The 11+ – Useful Advice for Parents and Children

Here at BYT we get a lot of thoroughfare when it comes to the 11 plus. From panicked parents to record breaking whizz kids, we daresay we may have seen it all. Of course it’s not an exam everyone sits and debate on the pros and cons of selective schooling is always heated.

One thing we pride ourselves on is working to give every student an equal opportunity to achieve their potential. We’re keen to take the fuss out of the exam.

Several weeks ago, alongside other leading figures in the U.K. Education Industry, we spoke to RSL Educational and offered some vital tips on the 11+ both for parents and children. Our advice to parents is below:

“With talk of competitive schools entry, rising difficulty levels, and what feels like manifold exam boards (from ISEB to CEM), it’s important to cut through the noise with a clear mindset. The 11 Plus is, at its core, a basic test of numeracy and literacy. Of course, a little practice when it comes to Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning is a good idea, as is regularly touching base with your child’s school. You can also really help with a ‘little but often’ approach to textbook work at home.”

James Henson, Headmaster of the Aldro School, urged children to ‘be themselves’ in the interview and urged the importance of playing games to boost core numeracy skills. Fred de Falbe, Headmaster of Beeston Hall School in Norfolk, asserted the ever-important benefits of simply reading for pleasure both in terms of vocabulary and building essential communication skills that can serve way into adulthood.

Interesting further advice too came from Tim Butcher, the Headmaster of Perrot School who spoke of the brain as a muscle to be exercised and the importance of knowing that any errors made in practice papers are healthy and can be very useful. In fact it was this line from his contribution:

“Success at 11+ is something that is achieved over a childhood of taking joy in learning and showing a curiosity in the world around, not over an intense 6-month preparation period where the stakes feel so high that ‘failure’ will damage your child’s esteem.”

That really resonated with us.

You can read the whole article here.

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