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A few Useful Facts You May Or May Not Be Aware Of

You may know that the minimum acceptable level laid down by the government is for each child to reach level 4 by the time they take their year 6 S.A.T.S. But are you aware that level four is only equivalent to a reading age, spelling age, math’s age of around nine and a half years. In order for your child to be on target for their age they should be attaining at least a level 5 and if they are not then they are behind and in fact the school is failing them. (The tests used to gauge ages to support these facts are the Holborn Reading Scale, Schonell Reading Test, Salford Reading Tests and The Schonell Graded Spelling Lists.).

These were all used in Pre National Curriculum days and in many schools are still used today.  For Mathematics we gauge their levels from the old schemes such as Peak Maths produced by Nelson. These books have age level guides on them. Conveniently, a new scheme has now been produced by Nelson and the old schemes have disappeared from most schools.

In order for your child to pass any of the selective tests, in the various boroughs or entrance exams for the more successful private schools, your child will need to be working comfortably on all of the level five material. The National Curriculum dictates what is taught and when it is taught and ensures that state schools do not prepare any child to pass these exams. These tests are taken at the beginning of year six, and work on this level has not yet begun for the majority of the children in the state sector.  Only external input can enable a child to meet the material that they need to have learnt in order to pass these exams. For more information on this please see

Schools all have targets set by the government to get a set percentage to the level 4 standard. The league tables reflect a schools success by how many pupils they get to level 4 and not level 5. This means that teachers are under pressure to concentrate on getting as many to level 4 as possible. Therefore children who are more able are often covering work that they are already comfortable with and not taken on further. Ofsted inspectors are working to improve the situation for the more able student and expectations are rising but not at a pace where the children will be prepared for selective tests.

A large percentage of the content tested in the various selective test papers is not covered by the National Curriculum. State schools are not allowed to teach Non Verbal Reasoning and some of the areas on the Verbal Reasoning papers. Private schools have no such restrictations and are free to teach all areas with no time restrictions either. For this reason the private sector have very high success rates and take an every increasing number of the grammar places available. We teach and provide practise in all of the four subjects tested but we also provide advice for parents so that they are supported thoughout the whole preparation process.




Call us now on 020 8300 7548 or email us at Text us a message on 07930974808 but please note mobile voicemails are not reliable.