AQE Transfer Test cancellation confirmed

Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne

Thursday 21 January 2021 11:15

In what can only be described as the circus' final act, only days after confirmation, the single AQE test scheduled for the 27th February has now been cancelled.

In a nutshell, postponement, cancellation, a new date and finally another cancellation of the test is what P7 pupils have had to endure over the past few weeks. Although there has undoubtedly been undue stress mounted on these children (and parents), their preparation time has certainly not been wasted. Exam techniques, study skills and work ethic are only a few of the many skills developed over the past 12 months.

Many will not get to choose which school they would like to go to; however, they will have the same opportunity to flourish at any school if they work hard.

Now is the time of year most P6 pupils start preparing for the next Transfer Test. Due to the situation we are in, and the uncertainty of any future school closures, I recommend starting preparation as early as possible. Education Support Hub has suitable classes running which caters for children across Northern Ireland; however, if you would not like to avail of tutoring, I recommend visiting the PPTCNI or the AQE websites and downloading a list of the topics contained in the tests. There is a wide range of areas to cover, and early preparation is critical.

Home Learning Tips

The general feeling from parents is that schools are doing a great job managing home learning. We must remember that they had little time to prepare as they found out the same time as the public.

The most common complaint is trying to get children to sit and focus. You can help alleviate this by encouraging your child to read a book at the start of the day.

During the first school closures, I mentioned in my article that I always started the classroom day with 15 minutes of reading. It helps relax and focus, especially those who are full of energy and easily distracted.

Create a clear and structured routine. Before each day, take 2 minutes and explain what has to be done. Keep the same structure each day, e.g. English first, maths second, and begin every day at the same time. Displaying a visual timetable is extremely helpful as it promotes a sense of achievement when a task is completed, and clearly outlines what tasks will follow. It is also recommended to outline short breaks on the timetable which can be every 30 - 45 minutes or after each assignment is completed. Outlining breaks help communicate that they are not expected to sit still all day, and will be rewarded following the completion of work.

A relaxing learning environment is also critical to keep children focused. This can be achieved simply by having a designated area for learning and removing any clutter and distractions. It is also beneficial to have a reward system in place, this is a strategy that I have employed in the classroom. It can be something as simple as extra iPad time or their favourite takeaway at the weekend. It will serve the same purpose as a bonus scheme in the workplace and will save you time and energy having to constantly check their progress.

Use this school closure to your advantage and focus on learning the times tables. I am aware that I have mentioned the times tables in numerous articles, but this only highlights their importance. They are an integral component in laying the foundations for mathematical skills and developing confidence towards the subject. I have done an in-depth article previously which can be accessed at, but in summary ensure quick recall of the tables in the following order: x2, x5, x10, x3, x11, x4, x8, x6, x7, x9 and x12. There are numerous different tricks and techniques discussed in my article published last month, but if you would like to simplify the learning, focus on one table and write them out daily. You can help enforce understanding by playing the popular online game 'Hit the Button' which can be found through an online search.

Unlock your Child's Potential with Education Support Hub

Education Support Hub provides assistance to help primary school children reach their full academic potential. Following a free assessment, your child's learning gaps and needs are identified, which will be communicated to you. They are then placed in a small group of similar academic ability. The small group dynamic helps mirror a classroom environment whilst encouraging some healthy competition! Each child is continually assessed throughout the session, immediately alerting me to any areas of concern. We provide support for children from P3 - P7, including GL Transfer Test preparation.

Sessions are delivered by fully qualified teachers (Access NI cleared) through the online platform Zoom, ensuring that classroom bubble guidance is adhered to in the comfort of your own home.

We are now delivering additional sessions due to school closures. Spaces are limited and filling up fast. If you would be interested in enrolling, please contact me on the information below.

Daniel Guiney

07513 286626

Education Support Hub Founder

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Alpha Newspaper Group

Characters left: 1500