Pi Academy Course: Year 5 English Independent School Preparation
Age Group: 10 to 11 years
Course Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours per week
Summary of Course: A one-year course in English for students intending to take 11+ exams. We provide tutoring for the 11+ Common Entrance Examination, set by the Independent Schools Examination Board (ISEB). The content and syllabus for this tutoring course is designed to help students develop the reading and writing skills needed for tackling examination papers. The course also helps children to improve their confidence and capability when dealing with time constraints.
Reading and Comprehension:
- We offer students a grounding in English comprehension, before moving towards more challenging work.
- Multiple choice style comprehension.
- Descriptive style comprehension, including long and short answers
- We teach techniques to answer comprehension questions such as inferring characters’ feelings and their thoughts and motives from their actions. We teach students to justify these inferences with evidence and how to assemble this evidence.
- In addition to e offer students an opportunity to begin their KS3 English skills, in addition to improving their KS2 English.
- Our tutors offer high-quality discussion of comprehensions and books the student has read, focusing on word choice, linguistic devices and inferences that can be made.
- In comprehension work, students are encouraged to discuss any words or phrases they find particularly interesting.
- Students are taught how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning.
- Good reading improves and builds upon vocabulary and grammar skills. We develop a positive approach to reading, and an understanding of what our students read, discussing a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks
- In addition to the student’s own reading, we recommend one book per month for the student to read and then discuss in class. We recommend a wide range of literature, including popular twentieth-century books and short stories. Familiarity with a wide range of literature ensures that students will be able to work on various types of comprehension passages with ease.
- Students are set a homework each week to see how they progress independently. This is then discussed at the start of the lesson.
- Two major aspects of writing are covered: transcription (spelling and handwriting) and creative writing (articulating ideas and structuring them in long-form writing)
- In transcription, we pinpoint any regular spelling issues and, if necessary, set regular spellings to be learnt and tested; we offer feedback on handwriting legibility and advise on speed of writing. Orthology and orthography are also discussed.
- In creative writing, we teach students to plan, revise and eventually evaluate their own writing. Students are also taught to articulate ideas and communicate them effectively.
- We consistently bear in mind the need for accurate, swift writing and organisation of ideas under exam conditions. We therefore encourage students to time themselves as they practice, and we carry out occasional timed assessments for those students who need to focus on their timing.
- We also cover spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) to a very high level.
Prerequisites: We assume the student attending this course is well versed with fundamentals in English and familiar with basic literacy techniques including reading, writing and SPaG appropriate to KS2 level.
Course resources: We provide lecture notes and homework tasks, including past paper questions, after each lesson. We have also developed a summer reading club so that students may continue their literary education during the summer holidays. If desired, we can also provide a list of recommended reading during term time.
Why this course is important: To achieve places in London’s top grammar and independent schools, students must not only have a good grasp on basic skills in English but should also possess the advanced skills in English to do well in the 11+ exams. We cover more than 70% of advanced comprehension and creative writing skills in this course with 11+ practice papers suitable for independent school entrance exams. We also offer tailored and individual support to each student, pinpointing the areas they most need help with. This course prepares students for 11+ examinations for independent schools in areas including London and the Greater London area, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Kent, Essex and Surrey.
Outcome of this course: More than 90% of students enrolled in this course have successfully won scholarships in independent schools. A sample list of these schools follows.
- St Paul’s Girls’ School
- Westminster School
- Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School
- Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls
- City of London Girls’ School
- City of London Boys’ School
- Highgate School
- Merchant Taylors’ School