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Monday, December 18, 2006

Top Table

One of the problems facing some our eleven plus children is the pressure they feel that they sometimes come under from their peers at school. The great majority of strong eleven plus children, however, will enjoy the increased intellectual challenge of preparing for a competitive examination.

Some bright children will no doubt become frustrated by any activity where they have to work slowly. Another strong gripe, at times, is constant repetition. The children want to feel that their education is being accelerated. They enjoy feeling stimulated and having their brains exercised.

What some may not enjoy is the envy or disdain of other less fortunate children. We work with around five hundred eleven plus children every year. We sometimes see very bright children sitting on the `second table’. Some children feel that if they are on the second table they are subjected to less peer pressure.

We have to help some of our bright children to understand that it is their behaviour and performance than matters. I should imagine that there are very few teachers who would move a child from second table to top table on account of a child achieving nearly full marks on a selection paper.

Your child needs to understand that that he or she will need to demonstrate commitment to the teacher. Your child will need to show academic and social maturity. You, as a parents, will need to provide sound counselling to prepare for a change of habits. Somehow you will need to make the point, as gracefully as you can, that your child will continue to associate with others of less ability for the rest of his or her life. The softly spoken reminder: `Just do your best,’ should help through many difficult situations.

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