How to use Growth Mindset to Boost Your Child’s 11+ Revision


What is growth mindset?

Growth mindset in simple terms is the idea that we should not be limited by our talents and shortcomings but that we can instead change, develop and improve.

in essence, we can develop from our talents and shortcomings by making effort, learning from our mistakes and facing challenges.

The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. With a fixed mindset you’ll think and believe that you’re not good or clever enough. You’ll believe that you’re born in a particular way and cannot develop further.

It’s therefore important to teach your child how to have a growth mindset so that they can transform how they view themselves and their abilities. Teaching your child how to be a resilient learner can help them in their 11+ and other academic and non-academic  areas such as music and sport.

Having a growth mindset enables your child to be persistent even when facing challenges. This makes them to be better and more prudent at whatever they are doing. Furthermore, research shows that children that are thought growth mindset techniques improve in their overall grades/scores within shorter periods.

How can use growth mindset to improve your child’s 11+ revision?

One of the most important strategies is to teach your child not to shy away from their weaknesses or shortcomings. Teach them to embrace their areas of weakness and make effort to improve on them. For example, rather than stating, “I’m bad at Maths,” they could say, “I’m not the best at Maths yet.” The word “yet” is so powerful because it shows that the possibility of improving is still there.

Also, in order to develop a growth mindset in your child, you should be careful of the words you speak to them. Try not to use words that will make them develop a fixed mindset. For example, don’t use words like “you’re just not good atmathematics,” or “this is not good enough.” Doing so will cause them to believe that they can’t change or improve.

Having high expectations is another thing that can develop a growth mindset in a child. Children who believe their parents think highly of them usually perform better. This is because high expectations lead to faster brain development. However, it’s important to note that high expectations should not be confused with pressure. Don’t put your child under any pressure. Whenever they fail, always encourage them and let them know they can do better.

Additionally, teach your child to face up to their mistakes and learn from them. Rather than hiding their mistakes, they should be encouraged  to embrace them. Let your child see mistakes as a learning process not as a judgment of their abilities.

It doesn’t matter the number of time ms they fail, give them the opportunity to learn and improve.

And finally, endeavour to teach your child how to deal with their emotions. Encourage them to focus on the positives whenever they are confronted with challenges.

​How to reduce your child’s stress levels in the run-up to their 11+ exam


For many years now, the 11+ entrance exam has been a part of the English educational system. It is a test taken by pupils at the beginning of Year 6. The exam is used to select or decide pupils who are academically suited for grammar school or independent schools.

In preparation for the test, there is always a lot of pressure on parents and children alike. This is because the outcome of the exam determines your child’s path through the education system. The 11+ exam is a big thing and it takes most students more than a year to prepare.

The preparation and high expectations from parents can lead to high levels of anxiety and nervousness. To help with this, we’re going to discuss how you can reduce your child’s stress level in preparation for the 11+ exam.

1. Be an early bird.

Early preparation is the best and it will go a long way in the quest for success in the 11 plus exam. Encourage your child to start early with reading and vocabulary building exercises. This will allow them to study at their own pace without much pressure.

2. Love them.

Remind your child that you’ll always love them regardless of how they do. Let them know that your love for them will not be affected by their performance in the exam.

3. And breathe

Keep calm – you the parent must ensure to keep calm at all times. If your child notices that you’re anxious, you might transfer this to them and this can lead to more stress. 

4. Relax

Parents should teach their child how to relax when they feel tensed or under pressure. Allow them to take a day off to relax and take their mind off the exam. Encourage them engage to take part in different relaxation activities such as listening to music, meditation, dancing or sports. This may sound counterproductive but it is for stimulating their brain and makes them more ready for the exam. Years ago, one of my students was extremely nervous about her exam, she was literally shaking. Her mum simply took her to play tennis for the entire day, she sat the exam the following day and ended up doing extremely well. 

 5. Positivity.

You should encourage your child to be optimistic, help them to develop a positive growth mindset. This will go a long way in building their self-confidence and long-term academic skills. Keep encouraging them to visualise a successful outcome. You can even teach them affirmations and create a morning routine around positivity and personal growth.

6. Take out the pressure.

Try not to let your child feel that success in the 11+ exam is a do or die affair. You should not place the test on a pedestal. It will be too much a pressure if your child feels like the world will come to an end if they fail. 

7. Read together. 

Read to them before bedtime and get them to read to you as well. You can also ask them questions about what they’ve read. This is a way great of building comprehension skills.

Should Your Child Attend a Summer School Before Taking The 11+?

Should my child spend a few days attending a summer workshop?

Should they just have fun and skip 11+ prep altogether?


Should they take part in an 11+ summer school? 

There are so many questions and options that it can be overwhelming.

So how do you decide?

Firstly, consider whether your child has an exam within the next seven months. 

If your child’s exam is this September, October, November or in January of 2019, then it might certainly be worth enrolling them in a summer course.  

However, if your child is in Year 4 and has more than seven months until their exam then it’s a good idea to wait before booking their place on a course. 

Another factor to consider is whether your child enjoys learning in a group environment. If your child loves studying alongside others then they’d probably gain a lot from taking part in a summer course or workshop.  

One of the benefits of such courses is that students learn from others and can pick up new and exciting ways of studying.  

If you’re still stuck on the fence, assess your child’s summer commitments to see whether they can fit an intensive revision programme into their plans. For instance, if you’ve already booked a family holiday or other activities then they could potentially clash with a course which wouldn’t make it worthwhile.

Generally, we tend to notice that our students do incredibly well because they spend their summer holiday doing productive things such as revising, building their vocabulary, honing mathematics skills or completing our 11+ summer programme.

Regardless of whether they attend the course, they are committed to having a fun and productive summer which in turn leads to them achieving excellent exam results. 

We’re looking forward to meeting and getting to know our new summer school students in August.

Before you go, tell me,  how is your child spending their summer? 

Share by leaving a comment below. 


Which Is Better: Group VS 1:1 Tuition?



This is a really common question and a topic that divides a lot of parents.

To be frank, there are pros and cons to either form of tuition and the option that’s best really depends on your individual child’s needs and how they learn.


Here’s a breakdown of some of the differences, advantages and disadvantages of each approach. 


1:1 Tuition  - The Pros

Your child gets individual attention and detailed feedback. 


This has to be the greatest benefit of 1:1 lessons. However, it’s important to consider that not all tutors give feedback on a child’s performance and quite a few won’t provide feedback at the end of each lesson.  


When considering 1:1 lessons, make sure you ask the prospective tutor about how much feedback is given and how frequent it will be. 


Your child studies at their own pace. 

A good tutor will always ensure that your child is learning at a pace that suits their academic needs. This is really important. 


Ultimately, you don’t want to spend hundreds or even thousands on lessons that are either too fast paced or too slow. 

   Building a Home

With 1:1 lessons you have the benefit of knowing that your child’s lessons are building up gradually with the purpose of giving them a strong foundation in their key subjects.


Each lesson is a brick that lays the foundation for a beautiful home.


No Interference  

Another benefit of 1:1 lessons is that your child won’t be distracted or interrupted by other students. This is particularly important for children who get distracted easily and don’t cope well around their peers. 

If your child studies best on their own then 1:1 might be the best choice for them. 



Whilst 1:1 lessons can be great, they do have their disadvantages. 




If you’re on a budget then 1:1 lessons might not be the best choice as they are by far the most expensive form of tuition. 


   Academic Performance

Another disadvantage is that 1:1 lessons aren’t always better in terms of improving your child’s academic ability or performance.

For instance, 1:1 lessons inhibit the opportunity for children to learn from each other or to get tips from their peers on how to study a particular topic in an easy way.


Children often learn from their peers and 1:1 lessons take away the opportunity for your child to learn from someone their own age. 

      The Fun Factor

The final disadvantage of 1:1 lessons is that they aren’t always as fun as group classes. 

During group lessons children bounce ideas off of each other, think creatively and have fun. The fact that 1:1 lessons don’t involve other children means that the adventure and exhilaration of learning with others is taken away.


As you can see, the choice of picking 1:1 or group lessons isn’t an easy or straightforward one. You have to weigh up the pros and cons and look at them in relation to how your child learns.  


 The Hybrid Solution 

Personally, I believe that a combination of both tuition types tends to work best for most children.  For instance, having some 1:1 lessons followed by an intensive group course provides children with the best of both worlds.




Is My Child Smart Enough To Pass The 11+ or Common Entrance Exam?

How do you know if your child is smart enough to pass a school entrance exam?


Many parents think that their child is a genius, a little Einstein or the next Tchaikovsky. In some ways it’s quite natural to believe that your child possesses something so remarkable and special that they are far beyond their peers intellectually.


However, when it comes to school entrance exams such as the 10+, 11+ or 13+, believing that your little one is a genius isn’t enough to guarantee that they’ll pass.

Before embarking on the entrance exam process it’s worth sitting down and assessing whether your child is a good fit.


How do you do that? Read on to find out. 

 1. Be Objective.

It’s easy to look at your child through your own eyes and make the judgement that they’re perfect for an entrance exam at a top school. However, it’s important to remember that your child will be assessed by either a computer or a complete stranger (i.e. a teacher that doesn’t know them). It’s thetefore vital that you observe your child not from your own perspective but from one that’s completely separate.  

For instance, ask yourself whether your child currently outperforms their peers when it comes to exams at school.  


2. Think Ahead. 

When speaking to clients, I usually recommend that their child is about two years ahead academically. Thus, is they’re in Year 4 then they should be able to answer some questions that are taught at Year 6 level. This might seem a bit ridiculous but one of the most effective ways of maximising your child’s chances of passing. 


3.  Test.

Once you’ve decided to go ahead, the next step is to go for an assessment. You can either do this by booking them in for a mock exam, asking an independent tutor to assess them or by purchasing exam papers and assessing them yourself. Once you do, make note of your child’s scores and identify the exact topics and areas that they need help with. Then create a plan for improving their scores so that they’ll be well prepared for the exam. 

As with most things, early preparation can make a tremendous difference so the sooner you action the above steps, the better.

If you need any help with the process, fill in the contact form on our website and a member of our team will be in touch to help. 

Here’s to your child’s success.