Four eleven year old girls are standing outside the cinema talking about the approaching Eleven Plus. When this extract begins the girls have already been talking for a few minutes. The girls are all in the top sets in mathematics and English – and, hopefully, represent the very cream of pre eleven plus candidates. They seem to be discussing a boy who does not appear to be doing well academically.
1. Well, one day the teacher will notice.
2. Yes, that does seem likely.
3. She will have to help him one day with his work, because he keeps asking me.
4. And you don’t like ..
5. No, I don’t mind him but ..
6. But the teacher really likes him – you know she keeps smiling at …
7. Well, he really is good at mathematics but he does not like finishing his work.
8. I know what you mean. I had to sit near him last year and all he did was talk. He never did hand his work in.
10. But he is good at football.
11. I suppose do. When I ask him for help with my maths he just giggles. What a ….
12. No! Don’t say that. What should we do? He just talks, and yawns and plays. Miss keeps telling him not to ride on his chair.
13. What school does he want to go to?
14. His brother goes to ….
16. It is not fair. We have to work hard all the time and he just works when he feels like it.
17. I know he can do the work – I think he just like to annoy me. I wish I didn’t have to sit near him.
18. He keeps turning round to talk to his friends. It is so annoying.
19. He hates being shouted at by Miss.
20. Well he shouldn’t talk so much.
If even you really want to know how your child is doing at school, why not chat to some of the members of the class. Their insight may be illuminating. They could tell you that your child is bright, talks too much and is good at mathematics. (Which you knew any way.)
We could then pick up the conversation and see how the girls intend to solve the problem.
After all you may need all the help you can get.