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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:27 am 
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Hi, I have tried navigating the forum but I am on an information overload at the moment!

We are interested in Whitgift, Caterham and Reigate Grammar. DS attends Year 5 currently.

We are not familiar with the 11+ system as we are from abroad (albeit living in the UK for 2 decades) and our DS will sit exams for the above schools. He attends a small private school currently and does 'Exam Prep' there once a week. We also give him 11+ tests to do at home but he was not doing well on them so asking the school we were told that we have been incorrectly giving him "11+ exam papers" and that these are for grammar schools, not for independent schools, hence different topics or material that he has not covered at school.

I feel not being familiar with the system is not helping at all and so any guidance will be much appreciated (although I am very glad I found this forum!).

I have three questions.

1. For the above schools, what is a good source of past papers to download or a platform (if one available) to complete tests online?
2. Does he need to attend mock exams if he is interested in any of the schools above only?
3. Should we be looking for tutoring during summer (and can anyone recommend anyone close to Warlingham?) or is doing exam prep sufficient?

Many thanks and enjoy your Sunday - happy Fathers Day.

Jen


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:34 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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Welcome - don't worry re lack of knowledge, most people don't have a clue until their children are in the middle parts of primary school!

TBH if I was in your situation I would I would having a serious chat with the prep school about what help they are giving - they are really the ones who should be prepping for these schools and know what is needed and you shouldn't have to chase around finding more work for your son. Ask them if he needs further help / prep .. and can they provide it themselves eg on of the teachers doing extra sessions etc? .


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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I'll move you post to the independent section as you might get more responses there.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:04 pm 
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Location: Herts
Prep schools tend to prefer their students to go to private secondary schools rather than state ones as they appear to be under the belief that this looks better on their destinations page.

In our area it is really clear that prep schools are deliberately not teaching students what they need to know in order to do well at the 11 plus and secure places at state grammars.

This is so they can't leave and so have to stay on for 13 plus.

Your prep is wrong to tell you that there is a difference between state school and private school 11 plus.

The only difference is that state schools exams are earlier in September as opposed to January for private school and they are a lot harder because the numbers are greater so there are a lot more students that you have to do better than.

As another poster mentioned you are paying your prep school to advise you and if you wish to sit for state grammar make sure you get the support or I suggest you go elsewhere.

But if you have been in the UK for "decades" then that is plenty of time for you to get to grips with the structure of the education system here.

I lived in the US for six years and Australia for two years and I managed to grasp the education system in both places while I was there.

If your current school continues with their current attitude I would suggest you save your money for a great 11 plus tutor and move into the state system.

If you post for recommendations by pm for your area I am sure you will find someone who will be able to recommend a great tutor who will be much better value for money than the lack of support you are currently getting from the prep school that you are paying for. DG


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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Daogroupie wrote:
But if you have been in the UK for "decades" then that is plenty of time for you to get to grips with the structure of the education system here.

I lived in the US for six years and Australia for two years and I managed to grasp the education system in both places while I was there.



DG - I think if you read the OP's post again you may see that they are explaining why they do not feel as au fait with the system as other people on here appear to be. Like many (probably most) others, they are probably trying to protect themselves from being told "you should know" - they don't know and that is why they are here.
The last thing they need is to be told that others manage to become experts very easily - most people arrive here without knowing very much, please don't put them off asking.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:13 am
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Daogroupie wrote:
But if you have been in the UK for "decades" then that is plenty of time for you to get to grips with the structure of the education system here.

I lived in the US for six years and Australia for two years and I managed to grasp the education system in both places while I was there.

[...] who will be much better value for money than the lack of support you are currently getting from the prep school that you are paying for.
DG



Dear DG, do you make every answer you give on here about yourself ? I am not interested in criticism, I am looking for advice, so if you are not prepared to give some, I suggest you stay out of the conversation and let someone else add the value you are unable to.

For everyone else - who may be able to help, I will re-phrase my questions:

1. What is a good source of past papers to download or a platform (if one available) to complete tests online in relation to independent schools? Irrespective of the prep at school, we want to spend time prepping during summer, when school is closed. If you have used a specific source that you could recommend, I would be grateful.

2. Are mock exams available for Independent schools? I feel my son would benefit from taking part in a couple, to get over nerves and familiarise with the process.

No need to answer Q3 as, in hindsight, there are many variables mostly relating to the child.

Many thanks again,

Jen


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
People come here for help and advice, it is daunting when you first come against the system, regardless of how long you have been here. The whole point of this site is to reassure people and to help them. Perhaps, if you feel you cannot post in this frame of mind, question whether you should post at all.

Yoyo
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:14 pm
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OP, for your query 11 Plus exams may not be the best home. You need to also try the Education pages on Mumsnet.
For Whitfgift there are practices papers on their website. You should be guided by your Prep school, they have the links and know the ability levels needed for each local secondary school.

Many schools publish practice papers on their school websites including the following but the level of difficulty varies tremendously :
The practice papers on the Manchester Grammar school (a private school) are difficult and should be used for practice weeks before the entrance exam, ie December. Try Dulwich College, Kings Wimbledon, Radnor House, Claremont Fan Court for a wide range of others.

The mock exams run as a test for Grammar schools selection exams are not of help unless you want to know where your child stands in a cohort. For example in Kingston Upon Thames the Sutton mocks are used by some parents to gauge where their child will stand in the area to help them select suitable a private schools, ie easy or hard admission.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:50 pm 
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@Poppyredshoes very useful thank you


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:09 pm 
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You could also check out Trinity and Old Palace sample papers on their website as they might be similar to Whitgift (many boys apply for Trinity as well as Whitgift and the others)


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