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Friday, August 29, 2008

An Eleven Plus Genius

When your bright and able Eleven Year old begins a prolonged, and largely unwelcome, `discussion’ with you, then you may feel that you wish your child could be like other children: namely calm and loving.

Yet you need to take heart – all of the following worked against the tide of opinion:

Einstein in mathematics

Hemmingway in literature

Picasso in art

Brunel for engineering

Madam Curie in Science

Louis Pasteur in medicine

Dr Seuss in story telling

These are all men and women who were not prepared to wait for a `group’ decision.

In Eleven Plus terms the `group’ demands that the children have to reach certain standards in areas like mathematics and verbal reasoning. It is impossible for your child to be able to refuse your imperious pursuit of the execution of yet another paper.

If the Eleven Plus examination tried to find children who did not fit a `mold’ and if the examination did demand original thinking then the practice papers, along with the actual papers, would need to change.

Find a gifted and erudite teacher who could become an Eleven Plus examiner. Expect to see papers that stimulated and stretched children. Look for an examination where opinions of art were considered important. Encourage the children to think about alternative methods of transport. It would be wonderful if the examination did require a child to be able to create an impossible story.

Surely our esteemed grammar school deserve children who can think and discuss rather than children who know the trick of how to answer a rather pointless question like:

Abigail has one brother, Robert, and three sisters, Mary, Anita and Helen.

How many children in the family?

So the next time your child argues with you, than please consider – you may be stifling a prospective genius!

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