11+ Exams: When and How to Start Preparing - Year 3, Year 4 or Year 5?

I don't want to start too early I've

heard of some parents starting in you to

your three and I think my child just

won't cope with that at the moment and

you know should I wait till year five or

should I start in you four when do I


hi there this is Joycelyn I'm the

managing director of a school tutoring a

very common question that comes up when

do I start the eleven plus preparation I

don't want to start too early

I've heard of some parents starting in

you to your three and I think my child

just won't cope with that at the moment

and you know should I wait to a year

five or should I start in you four when

do I start that's the topic of today's


so my advice in prep for the eleven plus

is to start as early as you can starting

as early as you can

requires some basics so your child

should know their times tables one to

twelve a snap infant sorry I thought

there was something else I was going to

say I'm not really sure why I'm even

clicking my fingers but anyway so if I

said was four times four it'd be 16 you

know what's 12 times 12 144 that's a

child that knows their times tables

children who are counting on their

fingers some of them repeat the question

back to you to try and buy some time all

of these strategies or techniques that

children use point to not knowing the

times tables well enough so by the end

of year three ideally your child would

know time to say balls one to twelve off

by hearts confidently without the need

to write them out without the need to

pause and have a think and add one thing


the number and so on and the reading

I can't emphasize the importance of

reading enough in the eleven plus three

especially for grammar schools because

things are changing so much and a lot of

the papers now are really being very

intense where vocab and the

understanding of where word meanings are

concerned and so if you decide to wait

until you're five these things need to

be ironed out so that when you start

you're 11 plus preparation it's a much

smoother journey for the child my

personal recommendation is that children

start the eleven plus preparation in

year four and the reason for this is

that it gives them a chance to fill in

any gaps in their knowledge you know it

enables parents or tutors or the two to

highlight some key areas of work manage

that in a stress-free way I don't

believe that children should be stressed

and pressurized during the eleven plus

process I did the eleven plus myself a

hundred years ago as I tell my students

and I really don't see the purpose of

stressing children they're already doing

extra work at home so free time is

reduced compared to their friends who

maybe not being vocal about preparing

for the eleven plus or will not be doing

it at all and it can be quite a lonely

journey you know sat at a desk yet again

doing papers

or doing exercises and books or test

papers and assessments in books and so

on when you know maybe you can hear your

old friends squealing with delight

outside especially during and there you

are yes again at the table doing all

this work

I don't believe it should be stressful

and by that I mean you know just the

constant overwhelm of life is over if

you don't do the 11 plus I'm the biggest

advocate of the 11 plus because I

believe in giving children all available

opportunities and for those who live in

the borough that don't have the best of

schools or maybe there's just one good

school in the borough the rest of them

are really underperforming but then you

have a child who's really capable you

know you'd want to get them into the

best score you could you can and that's

why a lot of parents send their children

to gig school most of our students apply

for grammar school places out of Borough

because the borough that they often live

in do not have grammar schools so

parents have to sort of motivate their

children a bit more because those

children need to do very well compared

to children who live in the bar who

literally just need to pass you know the

exam to be in with an excellent chance

of being offered a Grammar School place

so I think here for is always the better

time to start because it's a nice easy

way in you know so we can check on

things like times tables so maybe you

know the last three and the twelve times

tables a child doesn't know it it's not

so stressed you know and they can go

through the fundamentals in their

writing in their maths knowledge and so

on to really get them to get help them

to get to grips with all of these things

in their own time and you know sort of

softly-softly approach and the idea is

to get them ahead so that year five is

also stress free so if it's done

properly year four is a fantastic time

to start the eleven plus preparation


it's just the better thing and it gets

them used to working I don't understand

why some parents teachers are against

tuition I think I have ideas but I would

like to generalize on this but some of

the reasons for those because there are

instances where students stay overnight

at tuition you know they do lie 6 hours

every week several times a week like you

know on the Friday evening Saturday

evening and then they're going in after

school I'm not an advocate of that

because I've seen the impact that has on

children and they often just guess so

fed up so exhausted and so detached from

the process that a child who is capable

I've seen them just switch off and I

seen it not because geek score does that

we don't do that you know they have to

hourly sessions and because of the way

the lessons are delivered and the

11-plus preparation has been structured

by myself over a number of years there

is no need to put them under undue

stress and again because I prepared for

the 11 plus as well I went to a private

school from the age of 11 right till the

end of 6 4

I understand what that journeys like and

pressure does not equal success so

that's something to out there to parents

who are watching this it's about the

quality of the work that's being done

better to do two solid hours of quality

work with some papers along the week

during the week than to have a child

doing three or four sessions of tuition

from different tuition providers and

they're exhausted have no time to finish

any homework because every year is

another tuition provider that isn't how

to pass the 11 plus if a child is ready

and they're diligent they would do

you know so please don't stress that way

so starting in year four can avoid a lot

of that because they've had the time to

really learn what they need to learn and

you know get the job done really so back

is when I think eleven plus preparation

should style I'm not an advocate of

waiting till the summer of year five

because their exams are getting

increasingly competitive and children

are starting early so that they're on

the right track so if a child starts in

the summer and there are lots of gaps

number one it puts them under undue

pressure I mean children are not a

different species they know when they're

not doing well in the papers and in


there's no point looking a child away

and August and say right it's a fit

let's cover everything for the eleven

plus that is not the way forward in my

face you may hear some parents saying

that's all they did

and for some children that might be fine

if they've had a really easy journey in

learning and where they're in the top

sets for everything and they're being

really pushed at school that might be

fine but then some parents fib a bit and

I mean that with all due respect you

know they don't want anyone to know that

their children have been tutored for a

year two years or more they wanted to

seem as if they'd hardly did anything

and so they say all sorts of things and

it's a shame really but again it's

because the eleven plus domain is just

so competitive and often if you have a

child who is in the same year group as

another parent they're not always freely

offering advice but if there's a

difference in their year groups you'll

find that you get more advice from those

parents so I would I would seek their

advice more than anything and get going

you know especially on the fundamentals

that I mentioned earlier thank you so

much for watching please like comment

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