The 11 Plus
The 11 Plus (also called the 11+ or Eleven Plus) is an examination taken by some school pupils in their last year of primary school to get into a grammar school of their choice. In reality most children will only be 10 years old when they take the test – the term “11 Plus” refers to the fact that the test selects for schools with an entry point for children aged 11 or over.
There are seven grammar schools in Gloucestershire. All the schools use the same testing process, overseen by the examining board to Durham University – CEM (Centre of Evaluation and Monitoring). The test relies heavily on good mathematical and English skills, but also on Verbal Reasoning (VR) and Non Verbal Reasoning (NVR).
SATs are taken at the end of Year 6 and help teachers – and parents – learn more about their child’s strengths and weaknesses. Teachers can compare how well each child is doing with their peers, both in their school and across the country. They can also measure how much each child improves from one Key Stage to another and are used to predict the likelihood of children achieving specific results in their GCSEs.
At Key Stage 2 (Year 6), teacher assessment will cover English reading, grammar, punctuation and spelling, and maths. Other subjects including writing, speaking and listening and science are teacher assessed.
Does my child need a tutor for these?
Obviously that is completely up to you! The unique nature of Verbal Reasoning questions means that provided it leads to greater confidence rather than attempting to memorise the questions, prior practice can be a great advantage.
Although results from SATs tests are not used for future education and employment like GCSEs and A-Levels, they do provide a benchmark. Because of the lengthy nature of the papers and sometimes abstract wording of questions, being thoroughly prepared for SATs tests can gain your child many more marks on test day.
I believe that for both the 11plus and SATs tests it is vital for your child to be confident in Maths and English, as well as well versed in the layouts and styles of the tests. This will lead them to perform to their full potential on the day.