One of the uses of eleven plus examination is to act as a tool to predict future academic success. Some educators believe that the higher the scores in eleven plus examination the more likely the child will achieve good `A’ level and university grades.
But why do we have to wait until the child is in the `eleven’ years? Why can’t we start at five years? I know that some five year olds will not be ready for a competitive examination – but so then are some eleven year olds. But if we think that an examination at eleven will produce the grammar school children of the future I am sure we can solve lots of heartache if we sort it all out at five years old.
We may need to conduct some form of an interview. Naturally the interviewers would need to be properly trained and equipped with a broad range of skills – but our eleven plus teachers also need good training and broad range of skills.
So look at the scenario. Mother, father and prospective eleven plus candidate arrive at the `Pre Grammar Selection Centre’.
Parents show birth certificate and produce some form of identification of their child. They are then taken though a series of key questions:
Age the child walked.
Method the child used to climb stairs.
Mastery of tricycle
Joins two words
Gives full name
Fetches an object from another room
Likes story read
Helps mother or father at home
Attitude to strangers
Play with other children
So what results do we expect to emerge? It is easy. We want a child of the right age with appropriate motor development, able to put some words together, with a range of interests, able to help parents at home, reasonably stable and hopefully healthy.
If your five year old fits these rather loose criteria then you know that your dreams of eleven plus success are reasonably achievable. You just can’t start too young!