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Friday, February 08, 2008

An Eleven Plus Simulator

I drive past the nose cone of an aeroplane on most days. The cone takes over the majority of the front garden. I often wonder if he has a full blown simulator in his cone. Does he fly missions all over Europe? Does he have a favourite route that takes him to Perth and then on to Las Vegas?

We know that Lewis Hamilton has access to a sixty million pound simulator that allows him to prepare for different race circuits. This must be a `state of the art simulator’ – because of the price and the use to which it is put.

There are other kinds of simulations –like role playing and business games. “Pretend that you are the head of your school. Would you allow examinations?”

So a simulator is more than the equipment itself – it is the operation or tasks that have to be accomplished.

So what kind of simulator do we need for our eleven plus children?

It has to move. (Preferably upwards, sideways, forwards and backwards and round and round.)

It has to have light. (Some children would refer bright, flashing and invasive lighting.)

It has to keep a constant temperature. (Shut that door.)

It must give detailed and comprehensive answers. (Just like any parent.)

It can not criticise or cause offence.

It must be able to simulate the Eleven Plus examination.

Why can’t we all get together to develop a valuable Eleven Plus simulator? It would need to develop into a warm, friendly, knowledgeable, goal orientated and strong machine. I can’t help thinking that even the most sophisticated piece of educational equipment is not as valuable as a hug and a kiss from mum.

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