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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Eleven Plus Common Sense

A leaflet about the Chelsea Flower Show has appeared or emerged on the kitchen table. This year the show is between the 20 – 24th of May.

Few of us will actually manage to obtain a ticket but full reporting will, no doubt, be on television. We will share the show with earnest and worthy television announcers presenting us with a mixture of gossip, reporting and information. Well known growers from all around the world will be tempting us with an explosion of colours and fragrances.

We won’t, however, be bludgeoned with all that many Latin names. Plants are named first for their genus. This is essentially the surname of the plant. The species give a further subdivision. Of course there are sub species of species. So the radish, much loved by the Egyptians and Ancient Greeks is called: Raphanus sativus.

The radish is first of all a plant. It is then a vascular plant – which means that it has tissues which carry food around the plant. The radish then comes from a family of seed plants. Further down it is a flowering plant. The radish is one of the mustard family – and then – and only then - can it be named as a genus: Raphanus. Later on the word sativus is added – and this means cultivated.

If only we could teach some of our Eleven Plus children to tackle a question in a step by step manner.

Take the question:

Anna, who wanted to go to grammar school, will be eleven on Friday the 27th of June 2008. She would like to have a few friends to her party. Why was the party not set on a Friday?

To select the correct answer from a range of multiple choices our Eleven Plus child will need to read the question – at least twice. He or she should then eliminate the answers that are obviously wrong. The detective work will then need to start.

First of all the question is from the family of Verbal Reasoning. The question, however, does not easily make sense.

The Latin Name? Verbalosa Nonsensensica.

If you can’t find a radish at the Chelsea Flower Show you may possibly be able to meet an Eleven Plus expert who will be able to explain to you that there are some questions that simply need a smattering of common sense.

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