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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:23 am 
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Where are you based and which schools are you targeting? If you are aiming for some hugely competitive schools, such as many London grammars, I must say it is laughable and hugely misleading to say that „some reading and timestables work”will be enough. Everyone I know who passed had lots of preparation, all my children’s friends who are at a grammar had lots of preparation even though they are clever and doing fine at school. Similarly, some really bright kids I know who went the ‚gentle preparation’ path did not secure places at grammars. With a bit of reading and timestables or one hour a week of tuition to cover nvr, vr, maths, comprehension and all that is needed, I would not expect much success... A lot of people do more preparation than they reveal.

There is nothing wrong in starting in year 4. The sooner you start, the sooner you are ready and it will be easier and less pressured in year 5.

I am a working parent with a toddler at home and we’ve managed to go through 11+, although it was not easy. My children are at grammar and doing very well and I feel getting into the school was harder than doing well at school once you are in.

You just have to be well-organised. If you want to spend time with your child helping and supporting them in their preparation, which I think is a great idea, be consistent and do EVERY DAY a little bit, it really pays off over time. Your child can do work independently while you are doing your chores and then you alłocate 1/2 each day to sit down together and go through their mistakes with them.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:07 am 
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Oh dear. This post seems ridiculous but actually is quite sad.
These people are clearly doing too much work. It's not good for the child and won't help him, especially if he doesn't pass the exam after all this, what's he going to feel like? If the child requires that much training to pass the entrance exam, how is he going to cope with the work once he gets in? How are the parents going to cope?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:09 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:55 pm
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Jagger wrote:
Sorry if I’m replying late to this old post. But I so relate to it.

I feel so guilty that my dd got a score of 109.15 for Woodford county and now don’t know if she realistically will be in with a chance or not... I have a busy life too- I work full time and have another child to take care of. It’s so hard and tiring as I spent my time on my other one (who has had his fair share of health problems) and maybe didn’t so much with my 11+ er - maybe if I had she would have got a higher score. We spent so much effort on her with tuition and revision. I have not said I’m disappointed with her result as I’m actually so very proud of her for sitting it and passing it. I just wish I spent more time with helping her . Now it’s a waiting game but still unsure whether to add Woodford county as my first choice?


I'm afraid I don't know anything about that school or the score, but wanted to say stop being so hard on yourself.

It sounds like your child did do the work and you state that you put the effort in and that you don't know which way it will go yet. The important thing is that your child has done well and that they don't pick up on any of this. Big up all the school choices and remind them how proud you are of them.

Sometimes exams don't go the way we plan. It might be different on another day, the child may not 'perform' under pressure, there may be distractions etc.

I agree with previous posters that year 4 is too early and that some posters are doing too much. This in turn may make you feel like you 'should' have done more.

We've experienced scores that weren't enough to gain a place and scores that were. Both children experienced the same level of preparation (twins).

It's easy for me to say now and it's taken me a while, but there is so much more to your child's education than one school.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:52 pm
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ninanina wrote:
Where are you based and which schools are you targeting? If you are aiming for some hugely competitive schools, such as many London grammars, I must say it is laughable and hugely misleading to say that „some reading and timestables work”will be enough. Everyone I know who passed had lots of preparation, all my children’s friends who are at a grammar had lots of preparation even though they are clever and doing fine at school. Similarly, some really bright kids I know who went the ‚gentle preparation’ path did not secure places at grammars. With a bit of reading and timestables or one hour a week of tuition to cover nvr, vr, maths, comprehension and all that is needed, I would not expect much success... A lot of people do more preparation than they reveal.

There is nothing wrong in starting in year 4. The sooner you start, the sooner you are ready and it will be easier and less pressured in year 5.

I am a working parent with a toddler at home and we’ve managed to go through 11+, although it was not easy. My children are at grammar and doing very well and I feel getting into the school was harder than doing well at school once you are in.

You just have to be well-organised. If you want to spend time with your child helping and supporting them in their preparation, which I think is a great idea, be consistent and do EVERY DAY a little bit, it really pays off over time. Your child can do work independently while you are doing your chores and then you alłocate 1/2 each day to sit down together and go through their mistakes with them.


Absolutely agree - nothing wrong with starting gently in Y4, as it takes the pressure off (somewhat!) in Y5. As for how much people actually do with their children, I totally agree - most do a lot more than they say.

The people I know who have secured Newstead, Olaves, top Kent grammars etc and scored over around 400 (Kent) would have done HOURS of work every week. A boy I know, in Y5, is super bright, currently top of the class in every subject at a selective indie and is doing 2H15 minutes EVERY DAY during the holidays and during the school week, a bit every day plus another 4H30 at the weekend. Another girl I know of is doing 2 hours before school and then at least 4 hours at the weekend sometimes 4 H on Saturday and then the same on Sunday.

For some bizarre reason, neither of my DC have been compliant enough so we have done way, way, way less than this (my eldest passed Bexley/Kent with good scores but not in the 400s or top 180) but realise that to be able to beat the 'competition' we should do lots more.

Anyhow, please don't feel bad, it is. But at least if you ever hear someone who has scored incredibly highly it's because they've prepped a lot more. That's quite comforting I think.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:22 pm 
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I disagree with the last statements.
The students that I knew who did the most work got no selective places.
The students who did no work also got no selective places.
The students I know who did very well, getting a number of scores high enough for the schools they were targeting in North London did work but none of them did more than a couple of hours a week for year 5 - and some did less than that.
I met children who were doing 8 hours of focused work a day and got nowhere.
At the end of the day, underlying ability (and luck) does play a part in this process.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:52 pm
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I'm not saying I agree with kids doing this much but many do and are very successful. These tend to be very bright children in the first place. Eight hours per day sounds a ludicrous amount - how do they manage? - but, yes, many kids do holiday 11+ clubs where they do at least 3 hours / day Not necessarily throughout the year but for a few weeks here and there . Many have tutors + parents do extra work in the holidays.

Of course, there will be the 0.5-1% of super gifted children who perhaps 'only' do 2 hours per week and do brilliantly but they are possibly the kind of children (or in families) where there is a lot of other 'added value' such as being read to every night and who perhaps do lots of puzzles, crosswords, board games (for vocab) etc etc.

My eldest did one hour of tutoring (+ homework set by tutor) during Y5 plus 1-2 hours of tutoring (+ homework - quite a lot) per week in the last 8 months. During the summer hols he probably did 3 days per week when he did 1-1.5 hours, we went on hols and he did 1 x 10-minute paper every morning. Oh and he did 10 days of 3 hour sessions with an 11+ tutor in the summer hols.


Last edited by turnip08 on Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:47 pm 
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Or turnip08...did he do more? As you say up thread, most do a lot more than they say...! :wink:

Nobody really knows. The most important thing is balance to ensure your child is happy - really happy - not just making the parent happy. A happy supported child will do better, wherever they go to school, than a stressed unhappy child.

A stressed unhappy parent is likely to feed that to a child.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:52 pm
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
Or turnip08...did he do more? As you say up thread, most do a lot more than they say...! :wink:

Nobody really knows. The most important thing is balance to ensure your child is happy - really happy - not just making the parent happy. A happy supported child will do better, wherever they go to school, than a stressed unhappy child.

A stressed unhappy parent is likely to feed that to a child.


:D you'll never know! ;)
I would have loved my eldest to have done more but he was quite adamant when he'd done enough. He was never faced by it, or anxious, but he certainly didn't love doing the work (understatement of the week!). Some days seemed to go on forever as he didn't like doing 1 hour long stints so we split it up into lots of shorter sections spread throughout the day. Wish he'd been one of those kids who would happily just do 2 x 1 hour slots without any moaning.

Sadly not the case in our family!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:21 am
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I really do think the amount you need to do does depend on the areas you are aiming for. At most we did 1-2 hours a week sometimes less, but we weren't aiming for super competitive schools like some are.

DD was at greater depth across the board and I do read to her, but definitely not doing huge amounts of value add


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