One subject that seems to offer topics of conversation in the play ground is how a child’s eleven plus progress is reported. Possibly this is a subject that is doomed to perpetual controversy. Some parents may not like what they hear and some teachers may find it difficult to produce an understandable and apposite report. A report is what it says on the box – it is a report from the teacher to the parents. A school report comes from the school to the home. An eleven plus report may possibly come from an eleven plus teacher – who may not be the school teacher. A school teacher and an eleven plus teacher may be looking to report on different characteristics.
At some stages eleven plus parents will want the report to discuss scholastic accomplishments. Parents may want to hear about their child compared to other eleven plus children and sometimes compared to children in general. The eleven plus teacher may be able to comment on your child’s performance compared to other eleven plus children he or she is teaching or has taught. Some eleven plus teachers may even know about the composition and performances of the other children in your child’s class at school.
To receive an eleven plus report equably, parents have to be able to feel confidence in the ability of the eleven plus teacher to be able to comment on their eleven plus child’s potential and progress.
The parents of a bright eleven plus child may fear that their child is coasting.
Other parents may be concerned that their child may not have the ability to cope with the eleven plus and grammar school.
Some `typical’ eleven plus reports may comment on grades, attitude and progress. A parent may want the report to look their child’s achievement relative to ability.
Should parents, as a matter of course, be told about initiative and work habits?
Would standardised scores be useful on an eleven plus report?
Should an eleven plus report be based on a child’s progress relative to the National Curriculum?
When a parents asks for a verbal or a written report with the words:
“How is my child doing?”
Could some eleven plus teachers be tempted to say?
“As well as humanly possible.”