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Monday, June 27, 2011

Changes to the Eleven Plus

The may be an argument to look at the present structure of the eleven plus examination. There may be a need to look at revitalising interest in the fields of assessment and the so called `Eleven Plus Curriculum’.

Some changes to the eleven plus learning environment seem to have been almost accidental with the amazing development of the commercial elements of internet. Parents are able to access exercises, papers and assessments on line. There are now opportunities 24 hours a day for parents, and their children, to be educated, assessed and stimulated.

If we understand the media writers correctly there have been far reaching changes in some schools. An example being, the ability of the school to be able to communicate with parents through parent mail and the like.

Changing the eleven plus curriculum would be a complex activity. In today’s world there would be a need for consultation between parents, schools, eleven plus teachers and naturally the grammar schools. Key to the whole process would the co-operation of authorities who set the examination. Some evidence would need to be collected in an almost incidental and informal manner while there would also be a need for lively discussion among the academics. Neither method of promoting and promulgating changes to the eleven plus would be entirely satisfactory – so there would be a need for compromise.

The whole debate may draw a wider net of people into the eleven plus arena – thus developing a co-operative effort from all concerned. The odd Member of Parliament, the Grammar Schools Association, Newspaper editors and even us – the grammar school consumer.

We need to be able to look forward – not backward. Do you remember your teacher at school telling you that the Latin language was the language of Latium, of which Rome was the chief city? One day a historian may be able to put the eleven plus into perspective by telling us that the Eleven Plus was the entry to grammar schools but used archaic methods of assessment so needed to change.

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