I will be glad not to see the 11+ practice papers for another 18 months at least, after spending the last 10 months thinking of nothing but the 11+ tests. My eldest son has today completed the testing that will decide if he has managed to get a place at Ripon Grammar School, which is a top rated selective secondary school on our doorstep. We now just need to wait 4 weeks or so to get the all important results letter. Then next up will be my youngest son.
Teachers say not to practice for the 11+, but everyone seems to these days as the competition increases to get into the top secondary schools. It’s one of those vicious circles though as it’s only the top slice of kids that get a place, so if everyone is practicing then the pass mark just gets higher. There are lots of practice papers available such as GL Assessment and Bond Papers, which help to demonstrate the type of questions that will come up on the test, and over the time that I have been working with Miles he has improved significantly. One of the biggest improvements from practising the 11+ is that his confidence in himself has increased. If anyone has seen a typical 11+ test you’ll know that they are not the sort of test you can revise for, it’s more about learning how to figure out the answer and using your existing intelligence.
There is great stress put on parents and kids when they face the 11+, but I have tried to not levy any of the stresses that I am feeling on Miles and made it clear to him that as long as he tries his absolute best then that’s all we can ask. Tonight we are all quite relieved that we don’t have to do any more practice and I can turn the dining room back into a dining room rather than a classroom. I really do hope that he achieves the right level and gets a place, but if he doesn’t then it’s not the end of the world, as there are other good schools in the area. If he also just scrapes a place too then we will have to consider which school he goes to as there is nothing worse than being at the bottom of your class and always struggling to keep up, but I’m sure he’ll do fine.
Fingers crossed! xx