thanks a lot surreymum. Just got hold of the sample test sheets from WCGS last Thursday and laid out the plan for the brickwork within the year. Better to start early...
Welcome to you all.
The three schools have exams that cover the same subjects but with different formats. I assume you will have attended the open evenings for Wallington and will do for Sutton and Wilsons in the autumn. If you haven't I would certainly recommend it even though it is a year early as it takes some of the pressure off next year.
Although the competition seems to keep increasing, you do need to pace yourself as the exams are spread out over a long time frame with the Wallington exam being in early September, Sutton in late November and Wilsons in early January.
Each grammar school for boys has a maths paper, a verbal reasoning paper, an English paper with a comprehension and an essay.
The Sutton verbal reasoning paper is in the NFER multiple choice format with the same computer marking scheme so those papers are the best practice for them. However they are very hard and I would leave them till near the end. The rest of the papers I think are written by the individual schools so there is no standard way to revise I think you need to cover all of the Year 6 maths curriculum and have lots of practise at writing 20 minute stories, comprehension practice and cover every form of verbal reasoning you can think of-Bond, Daughtrey, Learning Together, the tutors CDs.
The Bond books are easy to work through as you can start gently with the younger age groups. I think the English papers are particularly useful as there is very little out there for English papers. I found a very old English textbook I had as a child for my own 11+ useful for teaching the basics of all the English and with practice exercises-called "Junior English Revised". It is still in print and has plenty of comprehension practice.
There are lots of useful resources on this website and there is a good bookshop in Wallington just down from Cladish's which has a great deal of 11+ resources you can browse through.
The Sutton grammar English is comprehension, essay and multiple choice English, rather similar to some of the Bond English papers (not the books). Their stories have been somewhat difficult in recent years with no choice permitted and things along the line of "if you were primeminister for the day what law would you bring in and why" and if you could change a school rule what would it be and why. I don't know what the subject was last year. In contrast both the Wallington and Wilson exams had a choice of conventional essay titles.
Please check the format as it is now 2 years since my last child did this and I would hate to mislead you.
I would not start off with papers, I would gently work through some books and get a feel for strengths and weaknesses. play lots of games-times tables on car journeys, competition as to who can find the best metaphor, simile, adjective, adverb etc. Practice story writing. If you have friends doing the exams they can both do the same story and look at them together to discuss good and bad points. The 10 minute Bond books are good as feels like only doing a little bit of work.
There is a huge amount of advice on this website. I think we are relatively unlucky in Sutton in that we don't have a standard format and each exam differs, but if you look on the bright side it means your child may flourish in one of the exams if not the others and at least we have grammar schools.