For some elements of eleven plus studies to be really meaningful, parents should be able to relate the eleven plus content to their child’s background. A family who has travelled to many countries, for example, would be able to discuss with some conviction a group of similar words like: `hobo traveller and trekker’. Some children, however, may possibly find it difficult to do any real thinking on the basis of abstractions alone.
Suppose you want to go with your eleven year old child to London Zoo. You live `out of town’ so the train is an option. There is, for example, a direct train from Gillingham in
A tube journey would be needed to reach London Zoo. Transport of
You could reasonably ask your child to look at the train timetable from Gillingham to
You would possibly expect your eleven year old to be able to look the zoo site up on the internet.
Now comes the task of assembling the different information. How long is it all going to take? The train takes about an hour and a half for the first section of the journey while the travel inside
Two hours travel? Is there an easier way? Should `someone’ drive? Will travelling by car into
As parents and teachers we often rely on our ability to use words to explain concrete experiences. Some eleven year old children would relish the idea of taking responsibility for planning the rail journey. Other children may feel over awed by the responsibility. The words `Train travel can be subject to disruptions’ may be significant to some children – yet other less `train aware’ children would have no idea of the implications.
An eleven plus question could be: What time would a family have to leave
How can parents make this meaningful? Take their child to the zoo by train? Use the online help available through three websites to make the experience more meaningful? Sometimes questions requiring abstractions may be made easier if meaningful visual analogies are used. Remind yourself – anything that aids learning should improve retention and problem solving skills.