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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Eleven Plus Analogies

Have you ever wondered how eleven plus questions come to be written?

First of all there is a little story to tell.

When Kenya turned up to play Uganda in 1935 there was a small problem. Both teams had white rugby jerseys. An enterprising woman spectator, by chance, had a bottle of black dye. She used the physio’s water bucket and changed the colour of the home shirts. The Ugandan team have worn black shirts ever since. The woman’s name is probably lost to posterity – but her legacy lives on.

Much the same thing must have with eleven plus questions. One writer will develop an analogy `white is to black as hot is to …’ A different, and possibly more enterprising, eleven plus writer will try hard to develop the theme. It is also as likely that the writing of the eleven plus question will have been done by a woman. It is more likely that the teaching of the eleven plus question will have been done by a woman.

When the original eleven plus questions were written girls had the opportunity of going to grammar school. Over the years the curriculum in girls’ schools has changed. Many sixth forms combine with boys and girls being offered equal opportunities in the depth and breadth of examinations. It is likely that forty years ago more boys than girls would have gone to university – but this is changing today.

It is likely that in time more women than men will be employed – and it is possible that by the time this present crop of eleven plus girl grow up - that women will be the primary breadwinners.

Especially in today’s hard economic times women hold the key to the family’s fortune. Working mothers will have their own car - which they are paying for. Eleven plus lessons and material will be paid for by the mothers – not out of housekeeping as would have happened forty years ago – but out of money earned for themselves and the family.

It is possibly of even more importance that the present President of the United States was raised by a single woman. There is no doubt that mothers on their own are often passionate about trying to ensure that their child has the best possible opportunity at school. These are mothers who can not argue about who gets to clean the bath and empty the rubbish. They just have to get on with it. They hope that their eleven plus children assimilate the same values and determination.

Now for a few eleven plus analogies. Please supply your own solution.

White is to black as woman are to

Rugby is to sport as woman are to

Girls are to the Eleven Plus as woman are to

Eleven Plus questions are to the Eleven Plus as woman are to

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