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 Post subject: Alleyn's School, Dulwich
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:16 pm
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Hi

To those parents/ guardians whose DC got into Alleyn's School this year what books/revision materials did you use please? My child goes to a state school.

Thank you for any help.


Last edited by Liddle on Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:45 pm 
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The Alleyns paper was the toughest we came across. The ability to deal calmly with what you can do and not to get flustered with tricky questions under pressure is key. To that end I'd recommend downloading sample papers from schools such as Sevenoaks to use as samples - the ones on Alleyns own site were not helpful.

We didn't do anything outside what was already being done at her prep school - but being properly up to speed with VR and NVR is also key. I don't think they claim to use one particular supplier so a general familiarity with all types is a must?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:13 pm 
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fleurdelacourt wrote:
The Alleyns paper was the toughest we came across. The ability to deal calmly with what you can do and not to get flustered with tricky questions under pressure is key. To that end I'd recommend downloading sample papers from schools such as Sevenoaks to use as samples - the ones on Alleyns own site were not helpful.

We didn't do anything outside what was already being done at her prep school - but being properly up to speed with VR and NVR is also key. I don't think they claim to use one particular supplier so a general familiarity with all types is a must?


Thank you for your valuable feedback.

After this years exams, a lot of parents I spoke to said their kids found the Alleyn's exam the toughest and were nothing like the practice papers on Alleyn's website. Five parents used Bond books and private tutors but didn't get a place nor were called back to the interview...and 3 parents who used the CPG books and had private tutors had more success. That was interesting to hear.

What books did you use, please?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:52 pm 
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Location: N London
In general the Bond books are not hard enough for these sorts of entrance exams. The school website gives suggestions on practice for VR/NVR, and for maths and English as fleur suggests I would use papers from other schools - the North London Consortium would be good plus maybe Bancrofts, NLCS, Highgate etc... Practice is key. I did find one bit of the Bond How to do Comprehension book useful - there are a few pages that show different levels of answer (poor, ok, top notch) and the difference between these really helped my DS work out what he needed to do. There may be some things in the maths papers which your DC has not covered at school - going through some papers should flush these out or look at the spec on the Alleyns site. If it is essay help your DC needs, there are lots of threads on here that make some great suggestions - use the search to find them.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes, its more than possible to get into these schools from a state primary, half the intake at 11 usually comes from one.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:00 pm 
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Ds received a scholarship offer. He had been well prepared for the grammar school tests and we'd worked on creative writing and story continuation throughout year 5. The Alleyns comp was long and a lot of the children ran out of time and didn't reach the big Mark questions from what I gather. Would second working on Dulwich, Sevenoaks,Manchester Grammar School and St Paul's girls comps. We used the Bond books (11-12) and GL papers for VR/NVR. Also Letts 10 minute tests. Speed is of the essence and by the time of the exam, Ds had sped up considerably. The interview is important.

There were circa 750 candidates for approx 75 places this year at 11+ I think.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:20 pm 
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fairyelephant wrote:
In general the Bond books are not hard enough for these sorts of entrance exams. The school website gives suggestions on practice for VR/NVR, and for maths and English as fleur suggests I would use papers from other schools - the North London Consortium would be good plus maybe Bancrofts, NLCS, Highgate etc... Practice is key. I did find one bit of the Bond How to do Comprehension book useful - there are a few pages that show different levels of answer (poor, ok, top notch) and the difference between these really helped my DS work out what he needed to do. There may be some things in the maths papers which your DC has not covered at school - going through some papers should flush these out or look at the spec on the Alleyns site. If it is essay help your DC needs, there are lots of threads on here that make some great suggestions - use the search to find them.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes, its more than possible to get into these schools from a state primary, half the intake at 11 usually comes from one.


Thank you for the great advice. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:24 pm 
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grgygirl wrote:
Ds received a scholarship offer. He had been well prepared for the grammar school tests and we'd worked on creative writing and story continuation throughout year 5. The Alleyns comp was long and a lot of the children ran out of time and didn't reach the big Mark questions from what I gather. Would second working on Dulwich, Sevenoaks,Manchester Grammar School and St Paul's girls comps. We used the Bond books (11-12) and GL papers for VR/NVR. Also Letts 10 minute tests. Speed is of the essence and by the time of the exam, Ds had sped up considerably. The interview is important.

There were circa 750 candidates for approx 75 places this year at 11+ I think.


Wow, that's amazing. Many congratulations on your child's incredible achievement. Do you know how many people get offered a Scholarship, please?

Thank you for sharing what books you used. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:15 am 
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well done on the scholarship! we were delighted that dd got a place - she is at a Prep school but did no tutoring outside that so I have no specific advice on reasoning schemes as I managed to steer clear of them.

The Alleyns comprehension is v different from some others - the last question or two are big mark scorers so the kids need to have a go at those to stand a chance. DD was aware of this and her first action was to look through the mark scheme to know where to focus her effort - time was tight so she left a couple of the 2 mark questions out to get to the end.

Slightly different on the maths - the paper was v hard. Between us the Mums managed to work out the answers to the last 3 questions, but they were way above 11+ standard and were clearly designed to find the scholarship kids. Kids need to be aware that if they do reach those questions they shouldn't waste too much time on them if they're struggling - better to go back and iron out the silly mistakes early on.

See you in Sept grgygirl?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:38 am 
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Bond books are nowhere near the type of comprehension level required so I am not surprised five parents you know using Bond books did not get their student to interview.

Was the private tutor using Bond books with them?

I love the Alleyns comprehension papers and use them all the time. Both the 11 plus and the 13 plus papers are really excellent, the questions are really well thought out.

But any student who had only done Bond would have really struggled with the comprehension.

The DAO papers that can be purchased from the school are this level and so are the Manchester Grammar papers that are on their website and the CSSE comprehension passage but not the questions. The North London Consortium and Habs papers also.

You have almost a whole year to get to grips with this, so plenty of time. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:10 pm 
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Daogroupie wrote:
Bond books are nowhere near the type of comprehension level required so I am not surprised five parents you know using Bond books did not get their student to interview.

Was the private tutor using Bond books with them?

I love the Alleyns comprehension papers and use them all the time. Both the 11 plus and the 13 plus papers are really excellent, the questions are really well thought out.

But any student who had only done Bond would have really struggled with the comprehension.

The DAO papers that can be purchased from the school are this level and so are the Manchester Grammar papers that are on their website and the CSSE comprehension passage but not the questions. The North London Consortium and Habs papers also.

You have almost a whole year to get to grips with this, so plenty of time. DG


Thank you for the feedback.

Yes, the private tutors were using Bond Books and these private tutors were from the same company in S.E London. Sadly, I know all this as my child was using that company as well. We have all spent so much time and money over 2 years on this premium tutor service which states that it has a 100% success rate on its website, yet strangely none of our children even got through to the interviews at Alleyn's School. We all received identical letters in the post stating that our child didn't even reach the satisfactory level of the exams. The children said the same thing i.e. that they'd never seen that type of exam layout, the Maths questions were too tricky, they couldn't complete the paper in the given time, the VR + NVR was far too hard, the English paper was near impossible to complete, and none of the questions were similar to the Bond Books.

I am hoping to prepare my next child for the Alleyn's test myself and won't be using the Bond Books for this school.

Not familiar with some terms...what are these "DAO" papers please? Can outsiders purchase them from the school or do you have to be a parent of the school please? Also where can I buy the Alleyn's Comprehension Papers from please?

Thank you. :)


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