From the beginning of time individuals with superior intellect must have been regarded as being special and different. The criteria for designating people of above average ability must have changed from time to time. Factors like birth, wealth, physical stamina may well have played a part over the centuries.
The Eleven Plus was not designed as a vehicle for identifying bright children – in its infancy there was the worthy aim of identifying bright children from poor backgrounds – and supplying an education that would otherwise have been denied to them.
Today children from all walks of life have means to enter the eleven plus round. Papers, tests, tutors and anxious parents are the norm in parts of the country. The internet has played large part in opening up different approaches to how children learn and prepare for the examination.
There is still, however, a place for the truly bright child to be challenged and involved in the examination. This would be the child with the ability to sail through the eleven plus with scores over 136. A number of these lucky children must relish the opportunity of showing just how good they are.
Some parents can only hope that their children will be able to rise to the challenge of the eleven plus. Yet these children may be gifted in other areas. Being of `superior intellect’ does not necessarily mean gifted academically - but it probably helps a lot!
Passing the eleven plus today is probably the preserve of good hardworking children from good honest homes. We wish them well in their examinations!