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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:04 am 
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My son is 5 and currently in a local state reception. Without meaning to come across as a crazy Tiger mum, I want to do the best for my child and get good foundations in place for when we most likely prep more formally for Grammar exams in Junior school. My son seems naturally bright, and is doing very well with Maths in particular. Both my husband and I both went to Grammar school and he's in a supportive home environment.

We decided on balance to go for state primary rather than a small local prep, but I want to be doing what I can to be making up the difference myself.

I wanted to ask you parents a lot closer to these exams, what I should foundations I should start to build with him now? I'm already working on some extra Maths at home, as he is genuinely interested in learning about multiplication. I'm also trying to grow his interest in books, as that will only help with his vocabulary over time. I'm a bit reluctant to start him on formal Bond books at this age, but I'm happy to be told otherwise!

Thanks in advance for any advice that you can offer.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:59 am
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At age 5 I would just encourage him to enjoy school and lots of bedtime stories. Anything more formal at this stage would be counterproductive.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:11 pm 
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Tried and tested method. Have 4 children with 3 going/gone through the grammar school route. The 4th, the youngest one, is currently in year4. Start beginning of the year and slowly with the aim at year end finishing comfortably CGP or Bond books 8-9 years series. In year 5, focus on 11+ with no let up. In summer at end of year 5, focus on mock exams and test papers, and on timing and fine tuning


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:47 pm 
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So looks like nothing for now?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
starfish80 wrote:
So looks like nothing for now?


Nothing specific for 11+, no.

Lots of reading. Well the time comes, mental maths practice is always good, particularly times tables. Puzzles, jigsaws, spot the difference, anything involving patterns etc are all very good to help with general problem (which are is great life skill in general, and might help with any NVR) and have the advantage they are usually (hopefully) fun things to do, without seeming to be work.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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Read to him, read with him, let him "read" to you - and encourage him to be a nice friend, gaze at his navel and make mud pies.

Let him be a child for a whole lot longer. If he is still bright and able by Year 4 then start slowly then and do more in Y5. If you feel you need to do more than that from earlier, he is not Grammar School material and, if you start that early, he will burn out by Year 6 and likely be miserable.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:28 am
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Thanks everyone. I'm happy to let him be a kid for now. At the weekends he's mainly tied up with dancing/swimming, general play and getting outdoors, though we're making sure we do extra reading during the weekend daytime too.

I don't live in a particularly 'hothouse' area of Trafford, but already in reception I'm noticing some parents pushing their kids with additional activities.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:11 pm 
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All advice so far is superb. I’m thankful that my eldest didn’t move into Trafford system until firmly in the juniors. Learning about nature, outdoors, bug spotting and free play is the best sort of learning imho. There are far too many structured clubs and classes in and around this area - kids adhering to a strict timetable of scheduled activities is not good for them at a very young age. National Trust membership is a must for parents of children around this age bracket...let them learn via exploration and fun. Y4 is a good time to start some gentle 11+ stuff; Y5 is the sprint. Any earlier and they lose their childhood. We are lucky in Trafford as no super selectives. I told my kids, any marks over the pass mark are a waste - just aim for a pass. If they’re bright, they’ll be fine. Enjoy!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:46 am
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I would agree with the last reply. I have children at our local Trafford Grammar schools (and one younger child) and strongly feel that any effort or work that is entrance exam based or focused before Year 4 (and probably Year 5) is counter productive and should be unnecessary. If it is necessary I would argue that the grammar school system is possibly not right for that child.

And yes, as long as your child achieves the pass mark (or above) he/she is likely to be offered a place if you are in the catchment area for a local Grammar school. It is largely irrelevant how highly they score.

What I would say is that it is perhaps getting harder to achieve that pass mark. I know of many bright children who are top/near the top of their Year 6 peer group within their own schools who didn’t achieve the pass mark this year.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:45 pm
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Panicker wrote:
What I would say is that it is perhaps getting harder to achieve that pass mark. I know of many bright children who are top/near the top of their Year 6 peer group within their own schools who didn’t achieve the pass mark this year.



Who did pass then?


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