As this year 6 parents breathe a sigh of relief as the 11+ comes to an end, the year 5 parents take in a sharp intake of breath as they realise what is dawning!


As a parent what can you do to help your child through the 11+?


These are some of the activities that we do at Clara James Tutoring. I hope they offer you some inspiration.


Obviously encouraging your child to read is going to support them in all areas of their lives. It will boost their abilities in spellings, grammar and punctuation.

Confidence with the times tables will also help your child through life and help with the fundamentals of maths.


I won’t go into the games we play here as I have talked about them previously in many other blogs, the most recently being:


5 games to learn your times tables

There is a long list of words (100+) that I have downloaded from the net


11+ word list


What I have done is split this list into smaller lists. I have then split these into groups of about 12 words.


Each subset I have then made into pairs games. I have used definitions from the Oxford English dictionary to achieve this.


The aim of the game is to create a fun way of expanding the child’s vocabulary. Many of these words are quite obscure and not used often in modern day English.

Children are normally more receptive to doing something more than once when it is fun.


This repetition will help reinforce the child’s knowledge of these words.


Spot the difference is a great way to help your child easily spot the difference in patterns and sequences. Sudoku is another brilliant way to help your child spot number patters,


The brilliant thing about these is that they can be purchased for very little money or downloaded for free.


Taking a leap back in time Rubix cubes are also great at helping children solve problems and master the skills needed in non-verbal reasoning.



Rummikub was introduced to me a couple of years ago and along with being a truly addictive game, it is also a great way to practice simple number sequences.


There is a word version which is equally fun and a really a good way of looking at spellings and vocabulary. Bananagrams and scrabble are also great games for playing to assist in these areas.


To support spellings, I often take the list of words we are practising. We then choose one of the words from the list, take the letters needed to spell the words and mix them up.


You then pass them to the other person who has to rearrange the letters and work out what the words is.

5 Minute Challenge


I have also created a selection of 5 Minute Challenges (challenges NOT tests). It is simply a sheet of A4 split into 4 columns and approx.12 rows. In the first column on the left-hand side I will write a category:


Synonyms for xxx
Antonyms for xxx
Places beginning with xxx
Words ending with xxx
Things you would find in xxx


You then have 5 minutes to think of 3 words for each category. The aim here is to get the child used to working in timed conditions. If you both do it together you can compare answers at the end making it more enjoyable.

I hope these ideas get you started and offer some inspiration.


There is also a huge range of books that can be purchased and worksheets that can be downloaded online.


Good luck and if you have any questions, please do comment below and I will do my best to answer. If you think these ideas would help someone else, please do share the link.

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