Planning, discipline, strategy and tactics are all required to make the most of Year 5 and the summer holiday leading up to the 11+ exams which usually take place each September in the first or second week back to school.
My top advice is to combine past papers you can download, papers you can buy, and short one-page or ten-minute tests.
Doing exam paper practice is useful to help a child learn how long they have and how to pace themselves during the exam.
Doing papers you can buy is useful, but I would advise to photocopy them for your own use so your child can practice papers more than once.
Short one-page or ten-minute tests are useful to target specific areas that need help – e.g. ratio & proportion.
Finally, there’s online tuition which can help fix any gaps and give the child more confidence going into the exam.
Get in Contact
If your child needs help in general or with specific topics please get in contact:
Don’t Panic! Here are three simple sentences which I have found to have positive impact on a child’s mind-set
Sometimes when a child reads a question in a SAT test or 11+ entrance exam, they panic. Then their brain starts to close down. Then they start to guess, which is just about the worst possible thing to do.
It is hugely important to not panic and the first thing to remember to help stay cool in an exam is to not guess.
Break it Down
Often on first reading, a question is difficult to understand. That’s why it is very important to break it down. That’s exactly what the examiners want the child to do – to extract the numbers and relationships from the text of the question. If there are ten red apples and fifteen green, the child should write down 10R and 15G – in part to engage their brains in breaking down the question.
Often there’s an “Ah-ha!” moment, when after breaking the question down, a child suddenly realises what the question is asking. By the “Ah-ha!” often doesn’t happen unless the break-down comes first.
Work it Out
Once a child has all the required information they can begin to work out the answer. But this short sentence isn’t just about working it out, it’s about SHOWING that you’re working it out.
Remember that if a question in a paper is worth 3 marks, you can bet that at least one of those and possibly two is for showing your working out.
It is important for a child to continue maths work throughout long holidays with a combination of workbooks and tutorials
During the long summer holidays (and other such as Easter and Christmas) it is very important for a child to;
A) Work their way through workbooks, and;
B) Have regular tutorials to tackle any questions which could not be solved
The advantage of online tutoring is that a child can have a tutorial no matter where in the world they are, including on holiday. One a week is typically fine, or twice a week for children in UK Year 5 who will return to school and start their 11+ exams in the first week or so of Y6 as they also ramp-up for the Independent School Entrance Exams.
Summer maths camps are of use, but are typically focused on getting as many children to attend as possible which diminishes the value delivered to each child. In addition the homework is generic, whereas the homework from a tutor is targeted.
Workbooks are also of importance, assuming the parents have time to mark all the work and can offer advice on how to solve questions which the child cannot. This becomes more difficult in the first year or so of Secondary School when teenagers are tackling algebra and more advanced trigonometry.
Keep up the workbooks while on holiday and if you are interested please contact me for a free no-commitment tutorial session anywhere in the world:
When possible, a child should practice their maths every day, feeding back to parents and the tutor any questions which they found difficult
Think of getting better at maths as getting better at playing an instrument.
If a child misses a day or so here and there it shouldn’t matter too much. But to not practice for a week (even through long holidays) is a mistake and will move a child’s abilities in the wrong direction.
Tutoring is a great way to target any questions which a child finds difficult – in a way that teachers simply can’t because they’re looking after so many children at school.
A child should try to practice maths every day, make a list of any questions they found difficult (e.g. from school homework or from home study workbooks). It is VITALLY IMPORTANT to let your tutor what your child found to be difficult so they can focus on that subject in a tutorial, practice more, understand it, and deliver results in the exams.
Please contact the Tutor Dragon if you need any help especially using homework to target weaknesses to fix: