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11+How to fit it all into an hour?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by Typhoon, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Typhoon

    Typhoon New commenter

    I have a 1-year plan for teaching the 11+ which seems to work for me. Like you, I usually start the pupils when they start in Year 5; in my area they sit the tests during the 2nd week of September, so this year's Year 6 will be taking theirs tomorrow! If you haven't already, it's probably worth checking exactly which papers the children in your LEA will sit; in mine they do maths, VR and NVR but don't sit an actual test in English. (They do a piece of controlled writing for the English element, but this is only looked at if their scores are borderline, so I don't prepare them for this as such.)

    Anyway, as there is so much maths to cover, including several topics which aren't even touched on in the primary curriculum, I always spend 30-40 mins of each session working on some maths. (So a single topic might be fully delivered over say 3 weeks worth of sessions.) In the remaining 20-30 minutes, initially I focus on VR, and each week work through the method and some examples associated with 1 of the particular quesiton types. I also set h/w each week - one piece to consolidate / extend the maths skills we have been working on in the sessions and the other offering further VR practice for that specific question type. (It tends to be that the children having 11+ tuition are generally keen and more than happy to do the homework!)

    There are 21 different VR types which are used in my area, which generally means that, taking out for half-term and Christmas etc, we tend to have completed looking at the 21 individual question types by around February half term. At this point, I start to set past papers for the VR, usually in the form of h/w (I have several short 20 min papers which lend themselves well to this purpose, so that the child doesn't become over-loaded!) and I swap the time which previously was used for VR learning in the lessons to looking at and practicing each of the NVR question types in turn (I think there are 7 types used in my area) and setting a little bit of practice h/w on these. (I find the children usually love doing these as they see them more as puzzles than 'work'!) If any extra holiday homework is requested, I oblige by setting further papers, including some full-length ones.

    Once all the VR and NVR question types have been completed, (usually at some point during the summer term, obviously varying a bit if any lessons may have been missed during the course of the year) the focus becomes increasingly on timed practice (short, e.g 20-25 min papers are great for this as they can be completed, marked and any problem areas addressed during the lesson). With the maths, I am usually still teaching elements of the syllabus at this stage, but enough content has been covered, and some topics have of course been covered in school, to mean that past papers for maths can also start to be tackled and set for h/w. If further summer holiday lessons are requested (providing I am available to teach during this time), I continue looking at short papers in lessons, setting full-length ones for h/w and obviously addressing any areas which need revising as they come up.

    Hopefully this gives you an outline of at least one way of approaching how to fit the 11+ preparation into a year, although I am sure there are others who tackle it differently and are also successful. I did have one pupil once whose parents stepped up her sessions to 1 and a half hours in the 6 months or so preceeding the exam, but I think that as long as you have the pupil for an adequate amount of time (from the beginning of Year 5 is the ideal) and the pupil and their family are committed to putting in a bit of time at home to work through papers etc, then an hour a week for a year is just about the right amount of time for the 11+ prep. Hope this helps!
  2. Thank you so much for such an informative answer. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer so fully. it has helped sign post the way. Thank you!

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