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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:29 pm
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My son really struggling with comprehension. I am not sure what to do. he is in year 5 and i am preparing him for 11 plus. kent and Medway test.

Please help!! any books suggestion are welcome.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:30 am
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Sharing our experience as DS recently did his 11+ exams in Bucks and Berks - Comprehension was the biggest issue with my DS last year. But over the time, working together helped DS overcome his weakness in it to some extent. I wouldn't say he is excellent in comprehension now but much much better than he used to be at the beginning of Yr5. We read together many classical books (with learning new words and asking questions) and worked on various comprehension test books - CGP, Letts, FPTP, Schofield & Sims and a little of Bond books. We started with easier ones first (9-10 age group) to build his confidence then progressed to 10-11 ones. We also referred to Bond - How to do 11+ English book to learn various techniques. All this, not only helped him to do well in his 11+ exams and in his school exams (which made him move to set 1), but also helped me to improve my English skills :-), as it's my second language.
There isn't any concrete strategy to master in comprehension as every child is different. So, work together and have faith, is the only suggestion from me!
You can also refer to other threads on this forum which already provide valuable advice/tips to address this issue.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:06 am
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Hi. Personally, we found that reading was the key to improving comprehension for our dd.

I don't know how much reading your dc is doing. If he isn't much of a reader or perhaps a reluctant one like my dd was, I found lovereading4kids.co.uk website very useful for recommending books targeted for reluctant readers.

We started dd on suggested books and now she loves reading which then helped with comprehension and vocabulary. Hope this helps.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:52 pm
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I think it's so common and was the issue with my DS too. He's an avid reader but, with hindsight, I should have made sure we read more together from Y2/3 (when he was an independent reader) as he's not a child who wants an unknown word to get in the way of the flow of the story. Buying a Kindle Paperwhite e-reader helped (you can press the unknown word and a dictionary pops up; the word ends up in a vocabulary list).

As you're in Y5 now, perhaps spend time at bedtime reading to your son so that you can pick out words he may not know and work on the understanding of inferences. Might be difficult to try to race through all the recommended reading lists but worth doing lots of comprehension papers (CGP, Bond, First-past-the-Post), working on improving vocabulary (there are lists on this forum) and work on strategies for finding context clues. I also think that my son's comprehension improved when he was forced to write answers rather than just selecting options in multiple choice.

Please don't panic. I've heard many children score 45-50% at this point, then achieving 75/80% + - you still have plenty of time.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:12 pm
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hi,

I have just joined this forum and have been looking for recommendations towards preparing for english. Sorry to post on this thread without creating my own thread.

I see some suggestions in terms of reading together with your DS/DD, what do you mean by that, you both read the same book together or your DD/DS reads it out loud to you?

What are recommendation to approaching for english exam, we are preparing for colchester.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:52 pm
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I find it quite useful to read to my child (as he enjoys listening) - he's in Y3 - but I also ask him to read to me once or twice a week (he's no longer on a book scheme as a free reader). But it works both ways. If your child is the kind who asks questions re word meaning or what is happening in the story, you can just answer.

By reading to (or listening to your child), you'll probably quickly figure out what words might be new to them. You can either stop the story and explain - though not too often so that you lose the flow - or read the word in question e.g. 'meagre' and quickly insert 'or not a lot, little'. Once in a while you might ask your child 'what do you think happens next?' to check their comprehension and if they can predict or 'why do you think the character thinks this/did this?' for passages where they might not have picked up the underlying inferences in the story.

It doesn't have to be every night although my youngest loves listening to me reading stories. My eldest, who in a way is more of an avid fiction reader, likes to read by himself. However, he is the one who doesn't stop to ask what words mean and didn't do as well as could have done in comprehension in Y5. We went back to reading to him a couple of times per week which has been lovely and we all enjoy it. Started this too late, though, to make any difference with the 11+ so ended up having to do a lot of last-minute vocab/comprehension work.

In other words, the earlier you start reading with your child the better and saves you a lot of work later. Plus it's a lovely thing to do.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
Children often struggle with inference questions. When you read together discuss how a character may be feeling, or discuss the setting, what words or phrases in the book tell you this, why do you think the author used a particular word etc.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:12 pm 
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Being stronger in maths and logic, my child benefited from the CGP ten minute comprehension book nearer the exam. I started off helping her reason out answers, then gradually let her fly solo, always discussing incorrect answers. Half the battle was reinforcing the need to refer to the text and consider all answers. In the end she understood types of questions and what the examiner was looking for. Got a very good score in the exam.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:15 pm 
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The biggest struggle for me was convincing my DD that comprehension is not a memory test and that she can refer back to the text as often as she feels the need. The important thing to start off is understanding the passage and answering the questions correctly, multiple choice or otherwise. Speed can come later with more practice.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
squareofthewicket wrote:
The biggest struggle for me was convincing my DD that comprehension is not a memory test and that she can refer back to the text as often as she feels the need. The important thing to start off is understanding the passage and answering the questions correctly, multiple choice or otherwise. Speed can come later with more practice.



A very valid point. Every year during sats, I see children read the text once and then shut the booklet!


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