What parents say...

Alex had been tested in Year 4 for dyslexia and he came out mildly dyslexic for spelling.  He has a poor short term memory, and we were concerned about him going to Senior School with these problems. Alex started off a bit ‘anti’, but now he agrees that his writing is better and the improvement has been commented on by teachers.  We are so pleased he is getting professional help, and are especially pleased that he now see the benefit and is self-motivated. He now is now asking for help with his Maths too!
Mrs D Wilson
“I would just like to say I have nothing but praise for I Love to Learn and all the tutors, not only has Dottie already improved with her maths work in the time she has been there but her confidence is so much better too. I want to thank you all so much, she has absolutely loved it, and without a doubt I would not hesitate in bringing her back.” Kayleigh (parent) 2021
Kayleigh Nutbeamparent
GCSE Maths
Alex says ” I learned more in three months than my whole time in the maths classroom at school. I went from dreading it to feeling much better about being there.” This Summer he was overjoyed to find that he had gone from a Grade 2 in his mocks up to a Grade 4 (C) pass in his final exam.  
“Our children have enjoyed their time at your tuition centre very much, and my wife and I have been incredibly impressed with your professional approach to tuition. Thank you so much for all you have done in making our kids feel comfortable, cared for and safe.” Mr Usuanlele.
Mr UsuanleleParent
At the time of writing this testimonial, my daughter has had only 5 sessions and her confidence and ability has increased significantly!  (Now) she talks of enjoying maths and of her abilities in maths instead of her inabilities, participates more in maths lessons at school and is keen to do her maths homework, both from school and from the sessions.  As a parent I am thrilled that her confidence has grown significantly and would recommend I Love to Learn without hesitation.
S BondParentPortsmouth
“We also had a parent’s meeting at his school earlier this week.  I am pleased to say that his maths teacher was very impressed with not only his work, but also his attitude toward it.  I can only say that this is because of the wonderful service you and your colleagues have given.  Thank you so much for this.  Ellis is really enjoying his time with you and also seeing how well he is doing and this has resulted in a positive attitude towards learning.” James (parent) 2021
James Hannon
“Thanks for all your hard work with Rebecca Kivlin. She has started Milton Cross this week. Rebecca is in the top set for maths and science, and the second group for everything else. Without coming to Love to Learn she would never have achieved this.  Thanks”    
Julie Powell
I would like to thank you for everything that you have done, and also pass on my gratitude from Lottie because she has learnt she has really benefited from and her confidence in maths has vastly improve, so much so that she now tells me that she looks forward to maths class at school!
Charlotte's parents
winner “We had planned to stop the tutoring after the 11+ exam, but with the next lockdown and more disruption to her education, we quickly relented when she literally begged us to continue going! The sessions are adjusted to her needs and she describes them as ‘really fun’ and she likes it that the work is specific to her level and much more individualised than the class work at school.”
Penny Meeking
I would like to thank you for the enthusiastic way in which you have helped Vicky gain confidence in her abilities to learn.  She has been a different child since coming to you and has a more positive view now!
Vicky's Parents

11+ Common Entrance Exams Guide

11 Plus Common Entrance Assessments Advice and Tips


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When and how are the 11+Common Entrance Assessments taken?

11 Plus Common Entrance Assessment

Taken in January of Year 6: in English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

N.B. The exams are set by each independent school individually so may vary.


Some regions have 11 Plus Entrance Test for state Grammar Schools.  This is not the case in Hampshire.  The nearest areas with state 11 Plus exams are Dorset, Surrey and Berkshire.

see: https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/

When should we start preparing our child for the exams?

This of course will vary from child to child.  For the average to strong child, we would recommend getting a full assessment at about a year before: e.g January of Year 5.  You can do this yourself by buying 11 Plus assessment tests or visit a tutor or tutoring centre that has experience with 11 Plus.  After that you will be able to decide which areas to focus your efforts on.

If students are significantly behind in maths or English, then I would suggest an earlier start in, at least, the beginning of Year 5.

How should I prepare my child for the exam?

Make sure the school you choose is the right one for your child:

Independent schools and grammar schools may be more academically competitive than most.  Some children thrive in this environment, and it is absolutely right for them, but not for everyone.  Also, some schools may also expect excellence in areas like sport and music.  Again, this is wonderful for some children but not so for others. Make sure you do your homework, visit the school and talk to as many people as possible about it.

Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning Needs Preparation

Get the current class teacher on side:

Chat to your child’s teacher about where your child is at and if there are areas for improvement.  Let them know that you have high expectations for them and want them to be pushed.  They should want to encourage this as it will be good for the school’s results too!

Make a good plan and stick to it:

Make a clear routine and stick to it.  There are a number of routes you can take.  Home learning, employing a tutor, using a specialist tuition centre or online courses.  Most children won’t volunteer to do extra maths and English lessons, so there will need to be some buying in and some rewards at the end (and possibly in the middle).  If you truly believe that the effort will be worthwhile, pass or fail, then it is worth pushing through.

Actively developing a wide range of vocabulary will be essential.

One of the core reasons some children are successful in their 11 Plus Exams and others are not is because some children have a wider vocabulary than others.  This has to be developed in context and can’t really be taught by rote.  Talk about stories, books and characters.  Read stories to them, hear them read and play story CDs in the car.  It helps children to hear stories before they write them.  I am afraid TV is too chopped up and fast moving to hold any narrative, so minimise this.

The secret to good maths basics is rock solid times tables.

Practice and re-enforce basic maths skills such as timed tables.  It’s an essential skill that will improve accuracy but also fluency (getting it right but also completing more questions).

Reduce stress, anxiety and pressure as much as possible.

Of course, all this extra work and preparation is bound to lead to some stress for your child.  This is a normal and natural part of life and you will know how much is too much.  Keep to routine by making sure they are well rested and get plenty of exercise.  Avoid late nights or sleepovers during this time.

Too much pressure reduces mental maths ability and vocabulary recall by around 10%-30%, that’s enough for a bright child to not be as successful as was envisaged.  Be warned, do everything you can to make preparation as fun, relaxed and as enjoyable as possible. Make sure your child knows that the world will not stop turning if they are not successful.

Click here to find out more about the 11+ Exams date in January…


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