24 Fantastic Reasons to Book Your Child’s Summer School Seat!

Are you looking for ideas to boost your child’s learning throughout the summer break and give them an advantage for their 11+ exams?  Our summer school programme covers all of the areas of study for 11+ topics from foundation to advanced, but you may be wondering what those areas are and why they matter in the exam.

Stay with us as we detail all the benefits your child will receive from our five-week course, the topics we cover, and how we do it.

 

1. Beat the Summer Slump!

The 11+ exam is challenging, not only because it’ll be your child’s first exam experience but also because it commences two weeks after the summer holidays. Even the most diligent students will struggle to recap everything on their own. Studies have shown that children can forget up to 40% of what they’ve learnt in the academic year over the summer break. Luckily, recapping and revising don’t need to be dull.

Our summer school course aims to trace back over what they’ve already learnt and expand on each area in comprehensive detail to minimise this statistic and improve on weaknesses noticed by their tutor.  We have loads of resources, teaching methods and topics that we’ll look over.  Read on to see what your child can expect to cover over the weeks for summer school.

English plays a big role in the exam, not only when it comes to comprehension but also when it comes to understanding Verbal Reasoning and even Mathematical questions. We present a well-rounded course in English that shows the bridges between subjects when our students apply what they’ve learnt.

2. Grammar and Punctuation –

The exam will require children to establish awareness of correct grammar and punctuation. At summer school, our tutors will cover key grammar topics, such as understanding sentence structure and what words are most important, and use them to help students understand comprehension texts. While grammar can often be forgotten about in most 11+ revision booklets, we emphasise its importance in understanding all elements of English questions and its relevance when applied to other question areas like Maths.

3. Synonyms & Antonyms –

Every child needs an extensive vocabulary. We emphasise this by introducing several activities and games to find synonyms and antonyms of words. By building a memory bank of vocabulary and using it in everyday life, children are more likely to remember and recite definitions. We include these study points in our summer school sections, including story writing, comprehension analysis, the study of root words, applying suffixes and prefixes, and filling in the missing words.

4. Comprehension Analysis

Comprehension plays a big part in the exam, analysing texts, answering questions, reviewing word problems in maths, and logical problems in verbal reasoning.  We focus on combining grammar, word awareness and punctuation when reading questions and understanding what questions are asking for.  We teach our students how to infer answers from the text, retrieve keywords to get the answers and use methods like elimination to make everything easier to understand and review.

Non-Verbal Reasoning concerns identifying relationships in shapes, patterns, and codes. Since letters and numbers aren’t featured in this topic, students will be taught how to recognise these changes through our techniques.

 

 

5. The Five Techniques

One key feature throughout summer school will be the assimilation of our five techniques for NVR.  Understanding how shapes and images can change in each question topic will ensure they can explain their thinking adequately and expand their academic terminology and application.  Students will examine rotation, reflection, symmetry, and position and practice writing questions and analysing each topic using these techniques.  Grasping these multi-faceted elements impacts other aspects of NVR, like Spatial Reasoning and 3D Shapes, as well as elements of Maths for Shape Properties.

6. Analogies

Analogies are comparisons of change between two objects. For example, an old man losing his hair as a tree loses its leaves shows two things losing something. In NVR, Analogies change one shape into another using a number of the five techniques, and children must predict what change this would have on a different set of shapes.  Analogies help understand a range of other questions in Non-Verbal and English, as well as consequential questions and form the hallmarks of other spatial reasoning questions.

7. Codes

Like in Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal uses Code work, where letters refer to similarities and differences between shapes. Students must assess each shape and determine what the letter codes imply based on shape appearance and position. These analysis questions help understand elements of Verbal Reasoning when the shapes are replaced by letters.  Understanding elements of code breaking can be applied to solving equations and unknown numbers in Maths like Algebra.

8. Series & Matrices=

Sequences and matrixes are another complex use of shape and changes.  To understand the series of questions, children will be taught to recognise the common patterns that feature changes in shapes and positions, like alternating, repetition, and cumulating patterns.

Matrices are similar to Analogies in that they use 2×2 or 3×3 grid shapes and change the shapes similarly. Grid questions adhere to similar patterns in a series of questions while looking for similarities, odd ones out, and examples of symmetry. This makes them great practice for all other 2D NVR questions, as they feature a little of everything!

We also heard from our students last year that both Series and Matrices appeared in the GL Assessment 2023 exam for the Trafford Consortium (excluding Loreto and St Ambrose).

9. Odd Ones Out & Similarities

We’ll start with the two most straightforward Non-Verbal questions. Similarity questions use two shapes with a handful of our five techniques in common, with one of the answers also featuring a common trait. Similarity questions are fundamental to understanding, as every other NVR question requires students to locate similarities so that we will pay extra attention to this.

On the other hand, odd-one-out questions are just that – finding the odd answer from the rest.  The key, however, is finding a similarity that links the remaining four shapes together, leaving one without this crucial feature.  Odd-one-out questions are unique in that we can’t apply the process of elimination to find the answer and need to find the one similarity between the four shapes.  Our students will also be trained to link these similarities and differences to their five techniques, making it easier to identify more intricate questions.

10. Spatial Reasoning

The most daunting part of non-verbal learning can be 3D shapes and spatial reasoning, as it requires children to have a good cognitive ability to picture shapes in their heads and imagine how they might change after rotating, folding, or flipping.  These questions have only recently been added to the GL exam in Trafford, but luckily, Newell Tuition has a large bank of 3D questions.  If you currently have tuition with us, we’ll send some Spatial Reasoning resources, so keep your eyes peeled.  You can subscribe to our newsletter to hear about our offers and resources exclusive to our students.


Maths –

There’s almost too much to mention regarding our maths programme as we explore every concept your child will likely find in the exam and how to apply quick solutions for each question category.  To make this easier to digest, we’ve found the links between several question types and created a course where each topic seamlessly leads into the other.  Math builds on itself, so we start from the ground and work our way up, understanding the framework of significant numbers and how to apply equations and critical thinking to mathematical problems.

11. Word Problems

One key area that needs to be explained is word problems. Most Math questions in the exam aim to establish a connection between mathematical concepts and word phrasing. Children can struggle with these areas due to low reading skills. Students will be taught how to spot the keywords, numbers, and instructions that can be hidden in the wording of a math question and practice writing them as number sentences.

Ironically, our work in vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension will play a massive part in understanding math. So, remind your child that even if maths is a fear, they may have a unique advantage if their strength is in English!

12. Special Numbers

We understand how vital Maths is, not just for the exam but also in real-life situations, and how useful it can be when taught correctly.  At the start of our course, we’ll cover all the pivotal numbers in understanding math questions.  This ranges from spotting common multiples & factors, prime numbers, square and cube numbers, indices numbers and.  We’ll cover the rules to spot them and questions ranging from sequences to applying them to more challenging questions like fractions and ratios.

13.  Fraction Conversions

From angle questions to unit conversions, fractions, decimals, and percents are heavily featured in most math exam questions.  We look over common fractions and decimals to keep an eye out for and how to use them in the best way when approaching questions.  For example, in a word problem, if your child saw ‘in every’, they would need to use fractions to work out the answer as it refers to proportion.  However, ‘for every’ implies a ratio, which compares amounts to each other rather than against the total.  Understanding these small nuances and many others like it will help give children an anchor when using their working out, and our homework and worksheets will

14. Shape Theory

Shapes and the properties that define them make up a large section of maths.  Good shape comprehension factors into angles, coordinates, area, perimeter, and volume, but questions will also ask to name a shape based on its line of symmetry, equal sides/angles, rotational symmetry, etc.  Your tutor will be covering these with your child already. Still, our summer school builds on this knowledge. It explains the complex terminology using easy-to-understand visual cues and how to use relative positioning of angles and sides to find them.  They’ll be able to show the difference between their concaves and their convex in no time!

15. Unit Conversions

Converting units, like fractions, can be found in several exam problems. Still, unlike most other questions, children will have a relative understanding of units from what they see and interact with the world.  Unit conversion helps bridge questions together in shapes using area, perimeter and volume, with fractions, ratio, scale and word problems. In our course, we’ll review the linguistic similarities in solving unit questions and how to translate cryptic instructions.  For example, how many words use cent and milli that mean 100 or 1000 of something?

16. Algebra

Algebra has a stigma about it, making it appear challenging and elusive. However, our students will have looked over algebra and equations without realising it when finding the mean, perimeter, and area or simply understanding the processes behind using unknown numbers in word problems.  We’ll review the basics, like factorising and simplifying equations, substituting letters for numbers, inverting word problems, and applying them to the trickier linear equations and age-finding problems common in the exam.  By the end of our course, your child will be a whizz in all things Maths, not just in these topics but so many more.

 

Verbal Reasoning, like English, requires a deep understanding of spelling, phonetics, vocabulary, and alphabet understanding. Most of these methods are already natural in the school curriculum, although their varied applications can trip many children up. Here is a breakdown of each question type and how our course will approach them.

 

17. Alphabet Code Breaking

One of the critical topics for VR is analysing letter relationships by referencing an alphabet and measuring how far letters are from each other, repeating this in a sequence, duo, or word.  Alphabet use can be applied to many different questions, and children will be taught how to recognise certain relationships of letters and adequately execute a method of translating them.  If you want a bit of familiarisation, you can check out our new familiarisation booklet on Alphabet Code Breaking.   These sequential patterns can quickly transfer to number sequences, another significant feature of VR.

18.  Changing Words

Changing words letter by letter requires an acute knowledge of spelling and vocabulary.  Children must recognise similarities and differences in words by changing one word into another or completing parts of a word with missing letters.   Our tutors will take them through the different questions where letter recognition is applied and teach how to predict what words and spellings will be based on context clues from the sentence.

19.  Connections and Odd Ones Out

There are many parallels between nonverbal and verbal reasoning, one being odd one-out questions. Students must find words that don’t belong with others based on definition or word type. This includes knowledge of antonyms and synonyms and understanding root words, suffixes, prefixes, and homographs.
Connections likewise seek a link between two words and a series of options.

For example,  can you solve the problems to the right of the screen?

 

20.  Logic Problems

Once letters and numbers have been explored, we start to look over using logic and reasoning to solve minor problems and find solutions.  These questions rely on stating what is true or false based on the information provided in the text.  Understanding riddles and brainteasers is an excellent place to start, with questions commonly using elements of Maths and specific linguistic cues to demonstrate logic and cognitive understanding.

So you’ve heard all about our course – but what about how we teach it?  We believe that there’s a method for every student, so we accommodate our participants by teaching using several methods and alternatives so that everyone can leave our course with something that will help for the exam. Read what we have on offer to make your children’s summer a time to remind

21. Student Experience

We know Newell Tuition’s summer course will be highly beneficial to a child’s progress in the lead-up to the exam, but we understand your child might not see it the same way initially.  That’s why we cater our course to keep learning fun!  We don’t just teach the course; we also plan quiz show games, interactive learning and the chance to apply what they’re looking at to real-life problems, which studies show help retain the understanding of concepts.  By applying to problems in context, children can develop an ease of confidence by understanding how problem-solving can benefit them in daily life.

22. Bespoke worksheets, homework and papers

As you can tell, we’ve worked out exactly how to teach exam materials best. Nothing out there is as extensive and detailed as our course because we’ve written and taught it, too. Our specialised and varied papers practice timed elements, and we offer worksheets in lessons, homework for independent study, several booklets, and familiarisation papers to assimilate and recap all the information covered in the day. Want extra practice? Check out our GL Papers, which were explicitly written for timed preparation for the upcoming exam.

23.  Tutors aiming to please

Our tutors and leaders inspire young minds weekly when they tutor, and they are the perfect candidates to lead our summer course.  We have a ratio of approximately 1:10 (tutor: child), leaving plenty of opportunities for help and assisting children struggling or behind in the lesson.  Tutors read all the material well as they teach it daily and will be on hand to reveal their pearls of information.  Everyone has a favourite way of working out a question, and our tutors will be able to find a way that suits everyone!

24. Structured Course and Interactive Learning.

Most summer courses act as half-caregiving and half-revision-packed classes, but we design an interactive and detailed programme at Newell that will suit every learning level.  Our course breaks down each topic into digestible chunks that are recapped and built on over our five-week course.  Children will take part in games, have the chance to win prizes and shape their questions using the criteria and rubric taught.  This gives a much broader look over questions and allows children to have a varied grasp

25. Bonus Reason – Summer School Discounts

Considering everything, the summer course gets more than its fair value for money.  But when you sign your child up for five weeks of summer school, you’ll also receive a 12% discount, equivalent to a savings of £150.  You can choose from 3 – 5 days a week so your child can visit us when we cover areas you and their tutor think they need to work on the most.

Stay tuned next week when we release a timetable for summer school so you can plan accordingly to your child’s summer needs!