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Friday, October 01, 2010

Variety in the Eleven Plus

It is very hard to generalise – but here goes – a reasonably significant number of parents will hope that their eleven plus children will go onto university.

When their child reaches university there will be a bewildering variety of courses to choose from.

The primary school is already a veritable cornucopia to some bright children – with the opportunity of a wide range of activities and a number of different subjects to study. There is often time for a variety of outside classes and activities. There is also the spectre of the eleven plus. Preparing for the examination takes time and effort.

The eleven plus examination itself can be regarded, in some areas, as a remarkably narrow examination. Coping with analogies, for example, in verbal and non verbal reasoning is a skill that can be learnt.

The GCSE years can be full and exciting – with many GCSE options to choose from. I have already mentioned the ex GCSE grammar school boy who has just joined us to work with our super bright eleven plus children and who has thirteen A* GCSE subjects!
There is some degree of specialisation in the A Level years – but still a range of subjects to choose from.

Why can’t a fresh look be made at the present system of the eleven plus? Some ten year old children may miss out on a prized university place simply because the examination is much too narrow in scope and design. Naturally it must be argued that once a child has jumped over the hurdle of the eleven plus then he or she can be called fit to be able to cope with the variety that will become available in later life. Yet the eleven plus examination may militate against some super bright children..

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