For most children, the 11-Plus is the first time they are introduced to a formal examination, and with that comes a lot of stress and a lot of pressure to both parents and their children. An understanding of the process in full, from the deadlines and various steps involved is essential, to put everyone’s mind at ease and tackle the 11-plus achieving top marks all round.
We’ve broken down the process to get you on your way with what is expected for each age group at each stage of the 11-plus.
By Year 4 you are nearing the end of your chance to apply and register for certain schools. This should be a priority during year 4.
We recommend that at this age, you start to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your child. Book a professional assessment, this will provide all relevant information that you can use to determine a plan of action to combat any potential weaknesses you child shows.
During year 5 your child should start to cover the foundations of the 11-plus at school. At this point it is very wise to compare the school curriculum your child is receiving with the 11-plus counterpart, as this will enable you to determine whether the schooling your child is receiving is enough or whether it worth employing a private tutor.
It is also worth considering if your child could benefit from receiving some tuition during the holiday periods to keep them on top form.
At Thurston & Jones, we believe that play time is as sacred to a child’s development as their education. We urge each of our clients to consider this when planning to keep their child in education during the holiday period. We know that balance is so important in developing a young mind, and we have lots of methods that we use to achieve this. Our tutoring sessions are informal, at the 11-plus level we work tirelessly to make sure we deliver a fun environment to learn in. So the 1 or 2 hours a week where your child will be learning will fly by.
This is the big year for the 11-plus.
In the Autumn term you can expect some tests for a selection of independent schools and grammar schools. Make sure you are aware of this in advance, so that you can prepare your child. Be honest with your child; reassure them that everyone has their interest in mind. We find that a very strong trigger of anxiety is the child not knowing what will be expected of them. Explain to them that they will likely face computerised tests in verbal and non-verbal reasoning and a couple of interviews. A letter of recommendation will also be required from your child's primary school.
The Christmas period is when things start to move at a faster pace and revision should begin now. We recommend that you structure the period with your child, the plentiful supply of gifts and treats that the period provides can be utilised to balance the increased need for study.