Prospectus & Information Pack


Prospectus & Information Pack


The S6 Tutoring Academy is a young and vibrant company that provides excellent tutoring products and services to children at key stages in their education. It was founded in 2003 by Stephanie Williams, a former school teacher, when a friend asked for some assistance helping her child to prepare for the 11+ examination. The first year ended with Stephanie tutoring five children for the 11+, and all five children passing the examination and securing places in their first choice of selective secondary schools. The company has grown quickly since its inception with great demand being shown in all its services. Our services can be tailored specifically to each individual and sees children using the three tier learning system in a way which is most suited to their learning needs.

S6 Tutoring is passionate about helping children and their parents to achieve their dreams and fulfill their potential. We continue to develop our range of innovative tutoring products and services, aimed at building childrens’ confidence and capability as well as helping them to maximise their educational opportunities.

Our services incorporate:

  • 1-2-1 Tuition
  • Resource Packs
  • 11+ Mock Exam Club
  • CEM Mock Exam Course
  • Creative Writing Course
  • Prepare for Secondary School Course

Initial Home Assessment

We will make a home visit and carry out a series of practical assessments in order to establish the child’s current standards of attainment in English, (spelling, grammar, punctuation, reading age and comprehension) Mathematics, Non Verbal Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning and Creative Writing.

We provide comprehensive feedback and an expert recommendation on  1-2-1 tutoring, structured  to suit the child’s needs in line with the parents’ preferences.

Personal Work Plans

We utilise a wide variety of work plans that can suit any budget and timescale; from parents who want their child to be tutored every day, to those who prefer to work through the learning resources with their child themselves and employ specialist tutors to provide booster lessons in topics that prove to be particularly problematic.

Resource Pack

The educational resources we employ have been personally selected and compiled by Stephanie Williams, who firmly believes that they are the optimum set of resources for delivering the 11+ syllabus in a way that children enjoy and comprehend. Some of our resources are unique and exclusive only to S6 Tutoring  clients.

The S6 11+ Mock Exam Club

A unique feature of the 11+ Club is that it allows children to undertake mock 11+ examinations in a controlled environment.

The S6 11+ Mock Exam Club gives your child the chance to perfect exam technique and overcome exam day nerves before the big day!

The 11+ Club runs over a ten week period leading up to the examination itself. Children sit papers in Mathematics, English, Non Verbal Reasoning, Creative Writing and Verbal Reasoning. These papers are specially written by the S6 team and are unique to the S6 Tutoring Academy. They go beyond the scope of more commonly used generic examination papers. Our papers are structured specifically to test to the exacting standards that will be required for children to be successful in passing the Essex 11+ examination.

Consultations with previous students and their parents have highlighted the 11+ Club as a real benefit. The children become comfortable within the examination environment, which in turn helps them to feel settled on the big day itself.

Papers are marked overnight and a full breakdown of results is provided within 24 hours. The feedback is broken down by subject and by individual question. This degree of detail can be used to fine tune revision in the final stages of preparation for the examination.

S6 Tutoring have carefully analysed the types of questions and core skills being assessed by the major exam publishers. A child preparing for success in any 11+ or selective exam  should:

  1. Have strong core skills in English (incl. a large vocabulary), maths (incl. speedy arithmetic) and reasoning (verbal, non-verbal & numerical).
  2. Be comfortable to read instructions carefully and answer question types which they have or have not seen before.
    Manage their time effectively in an exam of any length.
  3. Stay calm and focused under exam conditions while working speedily and accurately.

Why should my child attend the S6 11+ Club?

The S6 11+ Club can help with overcoming exam day nerves, building confidence, perfecting exam technique and highlighting any aspect of exam conditions that may cause your child to feel uneasy if experienced for the first time, such as potential distractions by other students (coughing, sneezing, muttering to themselves, leg shaking), potential distractions by invigilators (walking past, whispering, moving papers), time management (potential difference in time shown on the exam hall clock and a student’s watch).

Where & when is the S6 11+ Club ?

Barleylands Education Suite, Billericay on Sundays from July to September

Can my child attend more than one session of the S6 11+ Club.

Yes. It is often beneficial to do so to ensure the exam day is well within their comfort zone. We recommend the full course as this provides the opportunity for your child to familiarise themselves with the process on the first day and then to have another opportunity to build on aspects that may have been highlighted as areas for improvement.

Are the same test papers used on each day?

Your child will complete a different paper on each day and these papers are not available to the public.

What is the structure of  the S6 11+ Club?

  • Morning Session: 08.30 – 11.30
  • 08.30 Registration
  • 09.00 Test 1 – 11+ Verbal Reasoning (VR) and English Comprehension
  • 10.20 Test 2 – 11+ Numerical (Maths) and Non-verbal Reasoning (NVR)
  • 11.30 End of Session

The S6 11+ Club runs successfully every July-September, held at the Education Suite, Barleylands, Billericay. The first mock test day is often the toughest for many students as they don’t know what to expect and still have to get used to managing their anxiety and nerves so they can think as clearly as possible under timed conditions.

Must my child attend both tests at the S6 11+ Club?

Yes. The test session includes two test papers covering Mathematics & Numerical Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning (NVR), English (Comprehension) and Verbal Reasoning (VR) because this provides a better evaluation of your child’s abilities and we can therefore give you a more in-depth report of your child’s strengths and weaknesses and, most importantly, an  insight into their ‘readiness’, compared to their peers, to pass their selective tests and go on to succeed in a challenging selective school environment.

It allows your child the chance to attempt curriculum based questions in English and Maths as well as non-curriculum specific reasoning questions. Taking both tests also allows students to master their time management and develop their ability to stay calm even if faced with some question types they have not seen before.

Even if your child’s real  11+ exam does not include all of the subjects  tested at our Club, there is a lot of cross-over in the core skills required to complete each exam and there is great value in analysing your child’s scores across all the subjects when assessing their exam performance and areas requiring further work. The S6 11+ Club have  carefully planned high quality mock exams which are suitable for all students who want to secure a place at their local Grammar or Independent selective school.

What practice should my child do before attending?

It is advisable to make use of the S6 Hub for online practice. This way, any weaker areas can be improved before the start of the S6 11+ Club.

When will we get the results?

The  test papers will be marked and made available for review within 24 hours via the S6 Hub and email.

S6 Tutoring are unable to answer phone calls or emails requesting the results until at least three days after the Sunday of the tests.

Must I pay anything to register and receive feedback from the S611+ Club?

This is included within the Course fee. Your child needs to have an S6 Hub account to attend the 11+ Club, review their mock tests, receive revision sheets, received messages and for you to receive feedback.

What is the cost of attending the S6 11+ Club?

Each session is £100 including VAT. This includes session attendance plus access online (within 2-3 days) to your child’s marked tests, results & rank (comparison to peers), summary of your child’s strengths and areas in need of improvement, detailed feedback reports and analysis of the group’s performance.

Each session is 2 hours 50 minutes and your child will sit two 45-50 minute test papers in the session.

What is the Refund/Amendment Policy?

All courses are non refundable.

How can I book a place for my child on the S6 11+ Club?

To book the S6 11+ Club, visit the website. www.s6tutoringacademy.com – Courses

Q&As for  the day of the S6 11+ Mock Exams:

1. What must my child take to the S6 11+ Club?

Please ensure your child arrives with 3 sharp pencils, a good eraser, a ruler in a clear plastic pencil case  or no bag at all. Students can also bring a packed lunch and drink  if they are staying for the Creative Writing Course.

2. What proof of booking is required?

Your invoice will include a booking number which will need to be handed in at the point of registration.

3. May I settle my child in the exam room?

Registration will take place at the entrance to the exam room. You will not be allowed to accompany your child into the exam room itself.

4. What time must we arrive?

All students must attend at 8:30am for registration.

5. Can I wait at Barleylands while my child sits the tests?

A cafeteria, shops and a farm is available at the centre.

6. Can I see my child between tests?

Unfortunately not, as this does tend to cause disruption to the flow of the session. So we ask that parents do not return until the end of the session.

S6 CEM Course

We will be organising a series of mock exams to support students’ confidence and competence in completing the CEM papers in strict exam conditions. This is in response to changes in testing for some selective schools. Courses will consist of identifying key question types and mathematical concepts with step by step solution strategies.

First of all, there is no such thing as a ‘CEM paper’ exactly. CEM tests are being used in an attempt to make the 11+ a tutor proof exam. The aim is to minimise the number of questions which can be easily taught. Questions are varied and the papers are limited. CEM exams have a heavy focus on vocabulary and comprehension, as opposed to including arithmetic or code logic questions in their verbal reasoning sections. CEM exams do test many of the same numerical and logic skills in their numerical reasoning and non-verbal sections.

Feedback reported by students in previous years about CEM exams is that they often have tight time limits, with separately timed sections, and a pretty challenging vocabulary. They include many short / long maths problems and  how well a student can apply their numeracy skills in ‘real life’ scenarios, in addition to just performing simple mathematical calculations. A selection of non-verbal reasoning questions (manipulation of shapes and images) is included to test core non-language specific logic skills.

S6 CEM papers include Cloze exercises, jumbled sentences, proof reading, synonyms/anonyms, long and short comprehensions, as well as additional vocabulary or word recognition questions.

For example…

Compound Word Question – Find the two words which together make a new real word:
(fat, surf, wall) (ace, her, ask)
OR
Cloze Question – Find the 3 letters which complete the word:
Fat____ (ace / her / ask / eat / all)

ANSWER = father

Synonym Question – Find the word most similar to this word:
difficult (complicated / simple / quick / slimy / pleasing)
OR
Synonym Question – Find the two words, one from each bracket, most similar in meaning:
(complicated, slow, loose) (difficult, simple, ready)

ANSWER = difficult & complicated

S6 Prepare for Secondary School Course

We also offer students the opportunity to study for and take their GCSE Maths exam in the summer before they start at their new secondary school. Interestingly, those children who have completed the S6 11+ maths resources will have already covered 80% of the concepts required for the GCSE exam. This means that they are already capable of achieving a Grade C at GCSE level. By covering the remaining 20% of the syllabus, students can sit the higher paper with the goal of attaining B, A or A* grade.

We also offer all parents and children the option to participate in our ‘buddy system’, in which we put families in the same locality whose children will be attending the same school in contact with each other.

This combination of resources offers children the opportunity to start their new school with some familiar faces around them and a good understanding of the three core subjects that they will be learning.

The S6 Tutoring Commitment

From the outset, we outline the input clients can expect to receive from S6 Tutoring and also explain what is required from the children and their parents.
We will provide the necessary level of educational support and services, and ensure that the education input goes beyond the examination itself.
We encourage the whole family to take part in the tutoring process at all times and we promote a style and standard of work that the child will be expected to maintain at the grammar/ secondary school they hope to attend.
Our products and services are at the heart of everything we do at S6 Tutoring. However, if you feel that this prospectus does not fully meet your needs, then please do get in contact with us to discuss your requirements by either emailing enquiries@s6tutoringacademy.co.uk or phoning 0845 519 0489.

Information Pack

Verbal Reasoning
Verbal Reasoning is probably considered the best way to test a child’s ability to learn or innate intelligence. Many private schools in the area use Verbal Reasoning tests as part of their entrance examinations. For entry into the Essex Grammar school system, Verbal Reasoning forms 50% of the entrance requirements.
There are approximately 50 question types that could be used in the Verbal Reasoning examination and we aim to teach all of these in our 1-2-1 sessions as well as through the Resource Pack and the S6 Hub.
Verbal Reasoning is a language based, problem-solving test and therefore relies on the child having a strong vocabulary. Children will be asked to match words, find links and relationships between words and numbers, construct words and look for similar or opposite meanings, as well as make simple calculations.
A huge selection of Verbal Reasoning questions are available on the S6 Hub.

Non-Verbal Reasoning
Non-Verbal Reasoning is another popular way to test a child’s problem solving skills. This test is not language based and is based on the use of pictures, symbols, patterns and shapes. There are three main types of Non-Verbal Reasoning questions but the wording of the questions will differ from school to school.

Similarities: This type will ask the child to find commonalities between pictures, patterns and symbols. They may also have to find the odd-one-out.
Sequences: Here students must find the pattern or link between a series of pictures or symbols. This may be to find the next part of a sequence or to complete a missing part of a pattern.
Analogies: This is usually a two-part question that asks children to discover the link between a pair of pictures and then apply that link to another pair. This is a test of logic.

There is a wide selection of Non-Verbal Reasoning questions on the S6 Hub.

Tips for the VR and NVR Paper
We would recommend children to practise all the possible question types for these papers to ensure they are familiar with the wording and requirements. It is best to work in a logical way, eliminating answers that are not possible. It is always wise to use a pencil to cross through or make notes when attempting to answer any VR question. Remember to look at all the options and not just go for the obvious answer – the correct answer may not be as simple as you think.

There are two types of formats these papers could be in: standard or multiple choice. Standard can be seen as a harder paper as the child has to think of the possible answers themselves whereas multiple choice provides the student with answers and asks them to eliminate based on logic. It is a good idea to practise both formats of papers thoroughly and use the standard format to offer a further challenge to your child. This can bolster confidence in their own ability to find answers even if they are to be taking the multiple choice exam.

We recommend that children should start preparing for the eleven plus exam about twelve to eighteen months before they are to be taking the paper. This ensures enough time to cover the amount of topics that they will learn in primary school.

The type of exams your child will take depends on the LEA of your area and individual school choices. Contact the school directly to find this out.
Practising at Home

Before taking the test

Make sure there are no distractions and your child has a clear working environment. They should have at least two sharpened pencils, a rubber and a ruler. A glass of water and some tissues are also a good idea.

During the test
Always time your child when they take a practise test. This helps them get used to the exam conditions they will face on the day and you can chart their progress as they become better at time management. Do not start timing until you have read the instructions and they have filled in the information on the front sheet. Most tests are 50 minutes in duration. If your child does not finish within the time, draw a circle around the question they are up to and allow them to finish, making a note of how long they have actually taken. This will enable them to attempt every question on the paper. Ensure that you mark the test and go through any wrong answers with your child, helping them to understand the process that gets them to the correct answer.

Multiple Choice Tests
In multiple choice tests, answers will usually be entered on provided answer sheets. Children should get used to carefully marking off their answers as these papers are frequently marked by computer. If they make a mistake, they must rub out their incorrect answer thoroughly and mark off the correct one.

Standard Form Tests
In standard format tests, answers are usually written into a space provided in the question booklet. Answers should be written clearly and all units written down. This is particularly important in the Mathematics test. Also in Mathematics, all workings out should be shown as often marks are awarded for the process of achieving an answer as well as the answer itself. These should be legible so that the examiner can read them but also so the child can quickly review their answers at the end of the test. In English tests it is important to write quotes with quotation marks and answer in full sentences, as students are marked for the quality of their writing as well as their reading.

11+ Advice

  • Listen carefully to all instructions at the beginning of the test. Do not assume you know everything you have to do.
  • Fill in the front cover and your personal details carefully.
  • Read all the instructions, check how much time you have, how many questions there are and how many marks they are worth.
  • Plan your time carefully, ensuring you leave enough time to read the paper and check through your answers at the end. You should also allow more time for questions that are worth a higher proportion of the marks.
  • If you can’t answer a question right away, leave it and move on. You can always return to it at the end and there may be questions later in the test that you find easy.
  • Read the question carefully and ensure you are answering the actual question that is in front of you, not one that was similar that you have already tried on a practise paper.
  • If you find yourself stuck on a question, take a second to think about it and work through the problem logically. If you still can’t answer it, move on.
  • Try to put an answer or some workings out, for every question, as you never know how the mark will be allocated.
  • Make sure your work is neat. You do not want to lose marks because the examiner cannot read your writing.
  • Take time to breathe and calm down if you feel yourself start to panic. Remember, everyone in the room is as nervous as you.
  • Check all your answers at the end of the paper.
  • In the Mathematics paper, always give the correct UNITS for a question, making sure you have made any conversion that is required.
  • Go to the toilet before the test begins

Do’s and Don’ts for Parents

Do

  • Encourage your child to do their best.
  • Explain and go through all mistakes after a practise test.
  • Give your child praise when they do well or complete a test.
  • Give your child regular 5-10 minute breaks.
  • Try to keep distractions to a minimum

Don’t

  • Don’t stay on the same subject everyday.
  • Don’t get angry or frustrated with your child if they don’t ‘get it’ immediately.
  • Don’t tell your child the answers, help them to work out a logical solution.
  • Don’t keep answers near the child – it’s too tempting!

Do’s and Don’ts for the Child

Do

  • Try your best even if you don’t know the answer.
  • Always concentrate on your work.
  • Try to think of the test as a challenge and have fun with all the new topics you will be learning.
  • Ask for help when revising if you are not sure of something but in a practise test, try to work out the answer yourself.
  • Always check your work after a test.
  • Eat a proper breakfast before an exam.
  • Make sure you have everything you need: glasses, an inhaler, pencils, rubber, pencil sharpener, ruler etc.
  • Wear your school uniform to the exam – this will make the correct impression and put you in the right frame of mind to work hard.
  • Pay attention to exam rules – no talking‼
  • Leave enough time to arrive early. You do not want to be rushing before the test.

Don’t

  • Don’t get stressed or frustrated if you can’t work out an answer, calm down and read each part of the question again carefully.
  • Don’t get over excited or over confident.
  • Don’t cheat during practise tests as it will not help you learn anything.
  • Don’t leave revision until the last minute.
  • Don’t eat sugary snacks before an exam; it will not help you concentrate.
  • Don’t get upset if the test doesn’t go as you would have liked. This probably means that the school was not right for you.
  • Don’t take the exam if you are ill, let the school know and they will usually make allowances for this.

Maths Topics

There are many different areas covered in the Mathematics exams and many are not taught in the primary school system. Here is a general list of topics covered.
The 4 rules (add, subtract, multiply and divide)

  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Money
  • Metric system
  • Time
  • Prime numbers
  • Prime factors
  • Highest common factor and lowest common multiple
  • Perimeter and Area ( Squares, Rectangles, Compound Shapes)
  • Averages
  • Distance, Speed and Time
  • Column graphs
  • Pie charts
  • Algebra
  • Angle calculations
  • Co-ordinates
  • Reflection and Rotation
  • Percentages
  • Simple ratio
  • Volume of cube and cuboids
  • Bearings
  • Simple probability
  • Nets of shapes
  • Sequences and number patterns
  • Marking and interpreting scales
  • Following rules and instructions in more unusual problem solving and investigational activities

English Topics

Below is a list compiled of the different topics in recent English entrance exams. Revision and practise of all these is recommended.

  • Ordering words to make sentences
  • Punctuate sentences with capital letters, full stops and question marks
  • Alphabetical order
  • Odd words out
  • Opposites
  • Rhyming words
  • Order sentences to make a story
  • Comprehensions – Read a passage and answer questions of fact, simple inferences, sometimes in sentences more typically multiple choice
  • Use of: – capital letters; full stops; question marks
  • Simple compound words
  • ‘Cloze’ exercise
  • Write a short story in within 20 to 30 minutes

Recommended English Reading List and Authors

  • Hurricane Summer – Robert Swindells
  • A Long Way Home – Ann Turnbull
  • Fireweed – Jill Paton Walsh
  • Scribbleboy – Phillip Ridley
  • Johnnie’s Blitz – Bernard Ashley
  • The Bolphin Crossing – Jill Paton Walsh
  • Tom’s Private War – Robert Leeson
  • Carrie’s War – Nina Bawden
  • The Endless Steppe – Esther Hautzig
  • Billy the Kid – Micahel Morpurgo
  • Stormchaser – Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
  • No Friend of Mine – Ann Turnbull
  • Red, White and Blue: Finding Out the Hard Way – Robert Leeson
  • Tom’s War Patrol – Robert Leeson
  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit – Judith Kerr
  • Beyond the Deepwoods – Paul Steward and Chris Riddell
  • Midnight Over Sanctaphrax – Paul Steward and Chris Riddell
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
  • Snow Geese – William Fiennes
  • Mill on the floss – George Eliot

From the following authors, it is recommended that you go on sites such aswww.classicreader.com and select a page from any well known classics.
Your child should read the page and then answer questions that show their understanding of the text. Underline words on the page and get your child to think of a similar word or explain its meaning. Write out a short section, without capital letters or punctuation and get your child to correct it. This is invaluable practise for the 11+ exams.

  • Charlotte Bronte
  • HG Wells
  • H H Munro
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Anthony Trollope
  • Bronte Sisters
  • Charles Dickens
  • Charles Kingsley
  • Elizabeth Gaskell
  • George Eliot
  • Graham Greene
  • Herman Melville
  • R D Blackmore
  • R L Stevenson
  • Robert Graves
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Children sitting the 11+ exams should be reading forty-five minutes to an hour daily. This will improve their general comprehension of passages and extend their vocabulary. It is a good idea for students to make a list of words they do not know the meanings of and find the definition of them. They should write this down and then look up four or five similar words in a thesaurus. Finally, the student should write the original word in a sentence. This ensures they fully understand how to use that word and thus it becomes a part of their vocabulary.

Previous English Exam Extracts

  • 1997 The Road to Wigan Pier
  • 1999 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • 2000 Jane Eyre
  • 2001 Kipps
  • 2002 Far from the madding crowd
  • 2003 Tobermory
  • 2004 Silas Marner
  • 2005 The Snow Geese
  • 2006 The Mill on The Floss
  • 2007 Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • 2008 The Destructors
  • 2009 Longitude – Dava Sobel
  • 2010 Bleak House
  • 2011 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

It would be a good idea to make these part of your child’s reading list.

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