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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Eleven Plus and Questions

Thank you all for your remarkable response to the blogs. We have families who return to read the blogs on a regular basis.

We have been emailed with a number of questions and thought we could share just a few with you. If you do have anything you would like to discuss we can only try to help.

My child is doing well at school. We have just had an open evening and his teacher said that while she could not categorically say that he would pass the 11+ examination, she felt that the school would certainly recommend that he should try the selection tests.

I just can not encourage him to do any work at home.

Take away all discussion of long term aims and goals. Do not talk about the advantages of a good education. Do not stress the importance of doing the best work possible. Start with small elements from different papers. Forget all about setting a full paper. Attempting full papers comes towards the end - as the examination grows closer. Simply work together on a few questions from a range of papers.

There is a big difference between a child feeling confident at school and feeling confident that he can pass a competitive selection test. Build him up bit by bit.

My son just rushes through all his work. He is untidy - and he never seems to stop to read questions carefully. He is getting between 60 - 70 percent on the practice papers. I think he can do more.

Start with building a timetable that will last all week. Suggest set times for work, play, homework and 11+ study. Make sure you listen to how much time he wants to devote to different activities.

Ask him to agree to do a certain number of questions every day. Look at the questions together and talk about the amount of time he will need to spend. Go over any difficult questions before he starts any work.

Discuss the rhythm of the questions. You child has to learn how to stop rushing. It will not help if all you say is: `Be more careful and slow down.’ Help him too to understand the concept of time a little better.

When I speak to my teacher he says that my child is doing well at school and is not experiencing any difficulty. Why is my child struggling so much with the 11+ mathematics papers?

In terms of the National Curriculum your child may be doing very well at Level 4. Schools and teachers are aiming to have as many passes as possible at Level 4.

There is a National Curriculum Level 4 element in 11+ examinations. These are probably the questions your child is coping with. Confidence with these questions reflects very well on the school and your child’s teacher.

In addition to the Level 4 mathematics in the eleven plus examination, there is naturally some Level 5 maths. It may be these Level 5 questions that your child is struggling with.

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