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Monday, September 26, 2011

Eleven Plus Confusion

There are some words that some parents do not need to hear: “We do not do it that way at school.”

Do you remember hearing about the `Naughty E’ and `Tired Letters’?


This is usually found at the end of word, following one consonant. The vowel sound changes in the word to the `name’ sound.

(Is your explanation different? Would the school have used different words?)


Tired letters are k as in knight, w as in write and b as in comb. There are others at odd times.

Suppose your child meets a perfectly ordinary eleven plus sum. “37 men, each do 7 hours and 35 minutes work a day. For what total working time, in a week of six days, does their employer have to pay wages?”

Your eleven plus child will immediately tell you that this could not happen in France – as the working week is much shorter. You will also be informed a seven hour day is not possible under EU laws. Your child may then go onto tell you that he or she has already worked hard at school and under present EU laws the extra eleven plus work is illegal.

You then proceed to work out the answer. You will arrive at 683.5 hours very comfortably. Your child will inform you that the school do not do it that way. “We do not do it that way at school.”

“Dear we have discussed this before. All I was trying to do was to show you an alternative way of arriving at the right answer.”

“Yes but I am confused.”

“Do you understand that all you have to do is to multiply the seven hours and thirty five minutes by thirty seven and then by six?”

“Of course, what do you take me for? But can’t I multiply the thirty seven by six and then multiply out the 7 days and 35 minutes?”

“Yes dear. You are correct. Well done for thinking for yourself.”

“I am still confused. I don’t understand your method of multiplying. We don’t do it that way at school.”

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