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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Eleven Plus Answers

Questions to ask your eleven plus teacher:

“Are you working on a system whereby you select work that my child will need? Have you tried to cut out of the lessons topics my child already knows? Are you revising on a regular basis?”

Depending on the answers you may then care to ask:

“Have you developed an individual plan – and defined the tasks that my child has to do? Are you working on my child’s needs or are you following a set course of action?”

What ever the answers your eleven plus teacher will be trying to analyse the components your child needs to assimilate – and then isolate the essential components. Some teachers may choose to do this by working through eleven plus papers while other teachers will follow a course designed to build up to working through papers.

Eleven plus teachers will be trying to make the structure of the work clear to their pupils as well as the parents.

Parents simply do not want their eleven plus teachers, or tutors, to muddle through a course of lessons. Parents will hope that the eleven plus teachers will be working on the hypothesis that a lot of the course can be broken down into small components. The course then gets built up step by step until it becomes a recognisable whole.

Comenius, once thought to be the Father of European Education, said: “Nature proceeds step by step.” He also went on to maintain that: “Nature observes a suitable time.”

What would he have thought of the child approaching his eleven plus examination secure in the knowledge that he and his tutor had done everything possible in their preparations?

The child will have worked through pre eleven plus papers, eleven plus papers, topics arising from the papers and topics the tutor thought would be in the examination. The boy will have done on line questions, on line papers and done some on line work. He will have had bundles of CDs – and even some DVDs.

Throughout all this work he may have had one factor that could have held up his mathematics – he could have been unsure how to multiply by two numbers. This little weakness could cost marks.

Some parents will be grateful that so much help and information is available. Other parents will prefer to feel that they are following a planned course of action suited to their child. There will be some parents who will not want to leave everything to the tutor and the school – and will prefer to direct the course of the eleven plus themselves. For these parents some of the questions could become:

Am I proceeding step by step?

Am I allowing my child to learn in a structured and organised manner?

Is my child building confidence in tackling a wide range of work?

If you answer yes to all three questions – you are on the road to success.

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