11+, SATs, GCSE & ISEB Resource Group
The 11+, SATs, GCSE & ISEB Resource Group is a Facebook group that serves as a platform for parents, teachers and tutors to come together to discuss study resources, offer advice, share their experiences of exams and support and encourage one another.The team of admins, made up of educational professionals, contribute helpful daily content such as Facebook live videos and English and maths tips. The founder of the group, Agness O’Brien, was kind enough to sit down with us and answer some questions about this unique, useful and ever-growing group.
What inspired you to set up the 11+, SATs, GCSE & ISEB Resource Group?
My eldest child obtained a place at the grammar school of her choice straightaway. However, my second child needed more encouragement to work. I’m a hands-on mum when it comes to helping with their studies. Having been brought up in a different country (Malaysia) where all subjects except for English were taught in Malay language, I was unsure how to help my child. I knew nothing about the 11+ exams or what children were expected to know.
Furthermore, I was worried about confusing my kids. It was because of this confusion that I decided to form a group on Facebook and join forces with other mums from Malaysia and Singapore, living in England, who, like me, wanted to help their children through their 11+ preparation but were clueless. Thus, the 11+ Resource Sharing Group was born on 2nd October 2016 with nine members. Over the next six months, nothing happened as we all had questions but none of us had answers. That’s when I decided that the group needed insight from those who knew the process or were experts in 11+ prep. So, I opened the group to all, and that’s when the membership flourished. Today, the group enjoys the company and expertise of many, including parents, teachers, tutors, authors and other businesses associated with education.
The group now has over six thousand members and is going from strength to strength, why do you think this is?
After both my girls successfully gained their places, I decided to diversify the group by including SATs, GCSE & ISEB. The group was renamed the 11+, SATs, GCSE & ISEB Resource Group. Our Admin Team, comprising of tutors, authors and business owners, run the group. Daily, they share free resources such as Word of the Day, Idiom of the Day, examples of Alliteration, Hyperbole, Homophones, Metaphors, Non-verbal Reasoning, Onomatopoeia, Personification, Prefixes, Root Words, Similes, Suffixes and Verbal Reasoning. On top of this, they also host Facebook Live sessions on their specialist subjects. They have recently started sharing SATs and GCSE resources. Over time, members have recommended the group, so by word of mouth and the sharing of the group’s link on other social media platforms; we have blossomed.
How did you go about finding your admins?
I closely followed every post and comment by members. I cherry-picked my Admin Team based on their engagement in the group and how responsive they were in answering members’ queries. They are all brilliant and experts in their respective subjects or field. Most of them are mothers like me and have known and experienced the ups and downs associated with 11+ prep with their children. We connect well together. For me, it’s important that my team get along and work to make the group a haven for all those seeking help in educating little minds.
What do you wish for the future of the group?
I would like to have more GCSE level material shared with, and by, members, particularly those who teach the various subjects. At present, most focus is on 11+ material. We encourage our members to stay with us regardless of whether their child gains a place in a grammar school because what they learn here will take them to greater heights wherever they go. They can remain and benefit from our resources for SATs, GCSE and ISEB.
What has been the most rewarding part of this experience to date?
Parents often write to tell me how grateful they are for the group as it helped them do the right things for their children through the 11+ process. Many of our members do not have English as their first language. For them, the group has been invaluable in filling the gaps. This is the group’s mission. We are dedicated to making education accessible to everyone.
Agness O’Brien, founder of the 11+, SATs, GCSE & ISEB Resource Group
Education Boutique are proud to have been asked to serve as admin for this resource group, we provide weekly examples of alliteration and onomatopoeia along with examples of good and bad repetition in writing. If you are a parent looking for exam advice or a tutor who wants to connect with other tutors or potential clients why not join this friendly Facebook group? Just search the name of the group via your Facebook account.
Brooke McClure – Lead Resource Teacher at Education Boutique, February 2020