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Friday, October 26, 2007

The Content of the Eleven Plus (Blog of 24/10/07)

I wandered around the city of Salisbury this afternoon looking at the incredible diversity in the shops. Naturally the high street was dominated by the large chains and banks. But Salisbury is also equipped to cope with tourists. There seems to be an incredible number of tea shops.

I drifted through a number of antique shops. I was not really looking for anything – but marvelled at the range of items on sale. I didn’t see a moth eaten tiger – but did see a three foot high bronze pig. The pig was sitting on a chair reading a book. The content was to do with `Best Recipes for Pork’.

With this in mind what will happen if one day one of the Eleven Plus examiners decides to test children on their ability to recognise allusions? We know that an allusion is a figure of speech that compares aspects or counterparts in history, mythology, the scriptures or even contemporary culture.

If it did come about that some eleven plus questions were devoted to understanding allusions then we would need to educate our eleven plus children far more broadly.

To pass the Eleven Pus you will need to cross the Rubicon.

Well today, to cross the Rubicon, means to go beyond the point of no return. A long time ago in the days of Ancient Rome the Rubicon was a river. If an army crossed the river they were committing themselves to war.

He was really evasive about his Eleven Plus homework when he told yet another porker.

So if you tell a lie you tell a porker. Does that mean that Eleven Plus children can be reincarnated as little pigs if they fail to `come clean’ about their work?

What about the Eleven Plus child who day dreams so much that he or she could turn in a Lotus eater? So this goes back to Odysseus who came to the land of the Lotus Eaters. His men ate the lotus fruit and did not want to return home. So the men were pulled `kicking and screaming’ back to the boat. So we use the term lotus eater to describe a person who is oblivious to the world around him.

Don’t you agree that that having to explain allusions would shake the Eleven Plus world up?

(I still could not access the internet through the Travel Lodge connection.)

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