Clean up your home schooling with 11+ revision
By Sally Moon
01 May

With many parents and guardians home schooling their children Sally Moon share her advice and guidance on preparing for the 11+ entrance exam remotely and why you may now be considering entering your children for this exam.

  • Are you finding home schooling a chore or a challenge?

  • Is the task of revising English and maths to support your child stimulating or stressful?

  • Have you found learning together as a family an onerous task or a welcome opportunity?

Whatever your experiences may be – and they are probably a mixture of all the above – it could be an ideal time to use the new skills you have all learned to have a go at the 11+ school entrance exam.

Why would we try something new when there is enough to learn anyway?

Despite what you may have heard, the 11+ entrance exams aren’t about learning something new*. The tests are designed to test thinking and problem-solving skills using the knowledge your child already has. These types of questions are typically the most challenging appearing in their Year 6 SATs tests so working with 11+ material is very likely to improve your child’s overall grades whether they decide to take the 11+ or not.

For example: take two similar maths questions about percentages:

1            Calculate these percentages. Give your answers as integers (whole numbers) or decimals, as appropriate.
(a) 10% of 60       (b) 50% of 120    (c) 5% of 42
2            In a box of 72 sweets, 25% are mints, one-third are chocolates and the rest are toffees. (3)
(a) How many mints are there? (b) How many toffees are there?
The first question is a straightforward exercise about working out a percentage of a whole number. The second question is a little more tricky because it also includes fractions as well as being a ‘real life’ problem, which can be distracting. The 11+ contains a greater proportion of this second type of question than the first. Therefore, if your child has plenty of practice with the tough 11+ style questions, they should be confident of performing well in their SATs. 

So why not take the chance to find out a little more about the 11+ as you help your child with their everyday school work? The Galore Park books are ideally suited to help you achieve both.

How can I be sure I am covering everything my child needs for their school work?

English and maths are two main areas of testing in the 11+ and Galore Park's 11+ materials provide revision for all the content taught to the end of Year 6 (although many tests only expect children to cover to the end of Year 5). Extensive behind the scenes work by Galore Park has ensured that every aspect of the curriculum has been covered in our books as we don’t want your children to be wrong-footed with questions they can’t answer.

Because we recognise that 11+ revision goes on at home, our English and Maths Revision Guides make the process simple for parents as well as their children:

  • Every topic is clearly explained in short, usually two-page, sections for completion in around half an hour

  • Each topic is followed by questions targeting the particular skills just reviewed

  • Each answer gives a clear description of how to work it out, so that you don’t end up scratching your head and wondering how your child has arrived at a different conclusion

  • The contents pages also work as a progress checker for you to tick off the skills covered

  • Tests at the end of each chapter build confidence by reviewing the set of skills just learned

In addition, you will find pointers for improving Comprehension and Writing in English to help your child develop their creative skills.

If your child is approaching Year 6, reviewing content for the coming year can help them to get ahead and build confidence in the subject.

*Most 11+ entrance exams concentrate on the curriculum up to the end of Year 5. Some schools use exam boards, such as the ISEB, where a small amount of additional material should be covered. Each school chooses the exam to set and some schools set their own. Once you have decided that your child is going to take the 11+ and chosen the school (or schools) they will be applying for, it is worth looking at their website(s) to find out whether additional study is necessary.  

I don’t want to buy extra books that just make me more confused!

Because the Galore Park 11+ revision materials are specifically designed to help parents support their children through the 11+, they are intended to work alongside mainstream educational textbooks and programs. All the books are written by top independent school teachers and authors with up-to-date and in-depth knowledge of the curriculum, so you shouldn’t be in for any surprises!

This example from the Maths 11+ Revision Guide gives an example of how a topic is taught, in this case Place Value and Ordering.

The text goes back to basics explaining:

  • Number lines

  • What the symbols mean

  • How to use place-value charts to help with calculations

  • How to work though a question

  • A series of simple (Train), more average (Try) and more challenging (Test) questions. 

The complete number line for Question 9, provided in the answers and show here, make is clear how the answer should be laid out.


Why would I choose Galore Park for my resources?

Galore Park books are designed to give you confidence in home learning because we take our job seriously.

We believe our research and development is second to none: analysing and reviewing curriculum and 11+ tests questions for content and difficulty over many years. Our development process is designed to give you the confidence that we are providing your child with an experience that reviews all areas of the curriculum they could face questions on, at a frequency that is representative, and a level of difficulty that is relevant and fair for 11+ tests across the board.

Plus…there are hundreds of additional questions, with explained answers, to support you through the tests.



Maths and English workbooks provide practice in all the key areas of the curriculum.…and if your child wants experience of what the real 11+ tests are like, there are four sets of Practice Papers based on tests from a range of independent schools.

  • The early papers in Book 1 give a feel for the tests with later papers increasing in difficulty and speed.

  • Book 2 presents yet more challenging tests with the final papers providing a very realistic idea of what could expect to see when applying to some of the most prestigious schools in the country.
  • The CEM papers feature realistic CEM exam-style questions, which increase in difficulty from paper to paper helping children grow in confidence and expect the unexpected in the exam room.
  • The GL papers work to a format that is typical of GL tests in the past, making revision as realistic as possible.

All papers include answers to help your child improve in accuracy, speed and an ability to deal with a wide range of questions.

Find out more about our revision resources for the 11+ school entrance exam here.

Sally Moon is author of some of our 11+ verbal and non-verbal reasoning resources. Learn more about Sally here.

Tags: 11+ English, 11+ Revision, 11 plus, Common Entrance, English, Entrance exams, exam, Exam Preparation, Exam tips, exams, GL, grammar, home schooling, Independent School Examination Board, independent schools, learning, Mathematics, Mathematics at Common Entrance, Practice Papers, revision, Revision Guide, revision prep, Revision Tips, school entrance exams

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