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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Eleven Plus Standards

This can be potentially a big question to try to answer. When parents ask the question – they want a truthful and topical answer: “Is my child working at the eleven plus standard?” This can be a remarkably difficult question to answer.

Is the word `standard’ referring to the candidate’s ability to read, write and cope with arithmetic problems?

Are we talking about the standards of care and provision offered by parents at home? Are there enough books and materials? Is the light good and does the child have a congenial place to work?

Are we talking about a standard of behaviour and attitude to work? Is the child maintaining a good `work ethic’ standard?

Is the eleven plus work the child doing at the right standard?

We must surmise that some eleven plus results will be affected by a decline in standards of behaviour.

Eleven plus results can be affected if one or more parents lose their jobs – and can no longer afford to give their child the best of everything.

Do parents really mean, when they ask the question about their child working at the right standard, “Am I getting value for money?”

We don’t often hear, however, of eleven plus standards rising. The content of the eleven plus seems to stay around the same level year after year – with no new challenges to children, parents and teachers. Does this mean that eleven plus standards are rising, falling or staying about the same level?

The eleven plus standard will vary from child to child. There are children who will need to answer almost every single question on the paper correctly before they win a place in grammar school. There are also some children who will just achieve the pass mark.

An easier question for a teacher is answer is, possibly, “Is my child working at my child’s eleven plus standard?”

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