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Swot Up blog - hints, tips, news and events from the 11 plus swot world Show all posts
  • williams-sisters-pushy-parents

    Pushy parents are often lambasted by both traditional and social media channels. This post will offer kudos to those parents who will stop at nothing to get the best for their children.

    The majority of people who oppose pushy parents would agree that it is the notion of making a child do something that they don't like doing that they disagree with. It's the belief that if a child is unhappy doing something, then they shouldn't be doing it. I disagree, below I list 5 reasons why a pushy parent is a good parent.

    • "I don't want to...". In life we all have to do things that we oppose. Whether it's taking out the bins or worse, going to work every day. I don't believe that not wanting to, is good enough reason not to do something. The benefits of taking the bins out are that your house will stay clean & odour free. The plus side to not enjoying work is at least being in employment and it's financial compensation.
    • Give it a try. I don't do heights, but I will always try my hardest to conquer this fear in the name of being able to say, I did it. Whether I enjoyed the experience or not, I can say take pride in saying, "I gave it a try and I did/ didn't like it."
    • A sense of achievement. Although naysayers will argue that children will simply rebel, being introduced to a subject and guided through how it works, eventually leaves a child feeling a sense of fulfilment. Often in life the biggest hurdle is making a start. Breaking down a task into bite-sized chunks will make a task more manageable and easier to achieve.
    • Become a success. Look at the Williams sisters. Their father installed a tough work ethic into them, with many citing that they were "bred to play tennis". Whether you agree or disagree with their fathers tactics, it is certainly reaping it's reward now.
    • Nature needs to be nurtured. Ok, so raw talent is something that can't be bought, but it needs to be nurtured. In my opinion, it's worse to waste talent than to have never had it in the first place. Without desire to succeed, even the most gifted child will end up lost amongst the crowd.

    In conclusion, it is imperative that our children are encouraged to succeed. Whether your child needs a little more help with their verbal reasoning skills or numeracy ability, it must be noted that we are not being pushy parents, we are simply guiding them towards a grammar school education and a ultimately better life.

    Do you agree with this post? Or do you take a more laissez faire approach to parenting, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Photo courtesy of

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  •  too-many-graduates

    With record numbers of graduates failing to secure employment upon leaving university, the education system surely needs to be reviewed. Recent reports according to the BBC suggest that as many as 83 graduates are applying for each vacancy. Although the 11+ test is seen as elitist by the minority, it's selectiveness could save students thousands of pounds.

    Let's compare the two systems;

    To pass the 11+ exam & secure grammar school placement, there is no percentage pass mark per se. Pass marks are weighted in accordance with overall results, allowing only the allocated number of grammar school places to be filled. To obtain a 1st degree at university, you simply need an average of >70% for all of your modules.

    Ok, so it's not easy to average over 70%, but in theory everyone could get a first, thus devaluing the quality the grade. Likewise, with the 11+ exam it is possible to achieve a score of 99% and still not obtain grammar school entry.

    What would happen if universities employed this system?

    The percentage pass rate system would see some changes in the way degree accreditations were valued. With say only 5% of students receiving first class accreditation many would see a benefit;

    • The best candidates would be more visible to employers.
    • Competition for grades would be heightened & in turn increase learning.
    • Potential achievers of lower graded degrees may opt for a more vocational path to employment, saving thousands in tuition fees and time. This route could also see a fast track to success.

    Who would lose out?

    As with most winning formulas, there are always a couple of losers;

    • The government have the potential to lose millions in tuition fees.
    • Underperforming universities are likely to see a decline in registration & potential closure.

    The conclusion

    In the tough economic climate, the vast majority university-goers would be better suited to finding employment & getting qualified whilst working. Aside from saving thousands of pounds on tuition fees and loans, students would be earning money and gaining a head start on their peers. For the top students, a university degree would regain its value as less people would be classed as graduates.

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  •  worm-mascot

    Since 2004, our aim has been to provide children with a revision aid that would help ensure exam success and ultimately, grammar school placement. Since then, thousands of children have passed the test and their kind words of recommendation have warmed our hearts. It's now 2011 & we've just launched our brand new website, with five key additions to help your child achieve 11+ success...

    What's new?

    • Easier Navigation: In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, our new site requires less clicks and improved usability.
    • Simplified Tools: Tracking your child's progress has never been easier, thanks to our new charts tool. Further introductions include a live pause button, allowing your child to complete the test at a later date.
    • Weekly News Updates: You & your child will benefit from timely blogs regarding the 11+ exam, including revision tips and tricks.
    • Be Part of the 11+ Community: Share news with friends & follow our latest updates through a variety of social media channels. -
    • Extended Catalogue of Resources: Our online shop has added to the thousands of test questions & revision aids. 

    What's the same?

    • Login details: To keep things simple, your personal information has been successfully transferred to the new look site.  No need to re-register.

    We hope you enjoy the revisions.

    Kind Regards

    Noah at 11 Plus Swot

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  • luke-mobile-app-developer 

    If you're following us on facebook or twitter you will already have seen our 11+ Swot mascot (the worm) come to life thanks to our friends at JellyHead3D.We thought we'd take this opportunity to introduce you to the man behind the 52 mile charity bike ride & the worm costume;

    Name: Luke Whittington


    Occupation: Mobile Developer

    Education: First Class Honours - University of Essex

    Hobbies: Badminton, Photography & Socialising

    Why Farleigh Hospice?: I've had various family members require the need to visit a hospice, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the work which takes place in a hospice is absolutely amazing. Without the love and care provided, I know that the situations my family members were in would have been a lot worse. Farleigh Hospice is funded by donations in the local community, so if we can help this service continue, then it's the least we can do!

    Why Did You Volunteer To Be The Worm?: How many people can say they have cycled 52 miles dressed as a giant green worm? Besides bragging rights, it's for a great cause and it's usually something outrageous like this that'll get people to donate money to charity (which is a different story altogether). The more money we raise for Farleigh the better.

    Did you know: I passed my 11+ exam and was offered grammar school entry some 10 years ago.

    You can donate to this fantastic cause by visiting our JustGiving page.

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