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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Eleven Plus Speed

It could be interesting, to some, to look briefly at a chameleon. The most curious attribute of this wonderful creature is the ability of the chameleon to change colours. By changing its colour a chameleon is able to blend in with its immediate surroundings so that it becomes practically invisible.

The body of a chameleon is compressed laterally and its tail is prehensile. The feet are adapted for climbing and the chameleon spends most of its time in trees and bushes.

My sister kept different chameleons in her bedroom for years. She used to trap flies and grasshoppers. The eyes of the chameleon work independently making it easy to watch unsuspecting insects. When a fly or an ant comes close the chameleon sticks out its tongue which has a sticky tip. The prey is swallowed.

As children we used to introduce different colours. A favourite game was to encourage the chameleon to walk over an old jumper – with stripes of muted green and blue. We revelled in trying to develop different bands of colour on the chameleon.

At times some eleven plus children may appear to adopt some of the characteristics of a chameleon. Changing skin colours is obviously out. Eating flies and ants may also be unpopular – few eleven plus children would relish so restricted a diet.

The one feature where a link between a chameleon and some eleven plus child could be established is in the stillness and stealth of movement. Think of an eleven plus child watching a favourite T.V. show. Time the speed of movement towards a challenging eleven plus paper. The desire for work could range from slow to even slower.

A chameleon can not often be hurried. When threatened, however, it can move remarkably quickly. I would be grateful for observations!

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