Playground chatter about tutoring can be overwhelming. Don’t let it get to you – and step away from those dreadful Bond books.

The whole 11+ curriculum for the Kent Test is teachable within one year and anyone who has got going with verbal or non-verbal reasoning before year 5 is wasting their child’s precious time. It is a mixture of fear and lack of knowledge that drives parents to those miserable Bond books, so read on for a definitive guide to what those of us in the know are doing with our own children…

  1. Whatever your child’s age, if there is a problem at school you need to address it immediately. It might be a behaviour issue, a specific learning difficulty or a problem with writing. Book a meeting with your child’s teacher and sort it out. And if it isn’t sorted out after that one meeting, book another one and keep on going.
  2. Presuming your child is getting on well at school, then the Kent Test should be in the back of your mind as Year 4 begins to loom. That’s not because your child needs tutoring then. If all is on track you can sit back for another year. But if a weakness has developed in maths or English, their reading programme hasn’t taken off, or you are generally worried that their work needs tidying up – that’s when to book into one of our Year 4 Maths & English Booster clubs. We only run a couple though so you will need to get in touch right away.
  3. Year 5 is your moment. To get through the full maths curriculum (which includes content that wouldn’t look out of place in a year 7 or year 8 lesson) you need to begin a whole year before the exam. The Reasoning curriculum needs to be introduced at this stage too, as it is one of those subjects where a little-and-often approach does the job. English confidence leans heavily on your child’s reading ability so in year 5 we give reading a big push at the beginning if we notice anything amiss.
  4. And why do we recommend the club format and shy away from offering ourselves out as 1-2-1 tutors? Because the clubs have a buzz about them that you just can’t recreate in a silent room at your house with a clock-ticking in the background. The children are easily given the attention they need with only 5 others there. It may surprise you to find that they get excited about coming along to the clubs; there is a positive vibe and a gentle competitive spirit that boosts their independence and takes the pressure off you as a parent.