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Friday, August 18, 2006

Train problems

In only seven years our ten year olds will be grappling with a very different sort of language.

`Gear Changing
Effective acceleration is only possible when a useful and economical increase in engine revolution is obtainable. The use of the gearbox must therefore be considered in conjunction with the capabilities of the vehicle.’ (Road Craft 1977)

This year our children are expected to cope with a range of ideas and language.

Train A leaves Manchester at 0805. The train takes about two and a half hour to reach London. Train B leaves London at 0910. If the distance from London to Manchester is 185 miles, when will the trains meet?

Should we expect ten year children take this question at face value? Did both engine drivers accelerate at the same speed? What happens if the 8.05 was five minutes late? To how many decimal points should the average speed be worked out?

Does our 11+ teaching cater for children who want to explore outside of the confines of the syllabus? Would intensive coaching from driver training school for seven years deliver us better drivers? Should 11+ papers encourage more creative thinking?

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