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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Newton, Archimedes and the Eleven Plus

History has shown up many able men and women over the years. I like the stories of three men in particular. We will all have heroes at some time or another in our lives – but the choice of the best three must change from time to time. Today I put three names forward:

Newton – he had his apple.

Archimedes –when he leapt out of tub.

Eratosthenes – and the circumference of the earth.

At one time or another they each demonstrated insight and understanding.

Insight and understanding are naturally vitally important in any eleven plus examination. These three men must also have shown elements of originality. Perhaps the eleven plus examination would be more exciting to some children if they were challenged to think originally.

One test that is used to look at originality is that of `Unusual Uses’. An example could be: “What uses can you put a verbal reasoning paper to?”

A second form of originality could be providing a list of words to the eleven plus candidate and asking him or her to build a story out of the words.

There may be some children who will benefit from a section of the examination where marks can be gained for being able to demonstrate that he or she can think originally.

There must be some Grammar schools who would be proud to know that a past pupil of theirs had gone on to be as well known in the world as Newton or Archimedes.

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