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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spiders and the Eleven Plus

Most of us, at one time or another, will have found a spider in the bath. On seeing a spider we have a variety of choices:

Whip the spider out of the bath and throw it out of the window

Call for `spider patrol’ and watch, in a squeamish manner, as some one much braver tackles the awesome task of coping with a live daddy long legs.

Fill the bath, cover the exit pipe, and hope that the spider floats out.

Throw a towel over the side of the bath and pray that the spider climbs proudly out.

One’s approach to the spider problem is much the same as tackling some eleven plus questions. Do we encourage children to try to solve as many problems as possible without calling for help? Do we explain every topic carefully and make sure that the child knows exactly what to do – or do we allow the child to make mistakes and work out their own solutions?

When that little creature climbs onto the towel – and carefully makes his or her way out of certain death – we must be thankful that survival requires a very small brain. Our eleven plus children are blessed with big brains and lots of ability. They deserve a helping hand but don’t need to be spoon fed. We do not want them to throw the towel in during the actual examination.

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