What makes the age of 8 so important to my child’s academic development?

Is 8 the magic number?


Around the age of 8 children are experiencing one of the biggest changes in their academic development. Dr Michelle Anthony (PhD) an advisor, columnist, and feature writer for Scholastic’s Parent and Child Magazine says: “They move from being pre-schoolers into middle childhood, from a life dominated by fantasy to one that is beginning to be governed by logic and reason.”

“This point in a child’s development is essential as they are beginning to work better on their own.” She continues, “Therefore during this time they gain increased problem solving and reasoning skills.”

A child’s reasoning skills are an essential component in their academic success. This is due to examinations such as the 11+ for grammar school entry, GCSE and A Level requiring not only the ability to recall information. The child also must demonstrate their ability to apply knowledge and understanding.

In the 11+ exam verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and non-verbal reasoning skills are tested. At Smart 11+ we believe that working with a child on their reasoning skills from the age of 8 is essential. Doing this allows the brain to develop the problem solving and analytical pathways which enable future academic success. This is backed up by many leading educational scholars including Dr Karl Albrect who wrote the book Brain Building. He stated that “when reasoning skills are worked on regularly between the age of 7 and 10 a child’s potential knows no bounds”.

Smart 11+ Tuition teacher and children

What does this mean for my child?

Every child is different, but at this age, we start to see a shift in their ability to see things from another person’s point of view. Their pre-school egocentrism begins to change and allows them to empathise and see other people’s viewpoints. This is most interesting when considering tuition options.

Whilst a one-to-one tutor may offer immediate support, the ability of your child to teach and learn from other children can be invaluable in them learning to problem solve through co-operation. This is a benefit to coming to a centre like Smart 11+ Tuition. Our tutors are on hand to help if a pupil gets stuck. However, this way it gives your son or daughter the opportunity to work the problem out for themselves. This is not only important help them pass the 11+ exam, but also it is a skill that will be very useful once they have a place at a grammar school in Birmingham.


What next?

We offer tuition for children from Year 4. A child starting with us in Easter could have an additional 50% tuition time on their peers. This could dramatically increase their chances of gaining a place at a Birmingham grammar school. The most important thing for your child is to ensure that they are ready for regular tuition though. We offer a free assessment of every child and will tell you if we think they may benefit from coming back later on if it’s better for them. However, many children are ready at the age of 8 to take on tougher tasks. At this age, they should be able to get a head start on the other children in their year.

Get in touch today to find out more!