We believe that 11+ exams will go ahead as normal in Autumn 2020 and New Year 2021. This leaves many Year 5 parents in a stressful situation, as they see their children missing a whole term of crucial teaching and generally feel in the dark about their child’s academic progress. It is usually at the end of the Spring term or beginning of the Summer term that Year 5 children start to sit mock 11+ papers and their parents, teachers and tutors can gauge objectively how they are getting on. Without this benchmark, we are fielding many calls from worried parents looking for answers.
Our advice for parents in this situation is to get clarity on where your child is currently tracking in Mathematics, Reasoning and English, relative to the schools you want them to sit for in 6-9 months’ time. Your first port of call should be the schools’ websites, which often contain detailed syllabuses and specimen exam papers.
The summer term is a critical time to make sure your child has a really good understanding of the core aspects of the subjects that are tested, e.g. can they do the mathematical operations necessary and do they have experience with typical English tests such as comprehensions? On a micro level, you could get them to tackle a specimen paper (without time pressure) and gauge how much of the subject matter they recognise and know how to tackle. Alternatively, consider a Mentor Education academic assessment.
Mentor Education is one of a few education consultancies who can offer assessments by CEM (created in partnership with Cambridge University), whose tests are used for admissions by many top schools in the UK and abroad (also known as the InCAS test). Our assessment is an age-related academic progress test which offers comparison against peers in the UK education system. The test is completely digital, making it perfect to help you get on top of things whilst at home on lockdown!
The great thing about this test is that it emulates the high-stakes test your child will likely sit as part of their entrance process, but in a low-stakes environment. The test adapts to each child sitting the test, so it never feels too hard or too easy for them. The results allow you to understand their ability around key 11+ skills and plan the remainder of your 11+ campaign with focus and efficiency. It is indicative of any areas where your child needs support and allows you to compare them against their peer group.
The outcome delivered by the assessment is that you have valuable, helpful information at your fingertips and know what to do next. Whether that’s to know you are in a good place and don’t need to stress, or that you really need some urgent help with creative writing, knowledge is power and being able to make a proper plan is a big step forward.
Please call us to have a sample assessment report copy emailed to you and to receive our whitepaper on how to keep your child happy and healthy during their 11+ journey.