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Birmingham BLOG Edgbaston Harborne Kings Heath Solihull Sutton Coldfield Wolverhampton

Birmingham Grammar Schools – How to Apply

Grammar Schools in Birmingham

There are eight Grammar Schools in Birmingham:

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School for Boys

King Edward VI Aston School

King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys

King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls

King Edward VI Five Ways School

King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls

King Edward VI Handsworth Grammar School for Boys

Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls

They all:
• Offer an outstanding rounded education
• Achieve top position in national league tables
• Offer an excellent range of extra-curricular activities

Which is best for my child ?

All of the Grammar schools in Birmingham offer outstanding academic opportunities for their students. After school and extra – curricular activities cater for most interests. The best way to find out what a school is like and gauge suitability is to go and visit it. The dates of school open days are given on the individual schools websites (Links above).

Registration

Entrance to Grammar schools in Birmingham is mainly by test. There are a few other criteria that schools use in conjunction with test results in offering places. To be eligible to take the test your child needs to be registered. This can be done online https://www.birminghamgrammarschools.org/apply-onlineapp.php.

Criteria for Registration

If your son or daughter was born between 1st September 2007 and 31st August 2008, you can register them to sit the test for entry in September 2019. There is no need to live in Birmingham to attend Birmingham Grammar  schools but before applying think about  the travelling time for your child on top of a very full school day.
There are 1272 placesexce available for children aged 11 in September 2019. Grammar schools are extremely popular and entry is very competitive. Not every child achieving the qualifying score can be offered a place.

If you intend that your child sits the test in September 2018 for entry in September 2019 you must submit the  Test Registration Form online by 4pm on Friday 29th June 2018.

The Test

This year the test will be held on Saturday 8th September 2018.

The entrance test is made up of two separate tests. Each lasts approximately 50 minutes and is
be divided into smaller, individually timed sections which test:

• Verbal ability

• Reading comprehension

• Non-verbal ability

• Numerical ability

Most of the questions will take a multiple-choice format.  The scores for each section are standardised to take account of differences in age and then added together resulting in a total rounded score which is used to make offers.

Special Arrangements

If your child has a disability and/or requires additional resources to sit the test, please ensure that The Grammar Schools inBirmingham is notified by email via a1@ske.uk.net. You willbe asked to complete a form describing your child’s disability/needs and to supply detailed medical evidence. The completed form needs to be returned by Wednesday 20th June 2018.

If your child is unable to sit the test on Saturdays for religious reasons, an alternative date can normally  be arranged if you submit a supporting letter from your religious leader.
Supporting evidence for any alternative date requests must be submitted by 29th June 2018.

Results

You will receive your child’s test score in writing by Friday 12th October, together with the minimum scores required for entry in the previous 3 years.

Having this information available before you complete your child’s Local Authority preference form will enable you to make an informed decision about the likelihood of your child obtaining a grammar school place.

Preference Application Form

The Local Authority preference form allows you to list the schools, in order of preference,  that you would like your child to attend. You can apply to more than one Grammar School and up to 6 schools in total.

All Local Authorities operate an equal preference system. This means if your child meets the criteria for two or more schools,your Local Authority will offer you a place at the school you have ranked highest on the Local Authority preference form. If you put a grammar school first on your Local Authority preference form, but your child is not successful in the entrance test, you will not put at risk your chance of being offered a place at any other school you have listed. Your child’s application for other schools will be treated in the same
way as every other application. For example, it will depend on the distance between your home and the school for most community schools.

Preference forms must be submitted to your home Local Authority by 31st October 2018.

Preparation

To maximise chances of getting a good score in the test and therefore securing a place at Grammar School children need to be properly prepared to take the test.

Details of familiarisation questions and the format of the test will be sent to you upon receipt of your completed registration form.  A range of publications designed to assist preparation for school admission tests are available from leading bookshops or online. In addition or as an alternative Genie Tutors offers 11+ specific tuition groups at its Tuition Centres throughout Birmingham. These specialised groups are run by fully qualified teachers with  experience in teaching pupils the skills needed to achieve a place at Grammar School. If you are interested in discovering how Genie can help your child achieve the scores they deserve please get in touch.

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BLOG EDUCATION tutoring service

Tutoring to inspire enterprising behaviour

This is a guest post from one of the founders of Clever Tykes, a series of children’s storybooks written to inspire enterprising behaviour in Key Stage 2 children. Ben Cook explains how expert tutoring helps to develop key traits in children.

 

I recently read Genie Tutors’ previous post on tutoring programmes during the summer and I’d like to explore those principles in a little more detail. I’ve accrued a lot of experience working with parents, teachers and children in Key Stage 2, particularly seven to ten years of age. The difference in attitudes of children of different backgrounds is significant, and that was, in fact, one of the primary reasons we developed the Clever Tykes books.

The series was born out of the principle that children who grow up with an enterprising role model in their family are more likely to grow up to start a successful business. The idea is that the more creativity and confidence we can instil in children, the better their life prospects. Tutoring programmes certainly have their role to play in enterprise education.

Schoolteachers do their best to provide children with a broad and well-rounded education. However, the demands of the national curriculum and having exams at every turn, puts pressure on teachers to prioritise academic subjects. This is especially true for children in secondary school and moving into Key Stage 4. This is why additional teaching with a tutor that understands the need to develop a broad range of skills is likely to separate an academically strong child from a prime candidate for a range of careers.

 

But why is enterprising behaviour so important?

Being enterprising refers to having a number of skills such as independence, resourcefulness and resilience as well as having a positive attitude towards life and its challenges. These are the characteristics that not only help a child succeed in education but in their career, especially should they wish to start a business at any stage.

 

And how can tutoring help?

Small group tutoring is a unique experience and one that helps develop these new traits. Tutors also serve to develop those skills not necessarily developed in the classroom environment. Another, often overlooked, benefit of having a tutor is that a child has a new role model in their life, focused on building a positive “can do” attitude. Clever Tykes’ research has highlighted the importance of role models in a child’s development process and a tutor represents something alternative to a parent and a teacher who can help raise aspirations and build confidence.

Children very quickly adopt the traits of those around them; it’s exactly why we’re wary of them falling in with ‘the wrong crowd’. Private tutors at Genie typically have a very positive outlook on life, work and education and having this attitude adopted by children is perfect, especially if you’re unsure how they’re obtaining it from their school experience.

The combination of developing new knowledge and skills as well as having a positive role model in their life makes having a tutor a real benefit for children of all ages. Whilst younger children are more impressionable and likely to adopt these traits more quickly, arguably it is more important that older children, closer to entering the world of work, benefit from tutoring. It shows there is never a wrong time to start tutoring to help children be more enterprising.

 

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BLOG EDUCATION Fun

Summer tutoring programmes

We discussed in a previous blog how important it is to avoid the ‘summer slide’ that children suffer whilst away from school for up to six weeks. Tutoring programmes are both the perfect way to negate the summer slide but they serve an even greater purpose when it comes to preparing children for higher education and even employment later in life.

 

       We’re going to look at the link between summer tutoring and better employment skills and prospects.

 

There is a range of summer programmes available to children of all ages. These programmes can be utilised to develop academic skills as well as increasingly important ‘soft’ skills and a positive attitude towards work and education. Getting children into the habit of working towards a goal not directly related to school or the classroom is a great way to show children that dedication in other areas is equally valuable. Unless someone grows up to be a teacher, they are unlikely to ever enjoy regular six week holidays during their employment.

 

Similarly, people who go on to be incredibly successful professionals or business owners often work outside their normal hours and
are truly committed to their career. Many of our summer programmes actively encourage children to think and behave in a more enterprising way. It’s incredibly important that children adopt traits such as resourcefulness and independence, especially as they move
towards higher education and these skills become imperative to performance.

 

     Here’s where tutoring programmes specifically crafted for the summer break become so valuable.

 

The modern world is developing so quickly, as is the world of work. There are jobs today that simply didn’t exist as little as five or ten years ago and this is a challenge facing educators across the developed world. Whereas schoolteachers are bound to a restrictive curriculum, private tutors have the freedom, especially in the summer to focus on a range of topics and skills. This enables tutors to continue developing academic skills like literacy and numeracy whilst building in new skills. Children in the modern world must ‘learn to learn’ and be able to grasp new technology and ideas quickly. Creating a mindset that helps children see hurdles as challenges rather than obstacles is one of Genie Tutors’ main focuses.

 

Humans are the master adaptors but we only adapt when provided with new stimulus. All of our tutors are passionate about developing a full range of skills in students to better prepare them for the coming academic year, further education and the world of work.

 

If you’d like to know more, please enquire through our contact page.
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BLOG EDUCATION Fun Games

Our Top Tips For Keeping Minds Active Over Summer Holidays

Last week, we shared our thoughts about the proposed reform to school summer holidays, following reports that a Yorkshire Council shortened the school summer holiday by a week to help students retain the information they had learned throughout the school year.

Regardless of your stance on this debate, it has been proven across numerous studies that on average, students score lower on tests at the end of the summer than they do at the beginning of summer (on the same test).

So how can you keep your child’s brain active throughout the summer break and minimise the effects of the summer slide? Here are our top 9 tips!

 

  1. Get cooking!

With step-by-step recipes, not only do kids get the opportunity to practice their reading skills, but work on following instructions and are encouraged to be creative when decorating. Through working with measurements, scales and quantities, budding chefs are improving their mathematical knowledge whilst having fun (and, causing quite the mess)!

 

  1. Read!

It may sound obvious, but if no time is put aside for reading then it can easily fall by the wayside. Making sure that you read your child a bedtime story a few times per week, or ask them to read to you whilst you run errands can really help ensure that they stay on top of their learning.

 

  1. Let them organise trips!

If you’re planning a holiday or a day trip, set your little one the task of planning the logistics around the trip. Give them a map to see if they can trace your proposed route, get directions and research prices of attractions. This not only will help improve their geographical, English and math skills, but teaches them some vital critical thinking.

 

  1. Look for the lessons out of every activity!

If you are planning on visiting another country, get talking about the history of the place whilst you are there. Taking a trip to the beach? Engage your children in a discussion about ocean life and the water cycle. Even a day out at the cinema can be engaging if you talk about the storyline and the lessons learnt through the narrative.

 

  1. Keep a diary

Give your kids a plain notebook and art supplies for them to decorate however they’d like and encourage them to keep a diary with a summary of their summer holiday activities in it. This will get them working their artistic skills, handwriting and English – it will also keep them busy for a good half hour of the day, which can’t be bad!

 

  1. Join an activity group

Get them to join a local activity group. Whether it be a group based in sport, arts or even gaming, being involved in an activity outside of school or home will keep their social skills sharp come September and allows them polish their teamwork skills.

 

  1. Play games!

Putting aside an hour per week for a family board game session is not just fun, quality family time, many of them offer learning opportunities. Monopoly is great for brushing up on adding and subtracting through money handling, Scrabble is perfect for improving spelling and expanding vocabulary and if you don’t have time to sit down with them, set them some Sudoku puzzles! If you want something a little different you could try Days Of Wonders Games. Ticket to ride is a great game for basic arithmetic.

 

  1. Find their passion.

At Genie Tutors, we know that learning isn’t all about grades and stats, it’s about giving children the best opportunity to chase their dreams. That’s why you need to show an active interest in their interests and passions, however fleeting. Perhaps they love fashion, car racing, cooking or even One Direction. Either way, put their love to good use and get them to research their interests and keep a scrap book of their favourite things.

 

  1. Sign up for Genie Tutors!

Love all these ideas but haven’t the time? We understand the struggle that summer holidays can present for working parents. Our centers throughout the country help children engage in interesting learning activities and limit regression over the summer holidays. This allows children to transition smoothly into regular education again in September and be ahead of the curve for the new school year. Find your nearest center here.