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Is it too early to start preparing for the 11 plus?
As the demand for grammar and independent school places continue to rise each year, parents are placed under increasing pressure to start their child’s 11+ preparations early.
With competition rising, KSOL Tutors are often asked “When is the best time to start?” and “Will my child overdo it if they start their preparations early?”.
With over ten years of experience in preparing children for the 11 plus entrance exam, KSOL believe that Year 4 is the ideal time to begin learning the 11+ fundamentals.
Our Year 4 Early Starter online programme is not designed specifically to test for the 11+ exam, but more so to build the basic foundation skills necessary to hit the ground running with confidence when entering Year 5.
With short, manageable online tests which are designed to set a structured revision routine, this makes learning a fun and engaging process, right from the offset.
This is perhaps the most important tip and is extremely important to supporting your child’s emotional well-being.
Senior Tutor Paul White says:
“Research from previous year’s shows that children that do start their 11+ preparations earlier on have the necessary skills and confidence to succeed in the entrance exam. Studying early will also prevent cramming and exhaustion in the precious weeks before the exam, ensuring that your child has a stress-free experience.”
Preparing for the 11 plus entrance exam is a unique journey, with each child progressing at different speeds with individual goals. For this reason, KSOL ensure that our online programmes are personalised specifically to suit weak areas, with incorrect answers filtered into future tests. Furthermore, each child will be allocated a dedicated online tutor whom parents may speak to directly regarding their progress.
Regardless of the entrance exam, starting early will benefit your child beyond the 11 plus preparations, helping them build essential core skills that will help smooth their transition into secondary education. At this stage, the key is to keep revision short and interesting, for example, incorporating revision into your child’s regular daily routine.
To get your child off to the best possible start with their 11 plus preparations, KSOL recommend:
Reading – Encourage your child to read regularly. Due to apps and modern auto-correct technology, children are relying less on spelling, sound awareness and contextual analysis. However, regular reading provides plenty of fantastic benefits to your child, just a few include: mental stimulation, analytical thinking, memory retention, spelling and vocabulary expansion. According to new cognitive research, reading can also reduce stress levels by almost two thirds!
Play board games – Not only are word games a great opportunity to bring the whole family together, they also expose your child to regular word pattern recognition, vocabulary and spelling; ensuring subtle English revision is maintained.
Make revision a personalised experience – Every child is unique and has a different way of absorbing and retaining information. For example, some children are auditory learners, retaining information best when speaking and listening, whilst others are visual learners who prefer learning with colours, images or symbols. Identify which type of learning style your child responds best to and tailor their revision accordingly!
Multiplication and Division – It is important that children are confident with multiplication and division as they underpin a host of topics such as algebra, percentages, decimals and complex problem solving. When asking for the bill at a restaurant or purchasing the weekly shopping, get your child involved. Calculate how much each person at the table owes or how much a specific ingredient would cost if you needed triple the portions. These quick and easy activities all help improve speed and efficiency, ready to attempt complex problem solving questions in Year 5.
We hope you have found the information in this article helpful.
To help your child hit the ground running with their 11+ preparations, please contact our education advisers on 0121 733 6558 for appropriate course options.
Download our free 11+ practice papers to improve time management skills.
The Year 5 online Graduate course is tailored to your child. Receive daily online tests in Maths, English, Verbal and NVR
For Children in Years 4 and 5. Receive 5 free tests and feedback from an 11+ tutor
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