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Swot Up blog - hints, tips, news and events from the 11 plus swot world Show all posts
  •  11+ exam results

    You may remember a blog that I wrote a month or so ago, Can a 26 Year Old Pass The 11+ Exam? I certainly do. Having passed with flying colours, I now saw myself as the "don" of the grammar school entry test. Filled with this euphoric feeling, I'm sure you can understand my confidence when I stumbled across an article on the BBC news website asking - "Could you pass the 11-plus?"

    The article was similar to the 11+ sample exam I took. With 10 minutes to answer 15 questions, I started the timer. A combination of verbal & non verbal reasoning questions with a little maths thrown in for good measure.

    On completing the test, I checked my score. 10/15. That's 67%! I immediately began to doubt my 11+ credentials & thought it might be time to invest in some revision resources from the 11+ Swot shop.

    Perhaps the BBC's version of the test picked some of the harder questions, or maybe I was simply having an off day? Have you tried the tests? I'd love to hear your feedback.
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  • library

    20 years ago, researching the finer details of the eleven plus exam would have been restricted to sifting through literature in your dads bookcase before waiting for the library to open on a Monday morning. Nowadays, thanks to the internet & Google in particular, a wealth of information is at our children's fingertips.

    We live in a world where everything is available at the click of a button, whether we are looking for that piece of information or not. Ok, so there are issues with internet safety. Parents are becoming increasingly concerned that their child is being corrupted, when they are probably happily researching away. If this is you, don't worry the internet is here to help.

    How can I change the security settings on my computer?

    Internet browsing can easily be made more secure by changing a few settings on your browser. Although browsers vary from Explorer, to Google Chrome & Safari, the settings in essence are the same for all providers. For the commonly used Internet Explorer, click settings > internet options > security & increase the sensitivity level to your taste. For other browsers, help about changing settings can be found, well, under the help option.

    What does a high sensitivity level mean?

    A high sensitivity level will block sites;

    • That "may contain" harmful content (that's pretty much everything you need worry about blocked)
    • Maximum safeguards (that's the obvious stuff blocked, plus a little more)
    • Less secure features (If your browser suspects anything at all, whether it's a pop up or a site with invalid credentials, these will not appear, just to be safe)

    On top of this, it is easy to block specific sites (for example, games sites if the computer is only to be used for homework). We also recommend blocking pop up's as these are the source of most offence.

    What happens if these settings still fail?

    Click CEOP, a site designed to report the abuse of children, are spot on when it comes to reporting suspect activity on the internet. Their safety button can be downloaded here. Now, if your child stumbles across a lucrative site during their 11+ revision, or if they are the subject of cyber bullying, this can easily be reported and stopped.

    What has this got to do with libraries?

    The internet is a big place, as is the world. Children can get lost along the way and need a little guidance, whether it's telling them not to walk down a certain alley way en route to the library or ensuring that they don't visit certain sites on the internet. Your child will likely make the decision which route to take by themselves, the main advantage of the internet being that you can guide them whichever way you like with a clever use of settings.

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  • london-to-southend-bike-ride

    On Sunday 17th July, six members of the 11+ Swot team & one worm took on the mighty task of cycling 52 miles from London to Southend. Luke Whittington, the team's mobile application developer drew the short straw, having to cycle the entire route in the 11+ revision mascot outfit.

    Despite three punctures, gear failures, getting lost and some terrible weather, the team completed the course in just under 9 hours. Gary Fenn (Project Manager) explained "We were unfortunate that the punctures happened so early (6 miles). By the time we fixed the bike we were so far behind everybody else that it felt like we were the only people in the race" Overall, the ride was a huge success with the worm managing to stay on his bike throughout.

    So far, the team have raised over £500 and are holding more events in the coming weeks to raise more money for Farleigh Hospice.

    Watch the a video of the worm in action at 

    To donate to the team and support Farleigh Hospice, visit

    Farleigh Hospice offer support to individuals and families of those with life limiting illnesses in the mid Essex area. They can support more than 1,100 people at any one time, relying solely on donations and sponsors to fund the organisation.

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