School’s (almost) out for summer!

The summer holidays mean different things to different people, but probably familiar to most is that “where did the time go?” feeling. One minute, there’s a long vista of sun-blessed weeks stretching before you, with acres of time for playdates, outings, and shopping trips for next year’s school shoes; and the next minute, there’s only a week to go before the new term starts! The time seems to vanish as swiftly as ice cream on a scorching hot day.

But if your child is sitting the Eleven Plus (11+) exam this year, the last thing you want is to be caught out by the weeks whizzing by. Last minute cramming is both ineffective and detrimental to that calm confidence your child needs. Just like adults, flustered children make mistakes and tend to go blank under pressure, forgetting things they knew perfectly well. This summer, it will be essential to factor in preparation, revision and practice tests. Luckily, the experts at Flying Start have lots of experience with helping parents make the most of those last few weeks before the exam, so you have peace of mind, knowing that all the necessary ground has been covered. Have a look at our holiday action plan to see all the ways we offer to help you make revision easy, fun and thorough:

Week one

Phew! You can give your child a much-needed brain break, let them down tools and settle into the holiday routine. The only thing you need to do this week is sit down with your child and work out a revision timetable for the rest of the holiday. Including them in the plan makes them more likely to rise to the challenge – especially if you create a good balance of study, rest and play. Periods of exercise and hobbies can follow a revision session, giving them something to look forward to. Put the revision timetable somewhere your child can see it, allowing them to anticipate their schedule. Setting the expectation that revision begins in week two dissolves any resistance that may arise if you spring it on them. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to book holiday courses and mock exam experiences and purchase any resources you will need. 

Weeks two to five

Try to create a varied revision schedule. Ensure that all four 11+ areas (maths, English, verbal and non-verbal reasoning) receive attention, and keep building on core skills that might otherwise be lost in the ‘summer slide’. Let your child become accustomed to exam conditions and working accurately and consistently under the clock. Common issues in the 11+ are running out of time, making small mistakes, and knowledge gaps. Techniques and tips are easily forgotten if they are not securely grasped through repetition. Keep building vocabulary, schedule regular reading slots, and include daily mental maths exercises. Introduce practice papers and remember that you will need to work through the answers together, identifying areas that need more attention and building those into future revision sessions. 

Weeks four to six

Ideally, children should sit mock examinations, whether in-venue or online. You may wish to book these for earlier than the fourth week of the holiday so that any weak areas are identified with plenty of time to rectify them. On the other hand, your child may function best if a good chunk of revision has been done before taking a mock to calibrate their learning levels and manage expectations. Arranging a number of mock tests throughout the holidays will mean your child gets the best of both worlds.

Need a little expert help?

If you’re looking for some 11+ support this summer, Flying Start Tuition has thought of everything and provides you with a wide range of options, allowing you to tailor revision to your child’s learning style and needs, as well as ensuring that all the bases are covered. 

This summer, we are offering a range of courses and mock tests both in-venue and online.  In-venue sessions will take place at our Ofsted registered Chesham and Little Chalfont sites and will adhere to current hygiene and distancing guidelines. All online courses will run in our interactive virtual classrooms with small class sizes, regular breaks and movement incorporated – making them as close to an in-venue experience as possible. Online course resources are either posted out to you or provided in downloadable format for printing at home.

What’s on offer?

Flying Start’s week-long Revision and Practice holiday courses are running online and in our Chesham venue this summer. Suitable for students who are already familiar with the main 11+ question types, our Revision and Practice courses are ideal for fine-tuning exam techniques, revising key areas and making sure your child gets up to speed in time for the big day. 

For those students needing an extra boost in a particular topic, our online maths, English, verbal and non-verbal reasoning Flash Workshops are just the ticket. Please check our website for topics and availability.

Our 11+ Mock Experiences are running all through the summer break in Little Chalfont and online. Each mock experience includes a free online feedback session when students review their test papers in our virtual classrooms with the support of one of our expert tutors. Attendees will be given a copy of the mock test papers, answer sheets and mark schemes so that they can redo them at home should they wish to. In addition, they will receive a free login to our Online Learning Zone, giving them access to an additional 100 practice questions per mock test booked. 

If you’re looking for a more DIY approach this summer, a Flying Start Mocks in a Box contains everything you need for realistic 11+ exam practice in one handy box. Perfect for home and travel, our Mocks in a Box can be worked through at your child’s own pace and are available in sets of ten or twenty papers – which have been hailed by some parents as ‘the best 11+ papers on the market’. Mocks in a Box can be ordered online and delivered to your address. 

To find out more about Flying Start Tuition and see what Flying Start pupils and parents have said about our holiday courses and mock tests, visit our website:

Email:   Call: 01494 772898