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Monday, May 05, 2008

Eleven Plus Skills

You answered those questions very skilfully.”

These words suggest that a good level of performance has been reached

“That is an important skill that you have acquired.”

. The word skill in this context suggests a high level of competence.

To learn to pass a driving test we need to develop a series of skills that build up towards competence as a driver. At the end of test the driving examiner could say: “You drove skilfully. Sign here for your licence.”

In order to pass the Eleven Plus your child will need to learn a set of new skills. Some of the skills will be acquired through step by step effort. This could be, for example, learning to work through code questions in verbal reasoning. To answer code questions skilfully in the actual examination your child will need to feel confident about a range of code questions.

You know when your child has reached this level – because that is when everything looks easy. A faint smile will appear on your child’s face. The working out of the codes will be done smoothly and confidently.

Parents often worry about the passing of time in an Eleven Plus examination. When your child is working skilfully then he or she may give the impression of being unhurried and totally in command.

It takes a lot of skill on the part of parent to speak pleasantly to their child when there is concern about the amount of work that needs to be done before an examination. It is so easy to deliver a lecture on the need to do well and go to a good school. It is also easy to feel frustrated when you think that you have a valid point of view – and your child persists in arguing.

If there is a vigorous and heated exchange of ideas between you and your child the words you would really like to hear are: “You handled that skilfully. Well done.” (Even mums and dads need some praise every now and then.)

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