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Friday, March 04, 2011

The Eleven Plus and the Class Teacher

When parents want to help their children towards 11+ it is essential that they work together with the school’s teachers. Try not to counter anything, in front of your child, that you will hear from the teacher in case you confuse your child. You might even land up with your child feeling an element of divided loyalties.

We know that most children working towards the eleven plus need guidance and encouragement. When you say: “You have done really well today, I'm very pleased with you,” you are setting your child up towards feeling positive about the examination.

We all respond better to the carrot and stick.

Read carefully any literature that you can find about the 11+. Remember, however, that the opinions expressed are often those of individuals and are not necessarily appropriate for your particular geographical area or the actual 11+ examination that your child is about to take. Even the opinion of experts can be misleading for your individual needs - or even worse - subject to misinterpretation.

Attending a parents’ evening at school can be an invaluable way of gaining information. This is not the moment that you want to argue a point with the class teacher but it is a time to listen to what the teacher says. The teacher may be very busy on a parents’ evening but you can take the opportunity to make an appointment.
If you do have a problem with your child's teacher then try to tackle it directly with the teacher. Naturally it is most important that you gain as many ideas and viewpoints from your family and friends, but the teacher in the classroom is in a position of responsibility and should be offered the respect that the position demands.

The content of an 11+ syllabus is very hard to pin down and if you find it difficult to establish exactly what is involved then you are probably not alone. The 11+ authorities are under no obligation to give you information about the content of the examination. Naturally, however, there will be some information in the various documents that the authorities see fit to publish. Forums are often an invaluable source of additional information.

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