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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 5:35 am 
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Halfandhalf wrote:
My daughter is intending to take the STT in Sep 2019. We have been DIYing in a relatively laid back manner since Nov 2018.

But assuming her level is about the same in all three areas, it would be useful to know whether we need to ramp up the preparation. We would prefer to avoid as much stress/pressure as possible and would only want to increase the practise if actually necessary.


They started in year 5, not year 3 or 4 so they aren't taking away three years of their child's life!
With those marks, they need to increase the work. Also bear in mind that GL practice tests are not as difficult as the real test, because the practice papers contain a higher proportion of "easier" questions (GL say this in their parents guide to 11+).
Timing is a real issue, especially in the non verbal reasoning.
Ramp your revision up and give your daughter rewards and motivational treats like days out, milkshakes in cafes, little trinkets etc so she knows you're proud of her. Now is the time!


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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 6:01 am 
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To bring some perspective on the difficulty of the Bucks test.

The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools state

Quote:
Is the test age appropriate?

The Buckinghamshire STT is designed to be taken at the beginning of the Autumn term when children move in to Year 6. Literacy levels in the test are kept as low as possible to ensure that the test assesses reasoning ability rather than levels of literacy. Additionally maths or English content in the test does not go beyond what the national curriculum expects children to know and be able to do by the end of Year 5.


https://www.thebucksgrammarschools.org/faqs

Some form of tuition is required, whether by parent or by paying a tutor. Children are not taught NVR, Spatial and VR in school. In addition speed and techniques are important.

Starting in year five is perfectly attainable. Continuous (little and often) revision over the summer holidays is very important. Six weeks off and children are "brain dead" by the time they go back to school in September.

Patricia


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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 9:54 am 
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Daogroupie wrote:
The OP states they are in Y5 and doing ten minutes a few times a week so no we are not talking about parents who did two hours a day plus one to tutors and multiple mocks.


I was responding to your post not the OPs. More specifically: "In ten years on the forum I have never seen a single post from a member complaining that they did too much preparation, but many many posts from those who bitterly regret not doing enough".

Personally I know a few parents who threw everything they possibly could at the 11 plus (which cost them a small fortune) and are now saying they wished their DC had never sat it.

In response to the OP I would say - find the balance that suits you and your DC. However, I don't think there will be many doing 10 minutes a couple of times a week tbh. They will need to be able to focus and concentrate for much longer than that in the actual exam.

There will be DCs doing hours and hours of preparation who will not pass and there will be DCs doing a couple of hours a week who will. It is finding the right balance for you and your DC that will make the difference. A productive 20-30 minute session a few times a week can work better than an hour or two every day where the DC is switched off for most of it. Focusing on weak areas and exam technique rather than just churning through test after test after test (like many I know) would likely be a better use of time.

I can understand a parent wishing they had done more if their DC falls just short of the qualifying score. If you feel you can do more preparation with your DC, then it would be a good idea to do so in order to avoid the "if only" afterwards.


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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 3:15 pm 
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loopylala wrote:
Personally I know a few parents who threw everything they possibly could at the 11 plus (which cost them a small fortune) and are now saying they wished their DC had never sat it.


I assume their children didn't pass then? They wouldn't have said that if they had!!


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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 3:59 pm 
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Deb70 wrote:
loopylala wrote:
Personally I know a few parents who threw everything they possibly could at the 11 plus (which cost them a small fortune) and are now saying they wished their DC had never sat it.


I assume their children didn't pass then? They wouldn't have said that if they had!!


I appreciate that some parents refuse to believe that others would choose anything other than a Grammar school if their DC passed the exam. However, I do know parents who have chosen other options despite their DC passing the exam.


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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 6:33 pm 
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Well it depends what other schools are available. If there were good non selective schools available for my children then I certainly wouldn't have put them through the eleven plus, or made them travel by bus to school.
I don't understand why anyone would make their children study for years and spend a fortune on tuition, then decline a grammar school place. Seems like a giant waste of everyone's time!


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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 6:36 am 
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Because maybe not everyone does "make their child study for years, spend a fortune on tuition" because not everyone has a grammar school or bust mentality?

In the interest of balance, OP, both my boys did rather less than you are currently doing - and both passed comfortably - it does depend on your starting point - both mine were very strong in their times tables with quick recall - and speed undeniably does help - they weren't tutored formally - our first worked through Bond books and did puzzles galore, the second had the workbooks but rarely did them and did mental maths through school. But we are a family of readers (when they were young) and talked all the time to our kids as they were growing up - the first scored top grades throughout his GCSEs and is about to embark on A levels ready for Medicine at uni in Sept. The second doing GCSEs this year and predicted top grades - they work hard in school and do a lot (and I mean a lot) of sport in and out of school - they aren't revising for ridiculous hours (I heard a friend say her son was revising 11 hours a day for GCSEs.... :shock: :shock: ) - if they need to do that to get top grades then I would rather they got normal grades and have a life....

The problem with this forum is there are some very invested parents who whip up this hysteria that everyone is doing more and you are failing your child if you don't - no you are not - not every child is right in a grammar school, not every grammar school is right for a child - every parent whose child fails when they thought they were going to pass is aghast - but the test is not designed for everyone to pass - and parents often have an unrealistic judgment of where their child sits within a national cohort.

Know your own child - encourgae them to push themselves but know that a happy child, (who knows that you are proud of their effort - not their achievement) - says more about you as a brilliant parent than one who is miserable being told to work, work, work, and then gets the impression that they have failed you if they do not do well. The latter may be harmed forever, whereas the former is likely to feel safe, secure and loved and do their best wherever they go.


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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 8:17 am 
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I think, OP, the problem with the question you pose is that everyone is here with their own hindsight.
I can honestly say that my dd did slightly less than yours and was successful at 11+ and that I am glad I had not found this forum at the time as I would have definitely felt she was not doing enough. As it is, I can say with confidence that I'm so glad she didn't work any harder than she did as she kept a great balance.
But....
If she'd not got in, would I wish we'd done more with her? I'd like to think that I'd say no and that I'd remain confident that we did the right thing for her.
But if she failed to get in by a small margin then I'm sure the "what if" question would have raised its head (probably many times).
On this forum, most people whose child was successful will assume they did the perfect amount of work to get to that point (regardless of whether they could have done less and still been successful) and, not only that, many of them will assume that that's the same amount of work another person's child will need to do to achieve the same results.
I don't think that that's true. Only you know how much you're happy for your child to do and what you think she needs to be in the top 30% (or maybe 25% if you take into account ooc sitters who won't get a place) of her cohort.


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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 9:03 am 
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Location: Herts
It depends on the guidance on the type of preparation.

Some DC do a lot less, but because it is more focused, it is more effective.

That is why mocks are so helpful to give you that feedback as to whether what you are doing is effective where you are ranked against your cohort.

Some DC will find out that their preparation/natural ability secures them a high rank compared to the four thousand plus Y5s also doing the mocks. However some will find out that ,despite very high scores in sample papers at home, their preparation does not translate to a high ranking result.

This will help them focus in the time they have left to prepare and perhaps change their current strategy. DG


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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 2:25 pm 
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
not everyone has a grammar school or bust mentality...

both my boys did rather less than you are currently doing - and both passed comfortably - it does depend on your starting point - both mine were very strong in their times tables with quick recall - and speed undeniably does help ...But we are a family of readers (when they were young) and talked all the time to our kids as they were growing up - the first scored top grades throughout his GCSEs...

The problem with this forum is there are some very invested parents who whip up this hysteria ....not every child is right in a grammar school... parents often have an unrealistic judgment of where their child sits within a national cohort.


Yes, you need to have a reasonably bright child to start with.
If you don't mind me saying so, your children seem to have taken the eleven plus several years ago. Things may have changed somewhat since then.
Excessive tuition is now the norm, not that I agree. I don't think that making adjustments to keep up with these over tutored children means one has a "grammar school or bust" mentality.
I think it's quite smug to state that whilst ones own children passed with no tuition, other people's children - who perhaps are starting from a "lower" point, or who aren't "a family of readers" may not be right for grammar school and their parents are being "unrealistic".
It's a competition, and few children will pass without a fair amount of prep. Don't be ashamed to go for it with your child, especially if the alternative is a really poor school.


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