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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:24 am 
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K76 wrote:
Hi,

With my DD1 off to big school (a local comprehensive), I now have to think about DD2. She is in Year 3.

My first child didn't go to any tuition classes but we got some books to do at home which she found hard so we gave up.

My younger daughter is quite studious and works hard. She is not naturally bright but gets good results at school because she works really hard and is currently above average. I have tried to do some research online and I am reading posts about Year 3 children already working to a level 4-5 in their SATS and my DD is nowhere near that level.

I am thinking of getting some tuition for her but unsure whether or not to focus on the 11+ or just general english and maths to help raise her SAT levels.

What do you think?

K


I think that as long as school think she is above average and teach her as though she is you do not need to worry about NC levels but, if grammar school is your intention, focus on things which will equip her well for the grammar school exam that she would be taking - do you know what it is? In year 4 I'd be thinking about the relevant English and maths skills which you think your DD might benefit most from (sounds like vocabulary might be one of these) and in year 5 add in the relevant verbal reasoning and non verbal reasoning practice.

You say you have read a lot of posts elsehwere about children with 4s and 5s at the end of year 3. I think it is unlikely that many schools either teach or test the material in year 3 for children to obtain level 4s or 5s at the end of year 3 so this is either a very tiny minority somewhere or other, or incorrect, wishful thinking on the part of the parents (or they got their numbers wrong) or some very over optimistic teacher assessment.

Year 3 children should be being taught the new national curriculum so the old NC levels are not really relevant now anyhow. Have they told you how she is doing relative to year 3 expectations for the new national curriuculum? I'd expect language like 3 exceeding, 3 expected, 3 emerging.

An old style 3c at the end of year 3 probably means that you need to push on with the maths at home to be sure that she will have covered the necessary topics for the 11 plus.

I'm finding some strange effects of the new national curriculum on maths --- I'm finding my current end of year 4 child has covered less material at school than my previous year 4 child (of course, whether this is entirely to do with the new national curriculum I will never know) but is being quoted as exceeding in the new levels and 3a in the old levels (same as previous child). I consider her maths pretty flaky (as well as lacking content compared with older child, it's much slower and much less accurate), and compared with older child, wouldn't be too surprised if I don't manage to turn things round at home if she flunks the 11 plus maths paper.

So, I'd say, if you're interested in passing the 11 plus focus on that, and check that your child seems to be in an appropriate place maths and English wise. You could do worse than work your way through the Schofield and Sims mental arithmetic series at home - it's cheap. Give book 3 a try and if it's too hard go back a bit into book 2. Try and get into book 4 later in year 4 / early year 5.

If your child is going to a comprehensive her KS2 test results at the end of year 6 may have a bearing on which sets she goes into (but they might not) so in a sense they might matter to you. 2016 is the first summer of the new KS2 tests for the new curriculum. Read the new curriculum in maths and English to see what is expected by the end of each year in maths and English. You could read the year 4 material now as this will give you some feel during year 4 as to whether she is well on top of the year 4 work or not.

It's not clear to me if CEM and GL assessment are being asked by test setting schools / local authorities to revise their 11 plus tests in the light of the new curriculum or not.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:23 am 
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K76, to be brutally honest, in answer to your question which is more important, 11+ or SATs, the answer is neither. What is important is that you have a settled, applied, happy child, who has a good base knowledge, an interest in learning and education, both in and out of school and a child who can approach unfamiliar problems and try and solve them without getting too stressed.

Focus on ensuring she has the basics - a good grounding in maths and as goos a vocabulary as you can - I would move on from the Mr Men books, certainly - but, as someone else has suggested, try some more modern texts than Mallory Towers which are a bit old fashioned. Towards the end of Year 4, take stock and see how she is doing then and whether it is worth taking a punt at the 11+. One thing for sure is the school will make sure they cover work aimed at improving her SATs score and, if you do decide on a comprehensive (or upper school in Bucks) then the better she does in those, the higher sets she will be in.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:57 pm 
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
K76, to be brutally honest, in answer to your question which is more important, 11+ or SATs, the answer is neither. What is important is that you have a settled, applied, happy child, who has a good base knowledge, an interest in learning and education, both in and out of school and a child who can approach unfamiliar problems and try and solve them without getting too stressed.

Focus on ensuring she has the basics - a good grounding in maths and as goos a vocabulary as you can - I would move on from the Mr Men books, certainly - but, as someone else has suggested, try some more modern texts than Mallory Towers which are a bit old fashioned. Towards the end of Year 4, take stock and see how she is doing then and whether it is worth taking a punt at the 11+. One thing for sure is the school will make sure they cover work aimed at improving her SATs score and, if you do decide on a comprehensive (or upper school in Bucks) then the better she does in those, the higher sets she will be in.


:D absolutely!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:18 pm 
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K76 - my son was a great lover of Mr Men books in year 3 but I realised that he needed to move on to trickier text, which was easier said than done!

In the end I started to read him one of my favourite books as a child - The Magic Faraway Tree, one chapter a night, by day 3 he was reading it himself! This was a couple of years ago but he has just finished year 6 and now eats up books! He is reading teen fiction and adult books which in turn has had a great effect on his grammar, story writing etc

For us the 11+ was important as we are in a superselective area and DS managed to secure a place at a superselective school. However, The knock on effect of this is that he has gained in confidence which has resulted in increased effort and perseverance at school (self driven) for which he was rewarded with some great SATs results. Some say SATs are only important for the school, but if your DC doesn't pass, then SATs could be crucial for streaming at a non grammar school.

This is obviously a personal experience of what worked for my son, I wish you luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:54 am 
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Thank you everyone. Lots to think about...

Are there any threads about how people actually get in grammar school once they are in? How do the tutored DCs get on compared to non tutored DCs?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:34 am 
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There are posts about this topic, ad infinitum. The answer to that is that nobody knows. People embellish the truth about how much or how little their children have been at private prep for primary/tutored/prepared/done nothing at all so it is impossible to tell which children come in heavily tutored or with nothing or somewhere in between. Most children are better at some subjects than others so some may be really strong in English but not so hot in Maths - most GS there is something that every child finds more challenging. Certainly, if a child has been spooned everything all the way through and doesn't have that thirst for knowledge they may find secondary more challenging - but that would be true of any secondary school. The move to CEM tests has taken the predictability (often referred to as making it more un-tutorable) out of the 11+. In the past, there were only a few tests on the market so tutors just went over and over those tests and children learned by rote how to get 100%, with very little real understanding.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:13 am 
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viewtopic.php?f=5&t=42999

This is a recent example but as kenyancowgirl explained there are many more.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=41879

.. and another.

I would add that some DC may think the only reason they got their place was through excessive tutoring and this could lead to self esteem issues.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:00 pm 
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SATS result and NC levels don't mean much in 11+. To increase chances of entering grammar school, I would suggest you teach your daughter maths skill and English vocab 2 years ahead of her peers.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:43 am 
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Foreseer...this thread is over a year old.... :shock:

And, by the way - of course SATS results have no bearing on 11+.....they are taken after the 11+ exam....


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