Transfer test update and benefit of reading

Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne


Thursday 3 June 2021 6:28

The dates for both the GL and AQE Transfer Tests have been confirmed, and registration is now open.

The GL test will be held on the 13th of November 2021. The three AQE test dates are November 20th & 27th with the final test on the 4th December 2021.

The AQE will use the two bests results, affording the participant an off day. The topics covered in each test have been drastically reduced or simplified due to the significant amount of time away from the classroom. Both test providers have released information on what will NOT be covered within the test and its general format.

The scope of this column does not allow me to go into detail; however, you can access the GL test information by visiting (specification) or (support documentation). If you would like any of this information explained, please do not hesitate to contact me on the information below.

Preparation as Normal

Education Support Hub continues to help children throughout Northern Ireland prepare for the test. Although grammar schools in the Newry & Mourne area and a few others have decided not to use GL results as part of their admissions criteria this year, it is business as usual for children in these areas. I believe that P6/P7 is an important year as there is a range of topics covered.

These topics are covered at a rapid speed with repetition to ensure the retention of material. Additionally, it is an excellent method to practise exam technique which will be hugely beneficial when they transition to their big school.

At present, when teaching my P5 groups I am mindful to include the key topics that will help them with next year’s preparation. Although it is far too early to start practice papers, due to a risk of burnout and lack of criteria coverage, we explore all of the English and Maths curricula focusing on major topics within the test.

How can you best prepare your child for the Transfer Test?

As mentioned, preparation for the test is a fantastic way to cover numerous topics in a short space of time.

I have had parents who wanted their child to prepare but not sit the test as they were aware of the benefits of preparation.

The best way you can help your child prepare for the English section is to try and develop a love for reading. It is a lot easier to get a child to read when you have helped them develop a positive relationship with reading. You can implement good reading practices at home by being a good role model. Being a role model could range from reading the daily paper, getting lost in a novel, or reading together. Other techniques include creating a cosy reading environment for your child or taking them on regular trips to the library.

For the maths section, the best preparation is to quickly recall all of the times tables (and their associated division facts).

Times tables knowledge will help ensure that your child has easier access to various topics such as fractions, percentages, decimals, long division/multiplication and algebra.

Furthermore, knowledge of the times tables promotes confidence as it is a clear and measurable form of progress and facilitates learning new concepts. Finally, in addition to the topics outlined above, times tables knowledge helps promote a sense of numbers.

Sense of numbers could involve solving problems that include grouping, estimating, time and distance.

Prevent Summer Learning Loss with Education Support Hub

Education Support Hub is now taking bookings for summer classes. It is important that children switch off over the break. However, I feel it is equally important to have a weekly top-up session so they will not lose their progress over the long duration of the summer holidays. Last year, many places were filled, so please contact me early to avoid disappointment.

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 highlighting any areas of concern. I provide support for children from P3 - P7, including GL Transfer Test preparation.

I am a fully qualified teacher (Access NI cleared) and teach through the online platform Zoom in the comfort of your own home. Zoom facilitates an interactive whiteboard, visual, audio and chat features. If you would like to hear more about current clients' experiences, check out our reviews on Facebook and Google.

Daniel Guiney

Education Support Hub Founder


Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Alpha Newspaper Group

Characters left: 1500