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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:35 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:53 pm
Posts: 79
I have a bit of a problem. I live in France and I am home educating my ten year old son. There is very little other home education going on, either french or english over here, his old school was french of course, and he had no peer group competition there as it was so small.
We are aiming for independent boarding school for 2012 and I think he is doing quite well. But the problem is that I don't really know.
We have downloaded lots of old papers, 11+ ones, independent school past papers etc, and we use Bond and various other books we have bought. We also follow the Essential Maths books which I gather are used widely, and CIMT online maths which we find very good.
If we were in the UK, no doubt we would know other children also going for selective schools, but here there are absolutely none.
I am particularly bothered about the level of his english, as he is a bit allergic to actually knuckling down, using his imagination and writing freely. I much prefer doing maths with him, but I know he is going to have to write an essay for his exams in November. He is fairly okay with the comprehension paper, but the essay is really troubling me.
He is writing them, but because I have no other kids whose essays I could snatch a peek at, or ask parents to compare with, I am really at a loss to know if he is useless, on a par, or better than he should be.
Are there any parents out there who would be prepared to type up their kids essays that they are doing as exam preparation and compare them? We could maybe get together every week, or fortnight (probably better as I can see my ds complaining bitterly at having to write essays more than once a week) and sort of have an online seminar. ie email our child's essays to each other.
It would probably be quite a good thing to be able to see what other children are producing, even though we might all be trying for different schools.
I think I will post this in the English section too, and see what happens.
Hoping to hear from you all soon,

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:52 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
Posts: 3664
Hi Flicka feel I should post a reply for you ! :) My son is 11 and in yr 6 and I agree it's difficult to assess yourself their level when it comes to writing essays etc.....there are often no right or wrong answers!

I don't think my sons essays will be much help as he will usually just write 1 paragraph with practically no punctuation, although apparently the content and vocab he uses is good. Have you thought about contacting The Home Education Advisory Service or something similar ? They may be able to give you info as to what criteria your son should fulfil when writing.....

I can share with you a recent worksheet my son received from school for a piece of writing :

Your work must contain the following to be at least level 4

A range of sentence lengths including complex sentences
A range of sentence openers e.g Suddenly, A little while later , Terrified , he ran from the
Interesting vocabulary chosen to entertain and excite your reader
Capital letters, fullstops and other basic vocab
Logically ordered
Full of detail

This was homework for all children, so those just getting to level 4 up to those who are already level 5 so is prob a bit basic ! You will need to expand !

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:11 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 2083
Location: Maidstone
Flicka I have send you a pm as I wasnt sure if I could post the links here as they are commercial links.

Impossible is Nothing.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:19 am
Posts: 888
There's quite a lot of information and guidance, including samples, on the KS2 SATS marking schemes. If you search you should be able to find English SATS past papers with marking schemes. Might be useful.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:36 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:53 pm
Posts: 79
Hello, and thank you everyone for your advice and PMs etc.
I have been given the government site for KS3, which has examples of essays from level 3 up to level 8. It lists the AFs (Assessment Focuses) at the beginning of each piece and then goes on to give an example essay (usually hand written) with notes along side it, indicating which piece of the writing they are referring to.
I was a little disturbed on a Level 5 piece to see that a paragraph marked as having good verb usage contained the phrase "wouldn't of" which I would have highlighted as very wrong, and yet the marker had not even seemed to notice. I would have told the child this was bad grammar, even if I did not detract marks for it.
Mind you, do the children get their papers back at all? On reflection.
There were many other instances like that, so maybe I am being a bit hard on my DS and nit picky.
Still not sure where he stands, but thanks anyway.

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