As we settle into the Autumn term, many children will be starting the new academic year ready to focus on their upcoming exams, whether that’s the 11+, SATs or other entrance or end of year exams, which are suddenly a year or less away.
We know how intense and often worrying a new school year can be for children and their families, but there is plenty you can do to make it easier. We spoke to some of our top mannies, nannies and tutors in London to find out how to best approach and resource your child’s studies without overwhelming them.
Firstly, it is important to make sure there is a balanced approach when preparing for the exams. “I would recommend starting early so that your child can cope with the psychological pressures of the exam and get used to key areas such as content, timing, exam technique and exam anxiety,” says Anna Godinho, top Kensington tutor and founder of Cadmus tutors.
But it is just as important to keep things fun and engaging – the last thing you want is for your child to spend the year slogging away, their learning becoming a strain.
Here are some great resources you can explore at home, with or without a tutor, to get you started on your journey together, all of which have been used countless times by our mannies, nannies & tutors:-
- Bond Books: These have long been up there with the top books for the 11+. Their workbooks focus on the 4 main areas of the exam – maths, english, verbal and non-verbal reasoning and they’re great to tackle a page at a time. Bond also has fantastic online revision, with an interactive question bank.
- CGP books: A great set of books for SATs and 11+ revision, well laid out and with countless practice papers to get your child used to the style of the exams. We also found their revision cards really useful for quick practice.
- Galore Park: Great textbooks and revision guides for online or on paper learning.
- Exam Papers Plus: A great user-friendly website for everything from the 6+ up to GCSE’s. They also have a blog that gives key information on specific schools and their exams, which we have found really useful.
- Schofield and Sims: More great books for revision and study, plus lots of free downloads for everything from spelling practice to mental arithmetic.
- Atom Learning: a great resource for learning online, which as we know, children usually respond really well to. You can cater the online program for wherever your child is on their learning journey.
- BOFA: Another amazing online learning tool for getting prepared, and a great website which kids will love.
- Lots of free apps: There are so many brilliant free apps for the entrance exams, which are really useful, engaging and can be used effectively for just a few minutes a day. We especially liked Eleven Plus Exams for children, and 11 Plus, Your Helper for parents.
But don’t forget – this is just practice and revision and does not need to take over. “An awareness of mental health is absolutely essential,” says Anna, “So keep the process fun, motivating, structured and ultimately – keep the joy for learning alive!” Remember, a little each day goes a long way; preparing is about having a steady path to the exam instead of a last minute panic. And always praise effort and not just results.
For more information on how we can find you the perfect manny or nanny, get in touch below.