We sometimes hear of children who have been taught the `tricks of the trade’.
If there is too much emphasis on the technique of answering Eleven Plus questions, then some children could possibly struggle when they have to think for themselves.
When a family works together towards the Eleven Plus examinations, most parents will expect, and demand, an all round approach.
All concerned will aim for a widened horizon – in the hope that the human part of the preparation is more important than instruction and rote learning. . Eleven Plus examinations, at the moment, try to assess intellectual progress.
Surely parents will want their child to learn that it is essential to study before an examination. Grammar schools, however, will hope that the content of the Eleven Plus examination will, in the end, bring out children with true intellectual ability.
Some children will always work to incentives with external rewards like:
Good marks at school
Striving to climb ranking
Most Eleven Plus parents will hope that the discipline of that `little extra regular work’ will be of benefit in later life. Children will respond in different ways.
Some children, for example, love the discipline of homework and study. “Our daughter goes straight to her room after school and works on Eleven Plus papers.”
On the other hand:
“Our daughter refuses to do any work at home. She is always top of the class at school but she won’t do any papers or even any homework. The only thing she likes doing is her gymnastics and dance. She will work at these all day and night.”
For this `extra work refuser’ the incentive of trying to earn a grammar school place may not be as strong as the rewards she obtains by being a long term talented dancer and gymnast.
It is possible that both the girls mentioned above will pass the Eleven Plus. The first girl will not need any tricks. She will have approached the examination in the time honoured way of hard work, ambition and perseverance. The second girl may also reject any `tricks’ as she knows that to be an outstanding dancer and gymnast she needs more than natural ability. She will, by now, have learnt the hard way that there is: `No gain without pain.’