school exams which are way more than required to get a decent eleven plus grade.


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 8:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:10 pm
Posts: 36
On top of the great tips from other parents i would also recommend the following:

1) If your child plays an instrument consider sitting the music exam in addition to the academic exam to give them 2 bites at the cherry so to speak. I think there is a misconception amongst some parents that your child needs to be be at a grade 4 or above to be within a chance of gaining a place. I believe they are looking for potential and children who could join their orchestra. My child had only passed grade 1 and played a grade 2 piece which thankfully secured a place a DC first choice school ( please note we were not inner catchment). Its worth bearing in mind though that the music exam has 2 stages - an aural exam and if DC passes this then they can play a piece of music in the second stage. Therefore I don’t recommend relying on the music exam alone even if your child plays an instrument really well.

2) Consider sitting a couple of mocks in real exam conditions if possible. This may help to reduce nerves on the day if DC is familiar with exam environment as well as providing you with a possible indication of areas they can improve on. I am aware that both Susan Daughtrey Education and Hatch End 11plus tuition run mocks. The Hatch end ones often take place at Watford boys or girls schools.

3) Apply to the schools in your real order of preference. I know some people who got into their ‘first choice’school but actually had only ranked it higher than the school they really wanted because historic cut off marks were higher than the school they really wanted.

4)Most importantly .... do have some fun!! It’s a long process and I definitely recommend mixing up the study and play.

Best of luck!!


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