FAQ

Everything you need to know about the 11+

 

What is the test like?

Since the autumn of 2018, the test has been provided GL Assessment. The test takes the form of two papers that assess English, Maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Children take a practice test on the Tuesday of the week of the test, before taking two 45-minute test papers on the Thursday.

GL provides free practise materials here.

 

Why tutor for the 11+?

Despite the assertion that the Buckinghamshire Transfer Test is "tutor-proof" this relies on children being taught the correct information at school, and given the right support on areas where they need extra help. In addition, schools are not allowed to teach to the test, meaning that children won’t know what to expect on the day.

 

What's the process for applying for the 11+?

Depending on which school you are applying for, you will either need to apply directly to the grammar school or to the Admission & Transport team. If your child goes to a Buckinghamshire LA primary school, they will automatically be registered to take the Transfer Test. If your child goes to any other school you need to register them for Transfer Testing.

 

When is the 11+ exam?

The exam takes place in the second week of September of Year 6. Exact dates can be found on the Bucks county website.

 

When do the results come out this year?

Usually the second week in October.

 

How long is a session?

Each session for the 11+ Preparation course is two hours.

 

Can I have a trial session?

Yes of course, there is no charge for a free assessment session before you and your child decide whether they want to join us. A trial lesson for children who join late will be charged at the normal rate.

 

What's the best way to study for the 11+?

It will depend on your child, but we suggest a weekly lesson from us will build their confidence and enable them to progress at a steady pace. We will take children who have not done any preparation with us before the summer holidays on our revision courses. However most children learn better at a more sensible pace, with a mixture of different ways of learning; books, computer programmes, games etc.

 

What happens if I miss a session, do I still have to pay?

There are no refunds for non-attendance but we will send you the work your child missed. If you notify us in advance we will try to fit your child in on another day during the week if possible.

 

Will my child have homework?

Yes – but we don't insist on it, as we recognise that some children are likely to already have a heavy burden of homework from school. However we try to make the homework fun, such as learning vocabulary which they can then use in their work at school.

 

How much does it cost?

A two-hour lesson costs £55.

 

Tutoring

 

What does a tutoring session consist of?

A tutoring session will be a fun mixture of learning using books, computers and games. We will practice some English comprehension, some mental maths, a maths topic, an English topic, some spelling and possibly some nonverbal reasoning. We will have at least six, but usually more, activities in a two-hour lesson and that won’t include the stop for refreshments and the opportunity to try one of the many educational games just waiting to be played on the shelves in the classroom.

 

How often should my child have a session?

There are 36 teaching weeks in the year so your child can have a lesson almost every week of the school term time. We teach 34 lessons in the year.

 

Are all tutors CRB checked?

Yes all the staff have the DBS clearance that is expected of any person working with children.

 

Where does the tutoring take place? Can you come to my home?

All sessions take place in our fully equipped bright and airy classroom in Chesham High Street. We don’t come to your house, as we don’t like to clear you off your dining table just as you are trying to prepare the dinner and we can’t bring all our resources with us.

 

How much do I have to pay in advance; is there a contract?

We invoice you monthly over 10 months. This spreads the payment out equally. Payment is expected in advance for those lessons to take place. If you decide to stop we need a month’s notice.

 

What's the best way to study for the 11+?

It will depend on your child, but we suggest a weekly lesson from us will build their confidence and enable them to progress at a steady pace. We do offer a last minute ‘crash course’ for those children who have not done any preparation before the summer holidays but most children learn better at a more sensible pace, with a mixture of different ways of learning; books, computer programmes, games etc.

 

What's the maximum size of study group?

The maximum size of the group is five children. That means we get to know every child extremely well and, in particular, their strengths and weaknesses and learning styles, so that we can individualise our teaching for the children.

 

Can my child have private sessions on their own?

We find children learn better in small groups as they interact and learn from each other as well as the tutor. If a child is having difficulty with a particular subject then we might suggest they have individual sessions as a top up but there are no individual 11+ lessons.

 

What makes Pen and Ink Tuition different?

We strongly believe that all children need to enjoy their learning so we work hard to make the sessions fun and exciting. We want children to become happy and confident learners. Our small group sizes ensure that we can give children individual attention and they still benefit from the group sessions.

 

What happens if I miss a session, do I still have to pay?

There are no refunds for non-attendance but we will send you the work your child missed.

 

How many of your tutees end up passing the 11+?

We accept any child whose parents would like them to do the course. We don’t just pick those who will pass. Fairly early on we will be able to tell you whether your child is likely to pass and we will say that to you. Grammar school will not suit every child and you, as parents, need to visit all the schools and decide for yourself which school will suit your child. The children who do not pass will have improved their English and Maths skills considerably and are more likely to be placed in higher sets when they get to secondary school. Every group of children is different but a rough guide would be that 65% of the children we think will pass do so.

 

How do you keep track of where my child is in terms of English and Maths in school?

Every piece of information you give us regarding the work they are doing at school will help us move your child on. We try to mirror the national curriculum closely with what they will be doing at school. We do ask the children regularly whether they have covered the topic they are working on with us at school. More often, however, we get comments like ’I was the only one who knew the answer to that at school because you had taught it to me here.’

 

Will you keep me informed of my child's progress?

Every lesson your child has will include a feedback sheet with comments about their progress on particular aspects of the lesson. We encourage the children to reflect on their own learning and evaluate what they have achieved.

 

 

25 High Street
Chesham HP5 1BG
T: 01494 773300
E: penny@penandinktuition.co.uk

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