Taking the stress out of the Transfer Test
The 11-plus exams are the first big date in the academic calendar, with pupils across Bucks getting ready to take the test. MIKE RUSSELL, co-founder of Everlief Child Psychology, offers advice on the best ways to prepare beforehand and on the day
AS CHILDREN settle back into school, for some parents their focus is already on next year. Yes, it’s time again for the 11-plus exams. Whether or not you agree with the system, the desire to get a place at a grammar school is as intense and competitive as ever.
The formal name for it is the Buckinghamshire Transfer Test and most entrants will be sitting it today (Thursday).
Test results are available on Friday, October 17, and about a third of children taking the exam will get the marks they need to secure a place. There is then the dreaded appeals process if your child came close and you can explain why they should still get a place.
The exam can be stressful for some children. The outcome is important to them and, of course, their parents.
A little bit of stress helps to sharpen and focus the mind, and a burst of adrenaline provides enough energy to get through the exam. But too much stress is counter-productive, as the body thinks it is in danger and goes into ‘survival mode’.
So how can you help your child cope with this stress?
Dr Lucy Russell, a clinical psychologist from Everlief Child Psychology, in West Wycombe, offers her top five tips (see panel).
Gabriella Grodzka, six, having a happy time at the Daybreak family fun day
PROUD: Former Dr Challoner’s High School pupil Amy Botwright (centre) with teachers Caroline Russell and Barbara Doyle