Cognitive Skills Development

All pupils in Years 5 and 6 follow a programme in Thinking Skills. The lessons are called COGs (Cognitive Development). They help them, among other things, with their senior school pre-assessment tests. They are also useful across the curriculum as they teach and develop study skills. This is done through two specific means: reasoning exercises - verbal, non-verbal and quantitative - and problem solving activities such as games and puzzles.

Pupils in Year 7 and 8 have a lesson each week in which they are encouraged to think about the way they work and look at strategies for more effective learning.

Resources to help your children develop their cognitive skills through Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning in preparation for the online pre-tests are as follows:

1. Planet BOFA: https://www.bofa11plus.com/  All pupils in Years 5 and 6 have log in details and use this resource in school, which can also be accessed from home. This website provides progress reports and next steps to pupils via their school email.

2. Keystone Tests: https://www.keystonetests.com/ All pupils in Years 6 and 7 have log in details and use this resource in school, which can also be accessed from home. This website provides diagnostic tests in Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, English and Maths and tracks individual progress, offering tutorials to provide extra support for any weaker areas.

Whilst we are moving towards online practices and assessment in order to prepare pupils for the online nature of the pre-test, there also remains scope to use paper tests. Some useful books include:

3. Learning Together:  https://www.learningtogether.co.uk/  All pupils in Year 5 use the Step by Step books to introduce the concepts included in Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning. There are sets of work books in these series. If you visit the site you will see a comprehensive range of follow on books which continue to develop these skills.

4. ‘How to Do Verbal Reasoning: a Step by Step Guide’ and ‘How to do Non-Verbal Reasoning: a Step by Step Guide’ published by Galore Park.  

5. Bond Reasoning Papers –these are widely available in shops like WH Smith, and also from Amazon. It is worth noting that Planet BOFA was created by one of the authors who put together the Bond series of books and there may be some overlap of questions as a result.

Click here for Guidance Notes to Parents helping to prepare children for Pre-Assessment Tests