Courses for all Year 4 and Year 5 Students
Familiarisation – Course 1
First course in a series of three.
The ten-week course is designed to teach a range of skills in all areas of the 11+ examination whilst informally assessing pupils’ ability.
At the end of the course, there is the option to add on a Mock 11+ Paper with GL Assessment type questions to provide feedback to parents on pupils’ strengths as well as areas to develop.
During the Extension course (Course 2) I hone in on the ‘boost’ areas that have been identified for individual pupils.
- Accurate reading of text.
- How to highlight or underline only key words or phrases in a sentence.
- Recognising the difference between direct and inference questions.
- Sentence structure and grammar.
- Extension of vocabulary.
Question types: B, D, E, F, H, J, M (Including antonyms and synonyms).
- Basic Algebra.
- Prime, square and cubed numbers, square root, factors and multiples.
- Mathematical vocabulary.
Longer problem solving questions
- Data handling – mean, mode, median, range. Multi-step problem solving.
- Reading a table of money information accurately to solve questions.
- Money and percentages.
- Reading timetables. Digital time.
Non-verbal Reasoning (NVR) – including Spatial Awareness
- Creating a personal mind map as a memory jogger of things to look for in NVR.
- For example: rotation – shape – size – borders – shading – mirror image – pattern – number – angle – position.
- 2D views of 3D shapes.
- Introduction to some types of NVR questions such as:
- Matrices – Sequences – Similarities – Odd one out – Series – Analogies
Extension – Course 2
Second course in a series of three.
This ten – week course is designed to revise and extend skills learnt in the Familiarisation Course. It includes a vast range of potential questions in the GL Assessment.
My aim is to ensure our children are flexible in their thinking and confident enough to solve whichever type of question they come across – whether that is in English, Verbal Reasoning, Maths, Non-verbal Reasoning or Spatial Awareness.
At the end of this course the children will have dramatically widened their knowledge of antonyms, synonyms, homographs and homophones. They will be interchanging basic words for more interesting vocabulary.
You will notice this language being used in their writing at school and speech.
Regular Comprehension activities will occur with an emphasis on the technical questions such as advanced punctuation. Furthermore, watch as increased confidence is shown, when answering inference style questions too.
Verbal Reasoning activities this term are based on the code questions with tips and strategies given to enable rapid solving.
A focus on mathematical problem solving will result in an increasing awareness of how to ‘tackle’ questions that require 3 steps to find an answer. Pie-charts will be interpreted with representation as degrees, fraction and percentage.
Volume, ratio and simplification of fractions combined with Algebraic equations will complete this term’s mathematical agenda.
Non-verbal Reasoning (NVR)
Co-ordinates, number sequences, units of measurement and conversion.
The children will have a Non-verbal Reasoning book to follow up on techniques taught in class. The intention is a greater emphasis on 3D questions and Spatial Awareness.
Awareness of speed will be encouraged through completing individual tasks within a 10 minute time slot.
Consolidation – Course 3
Final course in series of three.
Ten-week course to consolidate everything learned in previous courses. We work on time skills and give guidance with examination strategy.
At this stage of the 11+ preparation our children have covered everything they are likely to come across in the Eleven Plus. So now we are consolidating. Revision and assessment enable me to address any areas individual pupils may need to secure. Feedback is given to parents and advice for extra material to boost the areas we are focussing on.
I will also be teaching and extending above the academic level for the 11+ in Mathematical and English skills, for pupils who are highly able in one or both of these areas.
A key focus now is on speed. Timing is imperative to ensure all questions are attempted in the Eleven Plus. A general rule is to work on 30 seconds per question. Through a range of activities we develop an awareness of timing. Knowing when to move on in the test situation, because a question is taking too long to solve. (Children who are perfectionists can find this challenging as they dislike leaving anything uncompleted.)
Test management is vital at this stage. It may seem bizarre that we are teaching children of 10 or 11 years, test strategy, yet through this I can increase their raw score. Enhancing their likelihood of achieving above the 121 ‘pass’ mark to attain a grammar school place.
We have lots of practice in how to transfer answers accurately to the multiple choice answer sheet – avoiding errors. How to position the test booklet and answer sheet depending on whether a pupil is right or left handed. We also learn how the multiple choice options can assist in finding the correct answer.
Finally, I address a common errors that have resulted in children losing many marks in a whole section.
Foundation – Course 1
First course in a series of two.
This ten–week course is designed to develop the primary English and Maths skills required for the 11+ examination. It includes an introduction to Verbal Reasoning and Non-verbal Reasoning. My aim is to ensure our children start off with the foundations necessary to approach the 11+ confidently.
- Comprehension – how to read and understand a text.
- Grammar – recognising past, present and future tense.
- Synonyms, Antonyms, Homophones and Homonyms.
- How these are used in Verbal Reasoning 11+ questions
- Technical skills. Why and how to use punctuation.
- Apostrophes for contraction or possession
- Colons and semi-colons
- Exclamation marks
- Squared and cubed numbers.
- Multiples and factor pairs.
- Number sequences.
- Fractions of a number.
- Units of measurement and conversion i.e. litres and millilitres, kilograms and grams.
- Finding 10% and 5% of two or three digit number- extending to finding percentages of money.
- Reading timetables accurately.
- Problem solving with long questions such as money, recipes and percentages.
Non-Verbal Reasoning (NVR)
- Creating a personalised NVR mind map of all the features of NVR.
- Practising different question types.
Development – Course 2
Second course in a series of two.
Ten-week course building on the skills and knowledge gained in Foundation course with an increased focus on Verbal Reasoning and Non-verbal Reasoning.
This course is focussed on moving pupils forward in all aspects of learning for their 11+ Examination. Noticeable is the vocabulary children are now using with confidence during our lessons.
- Regular Comprehensions with a range of texts. Focus on inference and direct questions.
- Commonly misspelled words.
- Technical skills: colon, semi-colon, comma use, brackets and apostrophes of possession and contraction and plural nouns i.e. children’s.
- Compound words (regular i.e. play + ground = playground) (irregular i.e. fat + her = father)
- Vocabulary – wider range of antonyms, synonyms, homonyms and homographs. How they are used in specific VR type questions.
- Action verbs and mental verbs. Combining action verb and adverb for literary impact.
- VR codes.
- Data Handling.
- Pupils decide on what they would like to research. Then we create a survey devising questions. Each child conducts their survey with family and friends. Through this we explore representation of data through Frequency tables and graphs. Anomalies are explored and how we could adapt the process in a future survey.
- The mode, mean, range and median are taught, also ways to remember each.
- Line graphs with continuous data for temperature and distance.
- Pie-charts – basic level (percentages, fractions, degrees)
- Revision of mathematical vocabulary and topics from the previous course.
Non-Verbal Reasoning (NVR)
- Range of question types including vertical and horizontal letter codes.
- Nets of cubes
- Matrices (Square Grid)
- Acronyms as memory joggers.
Children sit two 50 minute papers which replicate the format of their actual 11+.
Paper 1: Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation
Paper 2: Mathematics, Non-verbal Reasoning and Spatial Awareness
These tests are designed to familiarise and boost children’s confidence with the 11+ testing process. We also remind of test strategies – to secure maximum marks. Discreet observation enables us to see if the children are slowed down in a specific section of the papers or type of question.
All this feedback is sent to parents alongside breakdown of marks in each section; overall attainment on both Paper 1 & 2 and suggestions for areas to focus on.
SUMMER CAMP WEEK
Summer Camp is an accumulation of everything learned during Eleven Plus preparation. Developing and encouraging each pupil to attain their personal best is a priority. We focus on strengths and what each pupil needs, to enhance their learning. Listening to the children is important. Giving the platform for them to feel comfortable to voice their strengths and identify areas to develop, is essential. With support and guidance, children become eager to solve those challenging areas.
Exceptionally able pupils in any subject are extended. They will leave the summer camp with enhanced skills in Mathematics and English.
A variety of activities from formal assessment, group quizzes to (optional) drama enable pupils to remain motivated and enthusiastic. All pupils end the summer camp academically ready to begin Year 6 and sit their 11+ examination with confidence.
Will my child pass the 11+? Get an assessment
I provide assessments for children before they embark on their 11+ tuition.
My aim is to give parents a strong indication of their child’s likelihood of achieving the required mark to be offered a grammar school place.
An assessment can be booked before joining any course and will provide feedback to aide your decision.
Twenty years within the education system, more than a decade of which has been spent preparing children for the Eleven Plus, I have established a thorough ‘assessment’ that combines informal and formal assessment in an unobtrusive way.
How does it work?
- An email is sent to parents so I can understand about their daughter/son’s personality, preferred subjects and whether there is anything that would be useful for me to know before the assessment. In terms of special education this may be Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyslexia, Visual needs…
- Google video call details are sent with a printout for the assessment.
- Within two days a report with detailed feedback in Numeracy and English skills will be sent to you. This will identify areas your child appeared secure in at the assessment as well as areas to develop next.
Digital Lesson Delivery
Why Online Lessons?
When March lockdown 2020 occurred, I had to be proactive to ensure my 50 pupils continued with their education and
preparation for their 11+ examination in autumn 2020. What was astonishing was how my pupils adapted so rapidly.
Together we explored ways to stay innovative, maintain interaction and the same energy we enjoyed in ‘face to face’
tuition. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
All parents, tutors and teachers know continuity and building on existing knowledge is essential for children. So whilst still
in the midst of Covid restrictions, in October 2020, with no clear indication of when this would be behind us, I made the
decision to continue with virtual 11+ tuition.
Aside from the great digital experience parents have also found the removal of travel time to and from lessons a real plus
as well as the ability to ‘pop-in’ and listen in to the lesson with their child when they want to or if they have a child who
needs to feel the security of their presence.
How does my child join a lesson?
A link to join the Google Meets classroom will be sent to your email address with material to print for the session. When it
is time for the lesson you (or your child) just need to click the link and I will admit him or her to the virtual lesson.
How does the lesson run?
As each pupil joins, they are greeted individually by me and we spend a brief, few minutes as pupils from different
schools cheerfully share their news, creating a relaxed atmosphere for the lesson. The children then put their microphones
on mute as the teaching begins, however are encouraged to unmute themselves and ask questions or utilise the
messaging facility – whichever is more comfortable for them. If I ask the class a question during independent working
time – to check everyone is all right – we have a ‘thumbs up’ if all is fine, or hand wobble if help is needed. This ensures the
lesson flows smoothly.
The lesson itself is divided into sections; depending on areas we are covering each week. I am attentive to each
individual throughout the class so will pick up on any quizzical faces, which may imply a child needs
more support. For students who complete the activities quicker than others, extension activities are available.
I believe in diversity of learning and I have picked-up so many fun activities through which children can learn whilst
having fun, so we break-up the more complex concepts with vocabulary games or mathematical quizzes.
At the end of each lesson we recap what we have learned and I ensure all pupils are left feeling comfortable, confident
Home activities are also included to follow up on what we have covered during the lesson.
How do I know how my child is progressing?
A massive advantage of tutoring online is that you have the possibility to pop-in and be with your child to
see how they are doing real-time. Aside from this, ongoing assessment will also occur informally during the lessons.
I will feedback to each parent individually, with results from the mini assessments administered over the course.
I also provide an optional formal assessment at the end of each course.
What happens after I pay for a virtual course?
You will be sent an email confirming payment, start date and materials required for home activities, outside of class.
Last but not least, we begin an exciting journey towards a 121 mark or above in the Eleven Plus examination!