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11+ Tutor Tips and Resources
November 24, 2015
This morning, fighting cold and rain, armed only with instant coffee, wits and 11+ resources, an amazing group of tutors talked through what they could do to help each other.
Top tips for interview practice included:
“I wear a funny hat when role-playing interview practice; it helps the student feel comfortable and makes it enjoyable. Then when the actual interview happens they’re not afraid.” Dino
“I get them to interview me. I role play 3 types of pupil. First I pretend to be shy and don’t make eye contact; then I play an over confident child; then I try to relax and just act normally. I ask what they like and dislike about each of my characters and which pupil they would like in their school.” Mark
The top nine 11+ resources were:
- Collins English Skills 5 & Letts suggested by Rosaline
- Paul uses Galore Park
- Jamie made his own website for GCSE past papers – www.savemyexams.co.uk
- Cogmed and Lumosity for improving memory and speed; and Bofa 11 Plus for practicing online verbal and non-verbal reasoning which Madeleine uses
- The new RSL 11+ English Comprehension made by Rob
- Equivalency Cubes and Fraction Tower for maths aged 6+ suggested by Tom
- Mark has started using Bond Online and Learning Together
- Between everyone we had past papers for most top schools going back 15+ years, and most of the common interview questions.
- Phoebe, who runs 11+ programs in inner-city schools, shared some exercises and lesson plans.
As ever the classic 11+ tutoring debate continued: (Thanks James) Do you tutor to help instil a love of learning …. or …. train students to pass specific entrance exams?
Everyone seemed to prefer to make lessons fun and teach life skills whilst several tutors challenged the premise of the debate saying you can do both. No one wanted to be a ‘cramming’ tutor and there were several examples of pupils and parents who were clearly feeling the pressure. It takes a strong and experienced tutor to push back on parents who are set on getting their child into a specific school. Those who do say it is easiest to do that from the beginning. Rob, for example, states clearly that he does not tutor to get a pupil into 1 specific school; instead he focusses on core academic and life skills.
There was some criticism of the rat race of selective schools in London, with John commenting that parents sometimes pay for culture more than teaching. There are good teachers and bad teachers, just like there are good and bad tutors, and schools who take in 11 year olds capable of answering A-level questions might not always be adding the value themselves.
I like Anthony Seldon’s wise words:
“Your child is not your child. They are their own person and it should be the right school for them, not the “right” school for the parent”
Many thanks to the 11+ specialist tutor James for helping to pull everyone together. We’ll pop up more of the resources here and share more tips over the next few weeks.
To find other 11+ tutors to recommend or book, please search the following subjects in your postcode on Tutorfair:
11 plus tutors
Best of luck to all tutors, teachers, students and parents facing the 11+ exam season.
p.s. Genius prop from Rosaline: she has a laminated “Mind the Gap” sign which she uses to highlight that the gap is between brain and paper and to remind students to be mindful to bridge that gap.
p.p.s I’m no art tutor but here’s roughly where these guys are based in London: