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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Eleven Plus and Chance

Clearly the role played by the home and parents during the course of the eleven plus is of vital importance.

It would be almost impossible to classify the different types of home environment – and the way different sets of parents behave towards their eleven plus children. The equation becomes much more complex if an attempt is made to try to factor in the differences in the way the father and the mother may behave towards their eleven plus candidate.

There must be all shades of variation from the strict father and the mild mother to the complete opposite. One of the parents may be intensely ambitious and the other far more relaxed about the consequences of the examination.

It is possible; however, that some of the parents of well adjusted children will be happy to observe signs of independence and maturity. It is also likely that these parents will enjoy a relationship with their children based on understanding and consideration.

Of course children will hope that their parents are able to communicate without being too strict or too relaxed. After all some eleven plus children are going through a period of pressure – and many of the children may be very aware of high expectations.

It would be impossible to estimate just how many children have the potential to pass the eleven plus. There will be children in other countries, for example, who will never go to school and will never enjoy the fruits of intensive examination preparation. The eleven plus child does not need to shoulder the burden less fortunate children. There may, however, be some room for compassion.

Passing the eleven plus is not just a matter of sitting down to paper after paper. The eleven plus requires considerable interdependence – parents, home, school, children, relatives, head teachers, teachers, class mates, siblings – the list must go on and on. The quality and quantity of the preparation must also, to a degree, be taken into account.

There will always be children who can pass the eleven plus without doing any extra work. There will always be parents who will do almost anything to give their child the best possible chance.

Passing the eleven plus is not altogether attributable to chance – it must, in part, be down to hard work, ability and a desire to succeed.

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