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 Post subject: Maths practice
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 1:06 am 

I'd be very interested in your opinions and what you are currently doing as far as maths practice goes.

We started off by going through all the Maths topics for the 11+ and SATS from April-May this year.

To practice for his SATS we got him to use a program (my husband wrote) every day once he was familiar with all the topics. This got him a level 5 at the end of year 5.

For 11+ we are asking him to use this program every day to keep the current skills going and also giving him some harder writen maths questions once we have gone over the topics. Every week we give him a 50 minute 11+ Maths test.

The main problem is that we are finding we are spending at least an hour a night preparing maths papers for him as we have already used all the papers/11+ Maths books available.

Have any of you found there is only a limited amount of maths papers available?



 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:54 am 
Perhaps if your son has already done all the 11+ Maths papers available, he has already done enough! If he has been doing 11+ practice every night, I just hope he has not burnt out by the actual day. I think it is important to remember that these children need to beable to cope with the work, once they have gained a place at their choosen school, and as parents we cannot continue planning their work for them throughout their senior school. Perhaps he should now be recharging his batteries inorder that he can be a sucess.

 Post subject: Too much practice
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:25 pm 
I totally agree with Essex mum here. We all want the best schools for our children but to continually push this to the extent that guest is doing will do far more harm than good. What on earth are you going to do, guest, if your son does not make it? Like Essex mum, I think you should really consider the consequences of having a child in grammar school who has been "very coached in". I don't know if this is your first experience of the system, but, believe me, it shows when they get there!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:10 pm 

Thanks for your replies. Don't worry he is not burnt out as he only does about 20 minutes Maths a day. We have made an effort to make sure that he knows all the material as his school is a bit lacking in that area.

When he was three he was diagnosed as academically gifted and a paediatrician wrote to his school to say that they needed to takes these needs into consideration. The school ignored this so we wanted to make sure that we got involved in year 5 as the school were more than happy with letting him coast at the top of the class.

I know of parents that coach their children a couple of years before the 11+ but we've only been doing it for about 7 months in small chunks along with some comprehension and essay stuff but for no more than an hour a day. His work is finished by 4:30 or 5 if he is given school work and then he has the evening free to do as he wishes.

This is an academically gifted child that we want to help with his exams he will have no problems at grammar school as he is strong in all subjects. However, we still had problems with not reading questions properly and not showing working out. These problems have been resolved with practice and pointing out silly mistakes that have been made.

The real problem with these exams is that boarderline children can be coached to pass them and then they struggle at grammar school. This is simply helping an academically gifted child.



 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:29 pm 
He should have no problems getting through his 11+. If he is that academically gifted then he will get a place at any grammer school he chooses. However, there are alot of children that reach leavel 5 in their SATS, so would you still class him to be academically gifted or perhaps he is above average.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:49 pm 
It is hard to judge your own child we think he is bright but we are not in a position to judge about whether he is academically gifted. That judgement came from a paediatrician that he was referred to by our GP. He spent two hours doing tests and was at that time two years ahead of the children in his class, the paediatrian was not too worried as he is from a family of doctors.

We have tried to keep his childhood normal as the paediatrian said that he should stay in a mainstream school. He has really enjoyed his primary school as he has found everything so easy. Even with that advantage he still rushed things and did not read questions properly so we would never be so bold to assume he would pass. No matter how able a child is if they are unfamiliar with the work or careless they are not going to do well. The extra work seems to have sorted that out.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:55 pm 
Have you tried all the practice books and papers recommended in the online shop on this website, and the e-papers that can be downloaded from this site?

You sound as though your son has mastered the 11+ maths syllabus already, and is capable of answering anything that might be thrown at him.

So if he is keen and enjoys intellectual challenges why not move on beyond the 11+ syllabus, or extend him in other subjects instead e.g. music, or in different ways e.g. with mensa type games and puzzles suitable for his age group.

Or get him to do some self-guided study in an area which really interests him?

 Post subject: 11+
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:33 pm 
If a child is reasonably bright and attends a comprehensive school, and he is " coached for 11+ entrance' then I believe the parents are making positive choices for their child.

The notion of burning out a child through learning is exaggerated and is often a lame justification for lack of constructive teaching and one to one attention, which most children need prior to the 11+.

If a child does not succeed in the exam , lets not take away the huge amount of learning the child has undergone and the long term positive impact of this in their future education.

I speak as a parent of three " Grammar school children" and as a tutor of maths and english. May I add that none of my children are 'Gifted!', however 11+ preparation has taught them invaluable skills, the ability to manage their learning, time and appreciate opportunities and to enjoy education.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:27 am 
In response to guest's post of 31st October, I don't agree that borderline children who are coached will struggle when they get to grammer school. Don't forget that because most of the grammers were closed in the 60's-70's, the grammers are only available to the academic top 2% of the population. Therefore, anyone who can reach the standard, coached or otherwise deserves their place and can easily cope with an acedemic style education, if grammers were available to 50% of the population the situation would be different, but this is not the case. By the way, i'm interested to hear that your acedemically gifted child sometimes rushes answers and doesn't read the question properly- It's not just my son then!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:16 pm 
If my child was truly average, I dont think I would want them to go to grammar school. Why make your child feel like a dunce, when they could be doing well at a comprehensive school. Grammars do put quite a bit of pressure on children and some dont enjoy that. Why make your childs school life a misery. I think some parents do it so that they can show off that their child goes to a grammar school.

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