Tutor View: Christopher Niyazi, Eleven Plus Tutors in Manchester

Children should read every day for at least 20 minutes, ideally something above the level of what’s in their classroom. Try The Coral Island, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Treasure Island, and Lord of the Flies says Christopher Niyazi from Eleven Plus Tutors in Manchester.

Top tips for maths:

Focus on the basics of arithmetic alongside worded problems: adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, fractions, decimals and percentages. Regular practice is essential: Five daily practice questions is enough to give a child a strong mastery of maths.

Top tips for English:

Children should read every day for at least twenty minutes, ideally something above the level of what’s in their classroom. Look for books with longer sentences and difficult words for your child to look up. We suggest Animal Farm by George Orwell, The Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne, The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Top tips for verbal/non-verbal reasoning:

Regular practice is essential. One practice test a week should be enough. Your child should make sure they are checking the answers and seeing where they went wrong. They should also use a dictionary and thesaurus to look up words they don’t know.

Are you now offering online tutoring?

We offer one-to-one tuition online, normally via Skype or WhatsApp. Some of our tutors have delivered tuition to dozens of pupils in Brunei, the US, China, Uganda and throughout the UK. During the lockdown, over 200 hours of lessons were delivered online and we have seen an increase in customer demand.

How are children responding?

Parents are increasingly realising that their children can learn and progress through online lessons just as much as lessons with a tutor in person. Pupils can use phones, tablets or computers.

Practice papers and homework are emailed to parents and they photograph their child’s work and email it back to the tutor. The tutor then goes through the work with the pupil in the next session. Online tuition is as effective as ordinary one-to-one tuition in person and can be far more convenient for parents and pupils. We have found that the most crucial factor is not where the tutor is, but how much one-to-one support the child receives.

When should a child start preparing for the 11-plus?

Each child is different, but generally your child should be working a year above their age group. Most children begin at the start of year 5, but we have children in years 1-4 who are preparing for the 11-plus exam.

How many hours a week does a child need to study?

Again every child is different, but most children have one hour per week, with more hours and mock exams in the lead-up to the exam. Some children have two or three hours per week.

Best materials to use (and why are these effective)?

We highly recommend the Bond, CGP and Schofield and Sims workbooks. They generally match the level of the test and offer authentic practice. In particular, The CGP mock exam packs are a fantastic resource, ideally used in August, giving your child practice shortly before the exam.

Schools tutored for:

Trafford schools (Altrincham, Urmston, Sale and Stretford) in addition to independent schools (Manchester Grammar School, Manchester High School for Girls, Withington Girls’ School, Cheadle Hulme, Stockport, Oldham Hulme and many more).

How easy/difficult is it to get into those schools?

Due to their immense popularity, it’s generally harder to get into the Trafford schools. Also, children from outside the catchment area have to achieve even higher scores to get in. However independent school exams are by no means easy and their papers vary greatly in terms of their difficulty level.

How long have you been a tutor?

I have tutored for over five years. In that time my pupils have had success in gaining entry into dozens of grammar schools in Manchester and other parts of the UK. I have had success with children from outside the catchment area who achieved the higher score needed for Trafford schools and my pupils have been offered bursaries at independent schools.

Price of tuition per hour:

£35 per hour. We also offer mock exams, maths and English intensive group sessions and independent school interview preparation.

Website: 11 Plus Tutors in Manchester

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