Many people are asking, on a practical level, what they can do to support their child going through the AQE and GL Transfer Test. Whilst I’m sure they would all love to be able to sit the exam for their child, this is not a viable option and so, with some realism thrown into the mix, let’s explore some hints and tips to offer that support.
Facebook Support Group.
This is a must and has been described by many as a life saver to them. It consists of approx 2,000 parents who discuss just about every element of the process and share hints and tips, so you are guaranteed to get great support and advice as well as never missing a trick. If you want to join, just click here, Join Facebook Support Group and I’ll see you over there.
I’m imagining that not many children are naturally very organised when it comes to their revision or preparing for the AQE / GL, so this is definitely where an adult can help. Have a look at the specifications for the exam (AQE Specification or GL Specification) and break it into manageable chunks and focus on learning and testing on those topics – just like quizzes in The Transfer Tutor site (unashamed plug). Set up a revision planner which has clear objectives of what you hope to achieve each day or week and put a reward system in place e.g. trip to cinema, sleepover etc., if they achieve these goals. This can be a great motivator.
Keep a balance.
OK, so let’s presume that doing work isn’t any child’s favourite pastime so we have to weave in a little bit of work with a little bit of play. There is always something happening to get in the way of academic work e.g. Halloween, Christmas, Easter, school holidays etc., but that’s ok if we keep everything in perspective and know that it is ok to take a break and allow your child to have fun too. However, I would say, even at busy times for them, just a little work each day will generate a nice, steady momentum, ensuring they don’t ‘drop the ball’. So, as part of your organised part (see point 1) pick a time of the day that they agree they will do a little work, maybe a Transfer Tutor quiz (another unashamed plug) or a wee test that was bought or sent home from school. During any school holidays or the weekend, I would suggest in the morning, getting it over and done with, and then they are ‘free‘ all day.
It’s easy to get stressed and fraught at the thought that your son or daughter is going to take a test in November / December that will effectively decide where they are going to spend the next 7 years post-primary, but as the adult, you need to stay calm. By implementing points 1 and 2 above successfully you should know that each day you are making strides and the weekly targets are being met, so embrace this knowledge to help with the nerves. At the end of the day, if you’re not calm it is more likely your child will not be calm and the stress could actually prevent them from learning if they start panicking. So for the sake of the child, at least pretend to be calm – be like a swan.
Food for thought.
I reckon there is enough nutritional advice coming from magazines, TV programmes, internet, Facebook and all other forms of media, so not for me to explain the intricate details of the importance of a balanced diet, so I’ll keep it short. Breads, pastas, potatoes and cereals are carbohydrates and will slowly release energy during the day and fruit & vegetables are high in vitamins and nutrients so perfect for the balanced diet. Treats should be kept as treats, unless you want a roller coaster of sugar highs and sugar lows which can lead to hyperactivity and low periods of mental drains, so try to keep these to a minimum. Oh yeah, and drink lots of water and keep away from the fizzy stuff.
AQE revision can be fun so don’t see it as a chore or an effort. I know it can be frustrating if the child gives a seemingly random answer, but ask them how they got that answer and you will begin to understand their logic and identify where it is flawed – then you can help to put them back on the right line of thinking. Don’t get cross if they get it wrong (I know, pretty obvious, but I understand the angst), but instead, just keep plugging that knowledge gap in the hope that next time (or the time after that), they will actually get it right.
Overall, enjoy! If you want to be philosophical about the whole thing (and we do like to be philosophical in Northern Ireland), ‘what’s for you, will not go past you’, but at the same time I believe we have to try to be the best we can and reach our full potential, and unfortunately for the kids that will shortly be turning 11yrs, this is one of those early life lessons that they will have to embrace if they want to go to their preferred school in the next chapter in their lives.
The Transfer Tutor x
More about The Transfer Tutor Online Quizzes
The Transfer Tutor is an online site dedicated to providing fun and interactive quizzes aligned to the AQE / GL specifications. All quizzes are broken down into manageable topics and can be done on any mobile or tablet device, so is a great way for kids to prepare for the test. The quizzes have been a great success with parents and kids and has already received a lot of 5* Facebook Reviews, so definitely worth a look. To give you a feel for the quizzes, start the free quiz by clicking on the button below. I hope you enjoy and to get access to over 30 quizzes in Maths and English click here for membership options.