From deciding whether to take the Eleven Plus (11+) in the first place to choosing how to prepare for it; from planning what to do if your child doesn’t pass to simultaneously making sure that they’re ready for the challenges of grammar school if they do… applying for grammar school can feel overwhelming before you and your child have even found out what non-verbal reasoning is!
Benefit From Our Experience
At Exeter Tuition Centre, we are passionate about teaching each and every child exactly what they need every time we see them. We support a lot of families through the Eleven Plus every year. Some start tuition with us as early as Year 1 or 2 with the eventual goal of the Eleven Plus in mind, and others come in the summer of Year 5 for familiarisation with the tests. We generally recommend starting by the beginning of Year 5, or sooner if you’re aware that there are gaps in any aspect of maths or English, but we are here to support what is right for your family and your child – and when it comes to the Eleven Plus we have two main goals:
It Doesn’t Need to Be Stressful
Firstly, we aim to make preparing for the 11+ as positive and as stress-free for your child (and for you!) as possible. For most children the 11+ is the first ‘real’ exam they have taken, and it comes at a very formative time, when children are on the cusp of maturing into independent learners. The tests are daunting. The thought of trying but failing can be genuinely frightening for a child who’s used to success at school. The pressure is increased if there’s an older sibling already at grammar school, and the situation isn’t helped by the fact that competition has become much stiffer in recent years. But while all of this is true, it is also true that if the content of the 11+ is presented at the right pace and in the right way, with the right teaching, then the process of preparing for the exam can be completely positive and it can hugely benefit a bright child, boosting their confidence and self esteem and leap-frogging them forward – regardless, in fact, of the secondary school they end up attending.
Solid Foundations for Growth
Our second goal is to provide well-rounded, thorough exam preparation built on a very solid foundation of knowledge and fluency. You will not find exam coaching or cramming at Exeter Tuition Centre. The first thing we do when we meet your child is to check for gaps in their knowledge, misconceptions or misunderstanding, and lack of speed, accuracy or fluency. This is all done very gently and without the child knowing, but it’s a critical part of our teaching methodology. If understanding is built on shaky foundations then when it is put under pressure in an exam, it is very likely to crumble (and crumbling under pressure on the eleven plus is not a pleasant thing to have happen to you!). The good news is though that if you REALLY understand, and if your understanding is built on fluent knowledge of the relevant facts, this is far less likely to happen – and any ‘wobbles’ caused by stress can be recovered from much more easily. And of course this solid understanding will not only help your child to achieve their potential on the 11+ exam in September of Year 6, but also prepare them for the SATs later in Year 6, and stand them in good stead in Year 7 – again, regardless of the secondary school they go to.
What’s the First Step?
At Exeter Tuition Centre everything starts with your free, no-obligation Taster Session. We will gently assess your son or daughter’s levels in English and Maths, and then feed back to you straight away with our recommendations and advice. For stress-free, gradual 11+ preparation we recommend enrolling in a weekly Signature 11+ class starting at the beginning of Year 5. If there are gaps that need filling first, for example poor spelling or a tendency to make mistakes in maths, then we recommend joining an Essentials class before moving on to an Eleven Plus specialist class.
We are here to offer you advice and our expertise. No matter how old your child is, if you have questions about the 11+ please don’t hesitate to get in touch. And if you’re ready to take the first step, just fill in the form to request your free Taster Session. We look forward to meeting you soon!