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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:32 pm 
My son's primary school offered me no advice about 11+ exams when I approached them back in Year 5. Being new to the secondary entrance procedure, I figured the best people to enquire to would be my son's teachers. How wrong I was. The comments I got at the time were "I'm sure he'll be fine" & "Well, he is well above average." Naively, I did nothing, assuming everything was under control. I stumbled upon this site a few days ago and was horrified to see that I should have been helping prepare my son for months! I approached my son's headteacher this morning and asked why they were not forthcoming with information with regard to entrance exams. She replied that it was not their job and if parents choose to send their children to grammar school, it is up to them. She also said that the majority of her students go on to the local comprehensive and its been good enough for them! She made me feel pretty stupid and I now feel that I have failed my son miserably. As I am at work all day I don't mix with other parents much. I feel that everyone knew about all this but me. Last week, all parents were given their applilcation for admission forms to complete and return to Surrey County Council. Surely, primary schools should offer information earlier than this? What to do now? Can anyone suggest how to start? Should I employ a tutor? Any advice would be greatlly appreciated.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:40 pm 

If you are thinking of the Tiffin exams then its not too late to start coaching yourself I doubt if a tutor would take you at this point, 5th December VR and NVR multiple choice. Exams for grammars in Sutton are on 25th November. The best papers to buy are Bright Sparks, NFER for VR and NFER and Bond and AFN for NVR. Download the CD from this site aswell. Don't panic and never listen to primary school head teachers. I would say you need to set aside at least an hour every other day.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:18 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
I was in your shoes exactly 1 year ago.
Hadn't thought too much about it and was astounded when my son said that a boy in his class was going every saturday to a tutor and had been since the start of year 5.
Dont panic . Do what you can with your child... work with them on their weak points. I am not from your area and cannot comment on the best books to use but I completely understand how you feel.
My son got in to his grammar (with 6 weeks prep and a few stressful moments) and is so enjoying it. (fingers crossed for the next 5,6,7 years).
It isn't too late, you haven't failed him and you will have given your child the chance.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 4:44 pm 
I know exactly how you are feeling. I'm in the same boat. My son's school sounds pretty much the same as yours and I've also only just found out that some of his friends have had a tutor for months. I've now bought the nfer practice papers and intend to go through these slowly with my son. I have made some enquiries about local tutors (mostly on the net) but everyone so far is booked up. The advice some of the tutors have given me is: Work through the papers together first - begin with 30 mins per evening and work up to 2 times 30 mins. Then after a few days, let him try some on his own, correcting them together with an explanation of where he went wrong. Only begin timing the tests after his comfortable with them and understands how each section works. Hope thats clear!
I am certainly going to give my son the chance to take the exams and I think you should too. Good luck
By the way, If you're thinking of Sutton Grammar, I hear they are doing a mock entrance exam. Its practice papers done in proper test conditions and might just ease the childrens' nerves.

 Post subject: COACHING
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:08 pm 
Dear KatyP

I sympathise with you but it's not too late - if your daughter is reasonably bright and is willing to put in the practice you can get her into the grammars.

I know one parent who left rather late but has drammaticaly improved his son's scores by using the CDs sold on this site. By all means use the papers as that is how the test is conduct, but the advantage of the CDS is that you can immediately identifiy the problem areas and work on those as the questions are all times and market automatically. It will save alot time for your child and you don't have to waste time marking papers (which is very tedious) and you can immediately see scores and go over the wrong answers only.

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