blog & tips

What are you looking for in English as an 11 plus parent?

Good evening. A very quick one to help you get to the point. I can talk a lot, but what’s the point if I don’t know who I’m talking to? Blogs are strange; I would never talk and talk to someone I met. I love to listen. I gain a better understanding and I grow as a person. Yet the blogging I find myself doing, perhaps the blogging architecture itself, seems to be more about talking than listening.

It’s not sitting comfortably this evening. I started blogging as a parent before a tutor. I grew into a tutor from being a parent convinced and convicted by the wish…the belief…the hunch…the vision…whatever you call it, that grammar schools in my area were the right fit for my children. My son was obsessed with learning, my daughter was obsessed with questioning and demanding answers I was at times unable to give. I felt, after visiting, after discussing, after watching our neighbour’s child love his experience, that it was worth finding out everything about, doing everything I could to make it happen, and most important of all, believing that it could happen.

Back to you. You are, I imagine, a parent or carer of a young child, and you are thinking of, or planning for grammar school. If you are a tutor reading this, then all I can say is thank you for looking after your students – we each have the privilege of changing lives wherever we can. We are, child by child, parent by parent, striving to help the world.

As a parent or carer, then, what would you like to know about 11 Plus English? What do you worry about? What would you like to open a blog post about and find the answer to?

Do you have a question?

You can contact me here at lee@11plushappy.com or comment on this blog.

I wish your child success.

Lee, London

June 2021

11plus English materials on 50% plus sale now!

Looking for #11plus English books that really make a difference? You’re in the right place at the right time.

Save up to £30 on these targeted creative writing and comprehension book bundles. You don’t need more papers, you need proven ways to teach your child to dazzle their 11plus marker and develop writing skills that last a lifetime.

Get ahead, get saving, get learning, get 11plushappy!

Who what where when why how: Does 11plus learning ever change?

6 questions every child is taught in KS2. 5WH (5 whats, 1 how). 6 questions we probably ask ourselves a lot right now. 6 questions that perhaps we can use as guides when planning 11+ learning. Think of this as a thought exercise that might bring calm and clarity amid the chaos.

I don’t know how to write about COVID-19 and its many horrible consequences. I know many reading this will have expertise and experience that I could never match. Notwithstanding this, our 6 KS2 questions have helped many societies and individuals for centuries. They are helpful tools to investigate the moment. The moment close to our hearts on this site is helping your child be as ready and as happy as they can be for their 11plus, whether the exam is this year, next year or later.

I offer the 6 questions as a way to to explore whether the answers ever change much, even if the circumstances in which we ask them change greatly.

Focusing in, we may ask:

  1. Who will help my child learn and prepare for the 11plus?
  2. What is to be done to help my child be ready for the 11plus?
  3. Where will this learning and help take place?
  4. When is the learning and preparation for the 11plus going to happen?
  5. Why are we guiding our children towards sitting the 11plus? What reasons?
  6. How does my child prepare for the 11plus?

I could probably stop writing at this point and give you space to think about each question, to reflect on where each one of the 5WHs takes you, and to consider how you might answer each one.

That’s exactly what I’m going to do.

I need more time to think about these myself; but I didn’t want to wait to share the questions with you.

This being the case, please read the questions again. Perhaps ask your family, your child, for their thoughts as well.

I’ll write again tomorrow.

Best, Lee

London 2021

11 Plus ‘Sutton Test’ Stage 2 Creative Writing Bundle NOW AVAILABLE!

Hi 11plus families. Congratulations on completing Stage 1 of your 11+ marathon, but please, keep your learning burning! Here’s your 3-set bundle at a crazy, crazy happy price, covering only targeted creative writing and the must-haves your child needs to write in the Stage 2 Creative Writing task. Put £23 off the normal price straight in your pocket and please, please, use the time wisely. Don’t wait until next week to find out the result of Stage 1 – use this weekend to get ahead with learning and practising stand-out creative writing. Let’s give your child all the help we can while we can. Stage 2 is approaching, so please start learning now! To your success.

11 Plus ‘Sutton Test’ Stage 2 Creative Writing Bundle NOW AVAILABLE!

Hi 11plus families! Now Stage 1 is complete, keep your learning burning! Here is a 3-set bundle at a crazy, crazy happy price, covering only targeted creative writing and the must-haves your child needs to write in the Stage 2 Creative Writing task. Put £23 off the normal price straight in your pocket and please, please, use the time wisely. Don’t wait until next week to find out the result of Stage 1 – use this weekend to get ahead with learning and practising stand-out creative writing. Let’s give your child all the help we can while we can. Stage 2 is approaching, so please start learning now! To your success.

My best, Lee, London

Sutton Test Stage 2 Creative Writing Must-Writes

Congratulations on making it through Stage 1 of the Sutton Test. Please don’t take your foot off the pedal and wait for the results before revising for Stage 2. You can’t get this week back again. You have to assume your child has passed if you are to get the most out of the two weeks before Stage 2. Your child will be writing a piece of creative writing that has to do two jobs:

  1. Show the marker they can handle all the punctuation, grammar and writing rules taught during KS2, including Year 6 (even though they have only started Year 6).
  2. Stand out from the thousands of other pieces of writing.

Below are links to three targeted, printable ebooks showing models of fiction, description and non-fiction, so your child can see what successful writing looks like.

With each piece of modelled writing, I include pages of detailed explanation about what why a feature has been included, why the feature works and what it shows the marker. The Guide itself has the 21 must-haves of dazzle-writing. Give your child the best opportunity they have by equipping them with skills and making them aware of what they need to put into their writing. Help them feel happier and less stressed by being more prepared and confident about what writing.

Stage 2 Creative Writing can be one of the most enjoyable parts of the test, and is a real opportunity to make a difference to their overall score. Remember that markers are passionate, skilled English teachers who love reading great writing!

Make the most of the time remaining before the Stage 2 Sutton test. Download and start learning today. Let’s give your child all the help we can.

4 Weeks to the Sutton test – make sure you and your child re-read or read the 11 Plus English Masterclass Ebook Bundle

Fill this vital month with moments of high learning:

  • Search out and fill gaps in your child’s knowledge;
  • Have your child sit lots of timed tests to bring them into the zone;
  • Revise and be confident of the multiple choice tricks all comprehension tests play,
  • Plan for success in Stage 1 and prepare for the creative writing element of Stage 2.

It’s all in the English Masterclass.

Happy learning. The marathon is almost at the finishing line: finish strong, today and every day this month.

Best, Lee

London, 2020

11plushappy Father’s Day!

At the heart of helping my own children learn, at the heart of every session we had together, was a single, simple and profound truth: I got to spend extra time with them.

There was nothing else I wanted more.

It built our learning relationship, helped give them information, habits and ways of thinking that will hopefully serve them a lifetime, but it also built our relationship, the relationship I had with them as a father.

I could not ask for more. We always have those memories: the memories of the adventure, the memories of daring to go for it, the moments of breakthrough, the moments of frustration, the memories of not running away, of being there for each other.

I got to spend extra time with them.

I hope you enjoy those moments with your own children.

My son just came down the stairs and gave me the biggest hug. We are now heading off for a cycle ride, to grab one more moment of time together.

A very Happy Father’s Day.