I've only realised today - this is as a result of meeting up with 11+ families over the past week - that in 2014, three quarters of my students are the only children in their schools to win a place in a grammar school. And these students haven't just scraped through the tests - their marks are way above the average in both the Birmingham Consortium and the Wolverhampton and Walsall Consortium too, That's pretty humbling.
It led me to reflect about why I take on students from state schools only. State school students have time to follow my programme and, crucially, to engage in an extensive and enriching programme of reading for pleasure. When parents are involved in the reading, and follow up sessions with discussion, then something a little short of miraculous follows. The 'miracle' is that careful reading leads to more effective children's writing, as well as with their understanding and vocabulary. Of course, this can happen with children who attend independent schools as well; but I've found that my state school students are hungry for stimulation, are not exhausted at the end of a school day, and are as keen as mustard!