Feb 13
Friday 13th February 2015

​Friday 13th wasn't such an unlucky day for one of my former grammar school preparatory students. He's been offered an assisted place at King Edward's (independent) School (fees £11,000 p.a.).  His parents will be charged a modest fraction of that amount. 

Between October and December 2014 I prepared this lad, who had also attended my grammar school preparatory course, and presently attends a state primary school in the Black Country.  (He has the reassurance of a sufficiently high score in the Birmingham Consortium tests to be assured comfortably of a place in any King Edward VI Foundation Grammar School.) 

For once, words fail me! I know he will make the most of this opportunity when he starts in September. It was clear the first day that his Mum brought him here that he had a breadth and depth of interests, and a keen wit and inquiring mind.  Thank you, Mum, for persevering with it all.  You never faltered once in your resolve to see the journey right through to the end.  We made a great team, didn't we?   


Dec 26
Reflections on 2014 11+ results

​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!    

Oct 23
B'ham Consortium of Grammar School Results October 2014

​Every one of my 11+ students* has achieved sufficient marks to be assured of a place at his or her first choice of King Edward's Grammar School. The highest verified score of my students is 258, and the mean score achieved is 239. Congratulations to those students who have achieved their dream, and to their long-suffering parents for surviving the ordeal!


* All non-pupil premium students     

Apr 08
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