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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:42 am 
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Frustratingly they don't do CAT tests at our primary school. We have a tutor come once a week for one-on-one tuition and she will usually leave a practice paper to do or we tend to do 3 10 minute cgp tests. Sometimes it's a pleasure (especially non-vr) sometimes it's very much a chore (maths and comprehension). Our tutor couldn't come this week so she did sit and do some bits with me but it is often hard work :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:07 pm 
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Thank you Octsmum, Choccy74 and Brackenboo for your reassurances!

DD sat the CAT tests 'cold' - it was the first time she had done CAT tests and we didn't start 11+ tuition until the following month. She moved to a private prep school for year 5, as she was kind of getting lost in her previous school - well-behaved, no big fall outs, not struggling, but not being motivated to do her best either - just cruising along 'at expected'..! I have 3 children and am a full-time working single parent, so private not an option for us in the longer term or for the other 2.

I've been reassured to see that SHS have accepted down to a ranking of 400-and-something. I had been thinking that unless they were in the top 200 there was no chance.

DD enjoys her 11+ tuition - it's 1h 20m a week with 3-4 other year 5's. I haven't had any feedback from the tutor yet, probably because she's only been going for a few weeks. I know I need to do some prep with her at home, but she just daydreams, doesn't concentrate or try at all, then gets cross with me when I try and encourage her - she doesn't seem to understand the importance of it! So frustrating as I think she could do better - she's 11 in November, so will be standardised down in the 11+, yet is quite immature. I'm thinking of putting her in for some mock tests - is anyone else doing this? Perhaps it will give her/me an idea of what we are working towards, maybe even shock her into being more up for doing some bits with me at home...


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:29 pm 
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I've booked my DD in for a mock test at the beginning of May, partly to see how she's progressing but also to give her the experience of it. Her tutor said he'll also do two mocks, one in June and the other late August or early September.

Have you been to look around schools yet? That was quite a big motivator for my DD when she decided that 'that' was the school she wants to go to.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:52 pm 
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CAT test scores are useful evidence if you go to appeal but our primary doesn't do them either and I assumed it was just private schools that did - state schools aren't allowed to prepare them for the 11+ either as I understand it, their focus is entirely on SATs. Happy to be corrected on this though if anyone has any information to the contrary.
Re looking round schools - that certainly worked for DD - once she'd seen Ribston she decided she wanted to go there and she could see as point to all the preparation. It hasn't worked for DS though - he's a very different character and finds open days quite boring!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:58 pm 
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I think I’ll book her for a mock test. We’re going to the SHS open day at the end of April so hopefully that will spur her on. Must look up when the Ribston open day is too!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:01 pm 
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Mumofthreeahh wrote:
Thank you Octsmum, Choccy74 and Brackenboo for your reassurances!

DD sat the CAT tests 'cold' - it was the first time she had done CAT tests and we didn't start 11+ tuition until the following month. She moved to a private prep school for year 5, as she was kind of getting lost in her previous school - well-behaved, no big fall outs, not struggling, but not being motivated to do her best either - just cruising along 'at expected'..! I have 3 children and am a full-time working single parent, so private not an option for us in the longer term or for the other 2.

I've been reassured to see that SHS have accepted down to a ranking of 400-and-something. I had been thinking that unless they were in the top 200 there was no chance.

DD enjoys her 11+ tuition - it's 1h 20m a week with 3-4 other year 5's. I haven't had any feedback from the tutor yet, probably because she's only been going for a few weeks. I know I need to do some prep with her at home, but she just daydreams, doesn't concentrate or try at all, then gets cross with me when I try and encourage her - she doesn't seem to understand the importance of it! So frustrating as I think she could do better - she's 11 in November, so will be standardised down in the 11+, yet is quite immature. I'm thinking of putting her in for some mock tests - is anyone else doing this? Perhaps it will give her/me an idea of what we are working towards, maybe even shock her into being more up for doing some bits with me at home...


Maybe, because actually she shouldn't be being put under pressure to feel that it is important? Because, then, if she fails to get a place, if she thinks that it is so important to you, she will feel that she has failed you?

Try and get it all into perspective - the vast majority of children do not go to a Grammar School and the vast majority of them do well at school - especially if they have invested parents like those represented on here. In fact, for many university places on course which are uber competitive, they would be far better off going to a normal state school rather than a Grammar School!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:13 pm 
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jearund wrote:
CAT test scores are useful evidence if you go to appeal but our primary doesn't do them either and I assumed it was just private schools that did - state schools aren't allowed to prepare them for the 11+ either as I understand it, their focus is entirely on SATs. Happy to be corrected on this though if anyone has any information to the contrary.


We're at a state primary, I assumed they all did CATs, lol. Other than having a meeting for parents to inform us about the process, the school have stated that they're not allowed to help with 11+ prep.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:29 pm 
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I think you have a point kenyancowgirl, children can do v well in non-selective state secondary schools and it’s important to keep your perspective - it’s easy to get caught up with grammar school entry and feel like it’s the be all and end all - I guess that’s what this forum is about, after all! My DD knows that I just want her to do her best and that I’m proud of her regardless of 11+. She’s a bright girl who is probably capable of passing the test but would benefit from more motivation - I think the carrot (ie looking at prospective school options) rather than the stick (threat of parental disappointment) is going to be the best way to approach it. Grateful for the advice of Mums and Dads who have been in the area for a while and have had more experience than I have, coming from a non-grammar region.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:58 pm 
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Hi Mumofthree, when my eldest did yr 5 CAT tests at our state primary in 2016, the teacher (who had attended one of the Gloucester grammars herself) gave us the results with a strongly worded statement that whilst they gave a broad indication as to potential suitability for entering for the 11+, there were so many ways in which they don't offer a full picture, that we should not assume that they would provide an accurate prediction of results in an entrance test. So in short, you should not be unduly worried by CAT results if other indicators give you confidence that your child can cope. Her comment was that every year she is surprised both by pupils who are successful and unsuccessful in gaining a place at a grammar - her expectations being based upon performance in class, school assessments and CATs. There are some big differences between CATS and 11+, not least that CAT tests have no time restrictions, so they are not testing something which is central to the 11+ tests, so there can be a real discrepancy between the two results.
She told us that the guidelines they had from the county at that time were that whilst an average of 110 had previously been the approximate figure which would indicate suitability for entering the 11+, increasing pressure on places had meant they felt something approaching 115 might now be a better indicator. However, we weren't shown anything in writing which spelled this out, and what I never asked her was whether this second figure was a minimum, or an indicator of likely 'success'. I came away from it feeling she was saying not to set too much store by CATS either way and to go with your own instinct.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:50 pm 
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Hi

I wouldn't see CAT scores as the be all & end all - they're a useful indicator but you will know your child best & whether you think they are capable. It maybe from parents evening comments, where you child sits in the class (My DD used to tell me she sat on the top table where they got the hardest work!) etc.

I think preparation for the 11+ is important because of the timed element - definitely worth practising under timed conditions. Mocks are definitely worth it too - for the nature of doing multiple papers, in a strange environment with lots of other people. Think about when you sit these - you don't want to do too early & ruin confidence that you've been building up.

We took DD to see multiple secondary schools - grammar, state and private and be involved in the decision (not make the decision). It enabled her to compare & see the environment she thought she would best fit & thrive & enjoy. It enabled her to participate in the decision to do the 11+ test and know what she was working for. She did the comparison of facilities / environments herself too. It was a motivator too.

One tactic we used was we screened out schools that we were not happy for my DD to go to before we took her round. We were able to say confidently that we were happy for her to go to any of the schools we went to. It removed some of the pressure to do and perform in the actual test because we were all confident in the choices. (We're lucky that we have good comps locally too)


Hope it helps.


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