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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:34 pm 
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Hello this is my first post, so apologies in advance for any confusion.

I have been helping my son who attends a state school, study at home. Last year at the beginning of year 5 we tried to get a tutor but every tutor we checked had a full list of students and no availability to take on any more students.
For a few years we have been doing the normal year books for English and maths. In the last year we have been doing lots and lots of past papers and bond on-line and books etc, He also joined a local revision class giving him a boost with papers and practice about 4 hours per week.

Both my husband and I work full time so we have tried to give him regular work to do and after work go through it with him. In his end of year 5 report he got greater depth in english maths and science.

Our son sat the Mill hill exam and got 264- which we were very happy with, he just got his result for the QE exam and got 199- alot lower than both he and we expected. He was disappointed like us. We were also disappointment for him cause he has worked hard but iI suspect he has made silly mistakes which he does do.

W don't have many good state schools in our catchment area in fact there is a bit of a void in our location. So we have registered him for some independant schools Habs/ City and Westminister. I think the QE result has made all of us loose our confidence that are we doing the right work, and where to go from here. He has been doing old Habs papers and also the MGS ones recently. I dont have the answers for al the tests so am trying to work through them with him, has been a long time since i did GCSE's.
Also we were advised to make him do the Simm and Schofield mental arithmetic 4-6 books again. I have also bought a few books from the 11+exams website. Our son is doing some sort of revision everyday- his partial day off is Sunday.

Can anyone please advise if what I am doing is correct, or Am I "the blind leading the blind". Any advice would be appreciated. I don't want to be wasting time doing the wrong work which I might be??? We both know he is capable but are feeling a bit lost. Of note both my husband and I never went to any independant schools and were bought up without tuition or much parental education input, outside of London. Then competition wasn't an issue. We both did fairly well but this was a different time with different family circumstances.

As a side point and break from everything we have booked the Lego Ninjago movie for us all tomorrow. My husband would prefer the new blade runner but Lego won.

Thank you for reading this far, and Many thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:35 pm 
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Congratulations to your ds on the Mill Hill results. He stands a very good chance of getting a place by September if you put it first on your CAF (though very unlikely to get a place on 1 March). There is always quite a bit of movement on the Mill Hill waiting list.
I would suggest your ds has been doing a lot lot more work than many other children. Whether he has burned out a bit or whether his results simply reflect the different children sitting the QE exam from Mill Hill it's hard to say. I know a child who got 199 two years ago and did very badly in the Mill Hill exam too so I think you should be very proud of him for that result.
You might find that there is a tutor available now as as many children will have only been sitting the state exams and won't be going for any indie exams. It might possibly be worth finding someone trustworthy who can advise as to whether there are specific weaknesses in your ds's learning. There is very little need for good English in the Mill Hill exam and it's much more important in the QE exam so I wonder if that might be an issue?
Good luck and I do hope he gets a place at Mill Hill County.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:39 pm 
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Dear loobylou

Many thanks for your lovely message! I think you are right in that we may have burnt him out before the QE exam. Interestingly he did better in the QE English than the maths which is his strong point.

Thank you for the reassurance about trying for Mill Hill- I think we will take your advice!

Might try again for tutors after your advice about possible availability.

Thank you for your constructive message- after reading it- it made me feel more positive and also put everything into perspective. We originally set out to improve his general capability the tests were a side benefit. I think we will continue to focus on this as our aim and see where we go!

Have a great weekend and thank you for your supportive words.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:33 pm 
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I think there is less competition for the Independent places but it is different preparation and they tend to look at the 'whole package'. If your son is good at maths and English then he'll be in with a very good chance.

Westminster Under School have a pre-test set by ISEB. This is a computer adaptive test. The deadline for registration is very soon - it's earlier than other independent schools. General 11+ prep is good for this and BOFA online do practise tests. The second round and interviews are tough. Your son will need very good creative writing skills, English analytical skills and an ability to do logic, word based maths problems. This is the same for all of the other competitive London schools too like City. Once they get to the interview stage, I think for some schools it's just rubber stamping the place and for others it counts towards the assessment. For example, at Westminster Under, you have a session with the head of maths who works through a problem with the child, same with English - analyse a poem verbally last year. Then there is a panel interview with the Masters. It's very daunting.

However, it depends on how selective the Independent school is and there were several children we know who were offered schools such as City, Dulwich etc who were on the mid tables at school and didn't pass with a high enough score for the 11+. Your preparation sounds fine; the Manchester Grammar School papers are on the right track as is Schofield and Sims Book 5 for the first rounds. Also look at the Withington Girls School papers (you have to buy these and there are no answer sheets unfortunately). Also for a challenge, try the past papers from St Paul's Girls School! Practise writing a story continuation for 30 minutes, using wow words, metaphors, alliteration etc - a page and a half if possible with a beginning, middle and end. I think there was a CGP English book we used last year ( a kind of 'how to' type of book) that had a good section on poetry analysis. Poems came up in several of the independent exams last year.
Good luck!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:06 pm
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Dear GRGYgirl

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this detailed reply for me.

It's reassuring to know I have made a start in the right direction with Simms and Scofield, and MGS papers. We are trying to to do 3 papers a week and go through them. He has also attempted the habs creative writing picture papers and done, the man holding the ball and the spaceship and graveyard one.

I had no idea about the BOFA online, and will look at registering him for this, does he need to do any particular papers or just the Maths and English ones? Also if you could advise about the name of the poem analysis book I will go through that with him too.

Thank you again for the practical advice and also the encouragement to just keep going.

We have some time, just need to make sure we do the right stuff and dont waste it, the end results will be what it will be!

xxxxxxx


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:12 am 
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Location: Herts
What was his score in QE English?

You will need to really focus on English but there will be students who have not yet done any preparation who will secure private school places in January.

Where do you live? Have you considered St Albans boys? Fantastic school and they have a very good school coach system from all over North London.

The lowest score to get into Mill Hill this year and last year was 258 so it is very likely you will be offered a place there. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:52 am 
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grgygirl wrote:
Also for a challenge, try the past papers from St Paul's Girls School!

I thought SPGS didn't publish their past papers. Their website only has sample papers.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:20 pm 
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Daogroupie

Our son only got 199 in his QE exam, despite doing well in mill hill (264) much earlier. He was very shocked and disappointed and felt embarrassed about telling his friends who he thinks have done well. We were disappointed too, not so much because we wanted a place but because we thought he would have done better and also how this will impact his confidence.

His English score was 108 and maths 99, even though he normally is strongest in maths.
The night before was stressful and I think this stress might have caused this score, as we tried to do some last minute revision. In the mill hill exam we did nothing the day before at all.

I will try to work on his English, as per the advice above. We are in Golders Green near the north circular, would we still be OK for St Albans boys??? I hope we haven't missed the registration date.

Thank you Daigroupie again for all your advice and support. This is our oldest child and seems like there is so much to learn about and do, we are always playing catch up. Will be good experience for our smaller two girls.

Thank you again!!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:34 pm
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hi help?

we are in the 11plus waters this year, so i feel your pain. we did tutor though we've had a mixed view of it.

we've also used a lot of off the shelf books and papers. what i found most useful to UP the game is [b]Bond 12+ - 13+ [/b]. These books aim higher than standard 11plus level and stretch the ability of the child. i found that my daughter found the real exam easier after having done a few of these papers.

results awaited, fingers crossed!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:12 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:06 pm
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Dear whenwillitbeover

Thank you for this information, I think I will try to get our son to try them, you right it might help to may others a little easier.

we are doing the MGS papers and some of the questions are quite hard in there, even got me thinking! Currently doing one paper per day and going through it.

Thank again for this useful tip

Praying and wishing the best for your daughter, and I truly agree I cant wait for this all to be over, If this is the stress we feel what must the kids be feeling.


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