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One of the clearest memories I have from my grammar school, Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School in Rochester, Medway ("The Maths School" or "The Math" for short) is of my maths teacher, Mr Fry, telling us that "Maths is Fun!" I never really believed him at the time, but I am coming round to that way of thinking now. Another of Jim Fry's catchphrases was "Maths is pattern" and the more your child understands this the easier (and more fun!) they will find maths. One of my favourite... 

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11 plus maths: 9 times table

By now, parents of Year 6 children who took the 11 plus should have received their results. The results vary in the date that you will have received them, in the format and in the level of detail, but legally they have to give some information about how your child has performed in the test. This is because of a parliamentary ruling which stated that parents should be informed of the results of entry tests before they selected their school preferences on or before October 31st. This ruling came into effect in 2011 and resulted in the Torbay 11 plus being moved from November to September in 2011. Eleven plus dates in all other areas of the country were moved to ensure that children took the 11 plus before the October in which they were in Year 6. Some schools moved their 11 plus dates to the July of Year 5, but have since moved them to September.

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11 plus

For a parent, your child's move up to secondary school can leave a hole in your life! Now that I have no more children at primary school I no longer walk my daughter to school every day and have very little face to face contact with school staff unless one of my children forgets a text book or their homework! There is also a lot less contact with other parents at the school than there was with primary school as you no longer see them at the school gate so it's more difficult to assess the suitability of your child's new friends. The rest of this blog post has been written my daughter who has recently moved up to secondary school.

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moving up to secondary school

Although the consultation period does not finish until the end of January, it seems certain that the content of the eleven plus in Torbay will be drastically reduced, negating the need for the exam to be spread over two Saturdays. I am sure that any parents who respond to the consultation are going to approve of only having to take their child for an exam, spending the next three hours biting their nails, on one week rather than two, although most of the children seem to take the whole process in their stride.

The eleven plus in Torbay has changed ....... 

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11 plus

Statistics, as well as my personal experience as a tutor show that boys often find creative writing much more difficult then girls do. Many eleven plus exams require children to complete a 30-minute writing task which might be a story, letter, magazine article or even a speech. Some boys I have tutored have had no idea how to start a piece of writing, even if it is a story about something they are interested in. So half the battle is just getting them to start writing. Many boys are creative and have some great ideas, but just do not see the point of writing, let alone including lots of fancy adjectives, adverbs and literary devices such as simile, metaphor and alliteration.

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11 plus writing