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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eleven Plus Capacity

Some of us have a little difficulty at times when we make statements about the eleven plus.

“It does not matter if you don’t pass. We have an alternative plan."

(This is where children have to be really careful. Does this mean boarding school? Is the local school going to be as bad as everyone says? Will I really have to go to school in Australia?)

“Just do the best you can. That is all that anyone can ask for.”

(I know that my best is not going to be as good as the best that the swot Rosie will do. The best I have every done is 83%. What happens if my best is not good enough? If I don’t do my best will I still have to go to the local school?)

All elephants have trunks.

Ginger is an elephant.

Therefore Ginger has a trunk.

(My mother has always told me to re-read questions. Why do I have to re-read this question? I know that elephants have trunks. I know that this is true because elephants do have trunks. I only get confused when the words that are true are changed around.)

All Pal He Ten have knurts.

Ginger is an Pal He Ten.

Therefore Ginger has a knurt
Some eleven plus questions try to force children to draw conclusions and make analogies. If the analogy is based in physical terms then children can arrive at conclusions quickly and confidently. Some eleven plus questions, however, are forced in such esoteric terms that it is almost impossible to arrive at the answer in a logical and thoughtful manner.

When children are working on some types of eleven plus questions, it seems likely that they will never be able to arrive at the correct answer unless they are given any help. Yet there is no magic to the eleven plus. There are some approaches to certain types of questions that have to be leant by rote. The eleven plus child has to learn certain rules – and reject rules that do not fit.

An Pal He Ten is an anagram of an elephant.

A knurt is the work trunk written backwards.

Intelligence – and intellectual capacity – will guide a child when to solve an anagram or reverse the order of letter within a word.

Two days before Christmas:

“Yppah Mars Chits.”

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