Bal Basi, Thames Valley 11+ head tutor
The head tutor at Thames Valley 11+ Tutors is a passionate primary school teacher with more than 20 years of teaching experience, specialising in Mathematics. Thames Valley 11+ tutors is a recognised centre of excellence for teaching Reading Comprehension skills, developed by Bal. Outside of school she has many years of tutoring experience for the 11+ and is a specialist tutor in non-verbal reasoning (NVR). Bal also teaches Verbal Reasoning, Mathematics and English.
The head is an author of numerous non-verbal reasoning 11+ practice papers. She regularly runs 11+ plus workshops for parents where ex-parents and pupils are invited as guest speakers in order to share their experience of the 11+ process. Bal runs professional 11+ workshops that enhance the understanding and development of Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Mathematics and Reading Comprehension Skills.
Bal also works with a panel of experts that is dedicated to developing innovative resources and teaching techniques that aid children’s understanding of Non-Verbal Reasoning and Mathematics and Reading comprehension in the 11+ exam.
Our 11+ tutors’ philosophy
Thames Valley 11+ Tutors offers a personal and professional service committed to working with your child to achieve their potential and peak at just the right time. This is important as each child will only get one chance to shine in the 11+ exam. We carefully monitor the progress of each child to ensure that no child is left behind and that able children are challenged even further in order to reach their maximum potential. Parents and children contact us weekly so that misconceptions are quickly identified and addressed. This contact is made via email, text message or by phone and we welcome this contact.
All tutors are fully qualified teachers and are trained 11+ tutors. All of our tutors have an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance which is available for inspection. All of our tutors are current practising members of the UK General Teaching Council.
Our 11+ parent support
The 11+ exam can be quite traumatising for parents, especially for those with children sitting the exam for the first time. We appreciate the importance of the 11+ exam for all our parents and therefore run regular 11+ workshops. In our workshops parents are shown the challenges of the 11+ exam, the standard of vocabulary required and the abstract nature of rotations and reflections in NVR. Parents are given the opportunity to solve questions in a supportive environment and ask questions in order to enhance their understanding. This will, in turn, enhance and develop the understanding of their child.
We also provide written explanations for NVR where every question has a full and easy to understand explanation. Parents thoroughly enjoy our workshops and are able to support their children in a much more effective way.
Our 11+ exams approach
Our approach to the 11+ exam is to embed the necessary methods and techniques found in each 11+ subject (verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, vocabulary and mental arithmetic) and provide a thorough bank of questions to enhance depth of understanding, speed and accuracy. Through discussions we actively challenge our children to justify their choice of answers by drawing on logic and sound reasoning skills. We encourage children to go beyond describing a solution by analysing an answer and centre discussions on why a wrong is a wrong answer. This approach not only helps the child who has given the wrong answer but also serves to deepen the understanding of the children who have chosen the right answer. We provide ample visual support in order to aid this process. Unique to our centre, we have a range of sophisticated video animations that help children understand the complex and abstract nature of non-verbal reasoning.
Finally, we also cover exam techniques so that children are fully equipped with the necessary subject knowledge and are able to answer all the questions within the tight time constraints.
Our typical 11+ classes
The maximum number of children in a class is 12.
In a typical class we will cover up to two or three techniques across the subjects. During the class worksheets will be used to ensure that the children have grasped the subject matter. During each lesson children will be challenged about aspects of language in depth. Challenging concepts will be regularly revisited and discussed in detail. We do not leave the challenging parts of the 11+ exam until the end of the course. This approach ensures that children are developing their understanding over a period of time and are able to assimilate and apply their understanding far more effectively.
Homework is set and this includes developing vocabulary every week. Spot checks in vocabulary and mental arithmetic are a regular feature of our lessons.
Practice papers are introduced in the final few months of the exam preparation and are all supplied by us.
If your child is struggling with a particular type of question we will ask you to come in earlier so that we can provide support on an individual basis. This could be from an observation that we have made or from direct feedback from the parent.
Our 11+ intensive courses
Our intensive courses are an efficient way for late joiners to get up to speed very quickly and also for home study students to utilise before they embark on the 11+. They can also be used as a recap before the actual exams.