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Friday, August 05, 2011

Eleven Plus Skills and Talents

What is more important Eleven Plus Skills or Eleven Plus Talents?

An eleven plus skill is one where the candidate (your child!) needs to be able to call upon operations involving hand and eye co-ordination. The eleven plus talent is to be able to make use of these skills. We had a charming little girl on our last course who found it very difficult to fill in the answer box carefully and neatly. Her whole body language called for the right answer to be associated with a bold and joyful swoop of the pencil. Sadly, however, she sometimes missed the point where it is likely that a scanner would have been able to capture her answer. Was I right to give up after the sixth attempt in two days – and when the chin began to wobble?

A different eleven plus skill could be one involving unusual movements, postures or rhythms. An example could be sunlight falling on a page. The body would need to be able to adapt to the movement of the sun. A talented eleven plus candidate may have sufficient self confidence to be able to call across the invigilator and ask for a curtain to be moved.

A different type of skill could be one involving abnormal use of the senses. A nearby candidate is sobbing. The child behind appears to have a persistent cough. A digger starts on a drain in the road outside. The focused eleven plus child would, hopefully, be able to cut out as many distractions as possible.

A talented eleven plus child will be able to process the questions on the paper, cope with anything unusual and unexpected, deal sensibly with the physical environment and, hopefully, remember the admonishments of the parents to read each question at least twice!

A final thought – does working on eleven plus paper after paper develop eleven plus skills or eleven plus talents?

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