Every parent wants their child to do well when they sit the exam for the 11+, and choosing the ideal tutor could be vital for their success. If you live in an area of the UK that has grammar or independent school systems, you probably began hearing the buzz about the 11+ and finding a suitable tutor from the moment your child entered Primary school. These exams are taken by children aged 11 to 12 in Year 6 who want to be considered for grammar or independent school education and involve four disciplines: maths, English, non-verbal reasoning, and verbal reasoning.
Helping your child to prepare by giving them the best tools available is essential to ensure they have a relatively stress-free experience when undertaking the 11+. In our guide, we’ll help you understand what you need to know about 11+ tutoring, finding the ideal tutor for your child, and how best to support them from home during the 11+ journey.
Types Of Tutor
When choosing a tutor, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the types available to you; independent tutors, tutoring centres, and online tutors. You may find that many tutoring companies offer a mix of all three so that you can find what works best for your child. Others may only specialise in one type; finding the most suitable option for your child may be trial and error, but most tutors offer trial periods so that you can see what works for your child.
• Independent Tutors: These tutors are individuals who work in their local area and tutor children in small groups or on a one-one basis. The sessions are usually held in the tutors or child’s home and are often qualified teachers who may have retired or taken a career break. Most parents find these tutors through word of mouth or by searching online for ’11+ tutors near me’.• Tutoring Centres: This type of tutoring is run by companies that employ a number of tutors either locally, in national chains, or online. They have the capacity to tutor children in groups or one-on-one with more of a classroom atmosphere that is less intense for the children attending.• Online Tutors: This type of tutoring is much newer than the others and rose in popularity amongst parents during the height of the pandemic. These tutors can offer more flexible learning for their students that requires less travel and can be done from anywhere. Many tutoring groups, such as Test Teach, offer this service alongside traditional in-person tutoring. Many children prefer this option over others, which is why it’s worth looking at online learning.
Choosing A Tutor
There are many factors to consider when you’re choosing a tutor for your child, and experience is one of the most significant attributes to look out for. More experienced tutors will be up to speed with any changes to the 11+ test and are well versed in coaching pupils in the disciplines that are tested during the exam. Pass rates of previous students are a great way to get a feel for how experienced and successful a tutor is, and most tutors will be more than happy to share this information with you.
Qualifications are another way to gauge the calibre of a tutor. Currently, there is no legal requirement for tutors to have any formal qualifications. Still, most parents feel more comfortable when the tutors they use do have them, especially if their children require specialised help in subjects such as maths. Finally, the methods they employ during the sessions are essential for how well your child will do once they sit the test. You may need to try a few tutors to find the one that has a method suitable for your child if you don’t already have an idea of how best they learn. If your child needs their sessions to be changed, but they work well with the tutor you’ve chosen, it’s vital that the tutor is open to tailoring their approach for your child when needed.
Suitable For Your Child
It is crucial that the tutor you choose is suitable for your child; this means that your child may respond well to a non-traditional tutor whose methods might seem odd or silly, but if they get the desired results, it’s worth sticking with them. If your child responds better to traditional methods, finding a tutor that specialises in these techniques will be perfect for your child. You may already have an idea of the type of tutor you want, but if their methods don’t work for your child, you need to be prepared to change things up.
Preparing For A Session
Many tutors set homework for your child to complete in between sessions, and this typically comprises of small exercises to ensure they maintain the knowledge learnt in the previous session. It is essential that you set time aside to help your child work through their homework each week; this will also give you ample opportunity to see how they are progressing and ask questions in a relaxed environment. Children often view the homework set by tutors as not being compulsory and may attempt to ignore it. Begin by allowing them to tackle it allow, but if they lose focus or are struggling, provide them with at least 15 minutes of undivided attention; this will help them feel less pressured and give you a chance to instil the importance of the work from their tutor. Once it’s completed, make sure they have it ready during their next session, as the tutor will need to work through it with your child to identify any knowledge gaps.
Another crucial step in preparing for a tutoring session is to ensure that your child has had a sensible meal before they begin. Students who are hungry typically find themselves distracted and unable to focus on the work; this leads to a reduction in productivity and knowledge retention. Remember to leave the sugar out of the meal as many young pupils find their energy crashing mid-lesson if they’ve had sugary treats before a session.