Remember this is a test of knowledge which can only be gained year by year with first class primary teaching. At Maple we now have a policy of preparing ALL our primary students - from Year 3 - to face the 11 Plus with confidence. Not all will pass as some children are late bloomers. Those who do not pass the bar at 11, will go on to blossom at GCSE because the firm foundation they will have learned will remain with them when they are really ready in their teens, to sit exams.
Stay the Course
Education like health, is not a given. Without good habits formed at a very early age - it is very difficult to catch up or change lazy habits. There are many parents who give in to their children's grumbles about reading, writing and maths. Yet it is much easier to develop a love for learning in primary aged children than in teenagers. If you can afford to have extra lessons with a qualified teacher, it's best to have these away from home where your child can develop a sense of belonging and feel free to learn away from his/her peers or family.
Think Long Term
It's no secret that good 11 Plus grades invariably lead to good GCSEs which lead to good A Levels which lead to good University which leads to Good Careers. Yet many parents simply do not the long view and are surprised when their child does not achieve the grades required for a good job. At Maple we are always happy to consult parents at every milestone exam. This is a free service available to all our students.
Talk to your School
Never feel afraid to speak to teachers or the head of your child's school. Get honest feedback - even if it's not what you want to hear. Dig up hard facts about your child's attitude to learning so you can get a clear and true picture of his/her prospects. Read up on your school's table results via the LA website and seek the value added facts; request Governor's minutes of meetings, Ofsted Reports and past exam results.
Seek Professional Help
It can be daunting keeping pace with all the reforms taking place in education right now. Finding a qualified teacher to help you will simplify this process and give you peace of mind. Always seek an assessment of your child's current numeracy and literacy levels. At or above the National Curriculum is a sign that your child is in a good school and likes learning. Below this is a good indication to, at the very least, seek a second opinion.
For information on the 11 Plus services that Maple provides, have a look at our 11 plus page.