2020/21 11+ Distance Learning Course (11+ DLC)



Here is information about preparing towards 11+ tests and about our courses that we think you need to know in order to make good choices for your children.


This information is provided in order to give you a flavour of our approach and an idea of the scope of our work.  It does not form part of the Terms and Conditions for our coursesClick for full T&CS.



How 11+ tuition is provided is largely shaped by the degree to which profit is a motive: the greater the profit motive the larger the group size and the less effective the learning.  A small group size (10 or fewer pupils with a tutor) favours education over profit.  No number of assistants compensates for a small group with a tutor.  We run small groups because we prioritise education over profit.



Preparation towards 11+ tests and preparation for life can coincide in some obviously important but under-appreciated ways.  We support children in becoming better at learning.  Here are the top three ways in which we do this.


Broad View of Education  We encourage children to love learning for its own sake, read widely, work on coherent thinking and communication, and build their general knowledge by taking an interest in all things.


Growth Mindset  Some children’s learning is slowed down by a fixed mindset.  We encourage and coach children and parents to develop more of a GROWTH MINDSET (GM).  This helps children to enjoy learning and sustain motivation as well as enabling them to learn more effectively.  Focusing on applying good learning processes rather than on scoring high in course work is part of this.  We help educate parents about nurturing a GM because it is they who are the major influence on the mindset that their child exercises.


Learning Opportunities  We characterise and treat mistakes and omissions as valuable learning opportunities to be embraced, thereby enabling children, parents and tutors to hone in on children’s individual, very specific learning needs.  Correcting each error and learning from it is a key feature of our courses. This allows children to focus most effort where they most need it.



The vast majority of children who completed our 11+ Course between 2001 and 2019 went on to pass one or more 11+ tests: our average annual pass rate for this period was 80%.  The pass rate for children who sat their 11+ tests in autumn 2019 was 90%.

(*Pass rates are based strictly on verified results.)


WHY A SMALL-GROUP FORMAT IS BEST (i.e. fewer than 10 pupils per group)

Our normal group size is between 3 and 9 pupils.  This allows for the optimal combination of two powerful learning factors: (1) a substantial amount of interaction between the tutor and each pupil, and (2) the opportunity for children to learn from one another’s questions, comments, and errors.  The first allows the tutor to identify, communicate and address each pupil’s individual learning needs; this benefit drops off dramatically with more than 10 pupils per group.  The second benefit reduces substantially if the group is smaller than 3 pupils.  Between 3 and 10 pupils in a group with one tutor is the ‘Goldilocks’ range, that is why we adhere to this format wherever possible. 



The intensity of 11+ demands that a child has the support of the household as they prepare towards the tests.  Candidates need moral, emotional and psychological support as well as practical and academic support.  This is something to be welcomed and embraced because your child will truly appreciate the value of studying towards 11+ tests if the whole family is involved in the process.  This team effort can strengthen bonds between family members so that everyone gains by it.



Being ready for 11+ tests requires children to build up certain types of knowledge and skills.  Here are the top 3 that allow children to excel in 11+ tests, all of can be improved.

  1. By far the most important subject - for all 11+ tests – is ENGLISH

Developing a mastery of English (which includes comprehension, verbal reasoning, vocabulary, spelling, and *creative writing) is more important for 11+ than maths, NVR, mock tests, and exam techniques combined: all test papers, all maths questions, and all instructions are in … English!

  1. Logical, disciplined thinking

Logical thinking is what the word ‘reasoning’ in verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, and numerical reasoning is referring to.

  1. Mental agility

This is the ability to apply knowledge and reasoning in new situations, think creatively, and solve problems.  Mental agility can be developed with practice – this is a feature of our courses.  Copious, varied reading and developing mental arithmetic skills also contribute to improving mental agility. 

11+ Subjects

The course covers the following subjects and is relevant to all grammar school 11+ tests.

  • English/Verbal Reasoning (VR) 
  • Maths/Numerical Reasoning 
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning (NVR)


Creative Writing

Creative Writing is not part of the 11+ Course because most children who attend our course do not sit a 11+ test that contains this subject.  We run a workshop in Creative several times a year in order to cater for those children who need this for their 11+ tests.  It is available to pupils on the 11+ Course as an optional extra for which a separate fee is payable.


GL, CEM, and other boards

GL (Granada Learning) and CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring) are two common providers of 11+ tests.  There are several others.  The knowledge and skills tested are the same no matter which organisation sets the test papers.  The differences between boards tend to be relatively trivial things such as the formats of test papers and the style of questions.  Our course is suitable preparation for all boards.

Lesson Structure

Lesson structure varies from week to week and according to the phase of the course, but most lessons include the following elements.  Lessons prioritise learning and trouble-shooting.

Troubleshooting –a large proportion of the lesson is dedicated to troubleshooting the specific things that children have difficulties with.

3 or 4 teaching units - a mix of subjects from amongst English/VR, Maths and NVR.  Children have the chance to study the units before the lesson and seek clarification during the lesson.

Marking – some of the work done at home is marked during the following lesson.

Timed practice – timed tests aimed primarily at getting children accustomed to thinking clearly under time pressure and improving their exam techniques.

A short break

Course Structure

Phase 1 is about two-thirds of the course.  The subject matter of the subjects is taught.

Phase 2 is about one sixth of the course.  The focus here is on exam techniques and practice (XTP) and reviewing and applying what was learned in Phase 1. 

Phase 3 is about one sixth of the course and consists of mock tests.  Children get to scrutinise their test performance immediately after each test so as to be able to fine-tune their learning.  For the final 3 mock tests, parents too are invited to go through the test papers immediately after the test.

Attendance Schedule

Children attend one Live Zoom Lesson (LZL) weekly, normally only during term-time (Slough term dates apply). The lesson is 3 hours long. Regular work (traditional and online) must be done at home. Work at home will typically amount to between 7 and 11 hours per week during term time, and less during most school holidays. 35 lessons are currently planned.

N.B. Lessons are scheduled during the latter part of the summer holiday 2021 because most 11+ tests now take place soon after the summer holidays. Keep this in mind when planning for these holidays.

Teaching Videos

Children and parents have unlimited access to numerous teaching videos.  The video lessons are a very powerful tool for learning that children and parents can review in their own time and can use to learn at their own pace.  Many parents have observed and commented on how useful they have found this resource for learning, reinforcing and revising, and for supporting their child at home.

Other Resources 

We issue kits that include folders, a dictionary, a thesaurus, a vocabulary book, a novel, a pencil, and a highlighter pen. During the course we issue numerous worksheets (produced by us) and publications (published practice materials), and plastic cubes for 3D NVR. The list of publications we issue is not fixed but is updated on an ongoing basis in accordance with resources available in the market.

We also issue books about Mindset and Mind Management to parents in order to empower them to better support their children through this challenging course.


Homework prioritises self-study and practice.  A wide range of homework is set during Phase 1.  This can include vocabulary work, completing varied exercises, notes, examples, homework sheets on units taught (Study Tests), work from publications issued, and studying teaching videos. 
Homework in Phases 2 and 3 is largely set from some of the numerous publications that we issue as part of the course.

Feedback and Performance Records

All parents and all pupils are issued a login to the Sir Tailor website that allows them access to various resources.

Pupils and parents can view and re-view teaching videos.  They can also access the performance record and feedback.

In addition, parents can access letters, answers and some information and guidance videos.

Choice of Slots

The following slots are planned. Unviable slots may be cancelled without notice and additional slots may be arranged as required.

Numerous different slots (i.e. combinations of day, time and venue) are planned as shown below.

Last Updated On 26th Jan 2021 16:51

Day Venue* Start & End Time Start Date Availability
FridayZOOM slot5:00 pm to 8:00 pm11 Sep 20
SaturdayZOOM slot9:00 am to 12:00 am12 Sep 20
ZOOM slot10:30 am to 1:30 pm07 Nov 20
ZOOM slot1:00 pm to 4:00 pm12 Sep 20
ZOOM slot5:00 pm to 8:00 pm12 Sep 20
SundayZOOM slot9:00 am to 12:00 pm13 Sep 20
ZOOM slot1:00 pm to 4:00 pm13 Sep 20
TuesdayZOOM slot5:00 pm to 8:00 pm15 Sep 20
WednesdayZOOM slot5:00 pm to 8:00 pm03 Feb 21
ThursdayZOOM slot5:00 pm to 8:00 pm17 Sep 20

Last Updated On 26th Jan 2021

The venue may be subject to change at short notice as required by the management of the venue.

Learning Coaches (LCs) [Tutors]

All LCs are DBS checked. They are selected, trained and qualified by the company to deliver this programme effectively. LCs are kept up to date with regular further training.

If you apply for a place on this course, you will be subscribing to the programme of learning (i.e. the course) and not to a particular LC. Requests for/against particular LCs, or for/against LCs of a particular sex, ethnicity, accent, personality or religion will not be considered.


All applications are to be made online via our website ElevenPlusTutor.org.uk. You will be required to make a payment at the time of application. Please read the Terms and Conditions for this course, and call us about any queries, before applying.