What Is The 11+ And Is It Right For Your Child?

What Is The 11+ And Is It Right For Your Child?

Is the 11+ Right For Your Child?

Grammar Schools by their very nature take students who are academically able. In Essex the examination is taken at the age of 11.

Children develop at very different times. In some counties in England, students are assessed at the age of 13 for Grammar School places.

No parent wants to stress or upset their child, so it is worth thinking about how to encourage, support and build the self-esteem of students rather than push and stress them.

Working calmy and happily with your child on their academic studies is an important parenting skill that will demonstrate to them that you are interested and care about their studies.

People often gain most of their life experience within the family environment. Showing your child that you believe their academic progress is important will make them think that it is important.

Successfully gaining a Grammar School place is very rewarding but working hard on both Maths and English will mean your child will be top of their class at school and will do well in life, whichever secondary school they attend.

Hard work and high expectations lead to good jobs and secure futures. Regardless of gaining a Grammar School place or not, our students benefit greatly from the preparation we offer. The topics we cover are taught in school but after the 11+ examination is sat. Our students excel whichever secondary school they go to.

There is on average a 1 in 5 chance of those sitting the 11+ gaining a Grammar School place. Obviously, the chances are much higher if your child has the correct tuition. Most, though not all successful candidates are already doing well in their primary school. If this is not the case with your child, it is still worth thinking about the 11+ as it may just be a clash of personalities or a dislike of a particular school environment that is holding your child back.

Provided you are clear that the 11+ is not all about gaining a Grammar School place and that you are open minded and positive about other school choices, (perhaps even preferring other schools as your first choice), then only success can come from encouraging and supporting your child’s education.

Across the UK the 11+ exams vary. Though all districts assess Maths and English, some also assess verbal and even non-verbal reasoning.

Parents need to complete a registration form. In Essex, the form is completed on the CSSE website. This will ensure their child receives a place in the 11+ exam. Schools do not do this for you. Each year there is an opening of the registration and a closing of the registration. The registration is usually open for just over a month. We at the Jacqui Robinson Education Centre, ensure that our parents have registered their children and help them where necessary.

Here in Essex students sit two examination papers at the same time. One in Maths and one in English. There has traditionally been a little bit of Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning hidden on the Maths and English papers adding up in total to about 10 marks at most.
The English paper will consist of a long comprehension passage with comprehension questions. Here at the Jacqui Robinson Education Centre, we use our Text Detective schemes of work specially written for our students to build their comprehension skills and ensure they answer in a manner that links to the amount of marks that the questions is worth. Some questions require quotations to prove their answers while others as seeking inference skills or short answers.
There has also been two pieces of extended writing where students have been asked to write in different styles. We teach students to write quickly, in full paragraphs, using appropriate literary techniques and achieve the task set.
The two different styles of writing need to be distinct. So, for example one of the tasks may need the student to write a story based on a picture while the second might be to describe their favourite person. These require very different skills.
It is essential that students write quickly and get on task quickly as they are in timed examination environment. Too much time spent on one task could mean that the student does not do the second one. This would seriously affect their marks.

The English paper in Essex is usually one hour and ten minutes long. All questions should be attempted though as always if a student struggles, they can leave it and come back to it later. We teach examination techniques.

This ensures our students do not spend too long on one question and not finish the paper. The extended writing tasks are usually at the end of the paper but are of high mark value. Children need to prepare for this examination with other students around them. This gives them a fun environment and a gentle element of competition which is essential to gaining a Grammar School place.

The Maths paper usually lasts sixty minutes. It includes a wide variety of quite advanced Maths including multi-operation written questions. These will require students to break down the questions into manageable sections. Accuracy and an understanding of what the question requires are both important.

Here at the Jacqui Robinson Education Centre, we offer a thorough 11+ examination specific scheme of work with teacher led classes on a ratio of one member of staff to four students. The teacher will teach from the front and then circulate to help the students where appropriate.

The unique programs of study are specifically written to match previous and potential questions. We teach flexibility of thought as the 11+ in Essex is looking for students with agile brains who can use maths skills in a variety of ways.

Students with us work using pen and paper. We give them a Perfect Pack of work each week which includes Maths, English, verbal, and non-verbal reasoning.

These packs are written in the centre using our unique lesson plans, worksheets, and schemes of work. They also include extra help where appropriate with practice worksheets. Our support staff and teachers will always help with any topics that a student might find difficult.

In Essex, the 11+ has traditionally been in the third or fourth Saturday in September as students enter Year 6.

In other parts of the country, the 11+ tends to range from September right through to the end of January. So, it is worth checking in your area.

Because of the over subscription in recent years many areas have found they have had to add extra examination dates. It is important to ensure that your child is registered for the examination with the appropriate board. This cannot be done by your school. It must be done by parents.

In Essex the marks are standardised. This means certain questions will be weighted depending on students’ answers. As the 11+ is a competitive exam with fewer spaces than there are candidates the standardisation means that there is no clear pass or fail mark available before the exam. Your child will need to do better than other candidates. It is important that they prepare in small groups so that we can monitor their results against their peers.

Here at the Jacqui Robinson Education Centre, we offer 11+ mock examinations which usually have around a hundred students in each sitting.

Students are given a mark for each subject but also a position against their peers. Because of the standardisation of the 11+, this is the most important piece of information.

We can focus on any mistakes students have made and we can teach them how to do the questions correctly. We offer lots of repetition and support including 1:1 time with the teacher, detailed worksheets, in class teaching and videos.

These examinations are invaluable as the large cohort of students in the examination hall gives a very realistic feel of the actual 11+ exam, helping students with the nerves they will naturally face. We have found that if they do at least two of these examinations, they will go into the real exam feeling more confident.

In Essex, the results come about six weeks after your child sits the exam. The results will tell you how your child scored. They will not tell you if your child has gained a Grammar School place.

You will know if your child has successfully gained a place when the school allocation is sent to every family in March. If your child has been successful, they will be allocated the Grammar School of your choice. Alternatively, they will be offered another school.

There is considerable movement in the waiting list between the school allocation in March and students starting secondary school in September.

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