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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Eleven Plus Girls - 50 Years Ago

The Norwood Report of 1943 prepared the ground for later reports and investigations.

The authors of the report had a feeling that some girls may wish to change their attitude to work and life in general - if they attended grammar schools.

That girls would become aware of standards of excellence.

That girls would learn to ceaselessly quest after truth for its own sake

Inherent in the discussion on what girls would be able to make of grammar school was the concern that everything that was taught was becoming increasingly compartmentalised. Some girls, for example, were taught Latin. The Latin examination became Latin Grammar, Latin Translation and Latin Composition. Each of these subjects was taught as a separate subject in the time-table.

In 1946 girls were tested for grammar school through:

Written attainment tests in English and arithmetic

One of the standardised intelligence tests

An interview

An interpretation of parental wishes.

In the early days of the eleven plus girls were often offered another shot at selection as some were allowed to take the 13+. (This was offered on the grounds that some girls developed later than other girls!)

We must all be grateful that the content of the material and the direction of today’s eleven plus girls must be vastly different to that of fifty years ago. Some of us, however, would welcome the opportunity of girls to be able to take an examination at 13+ as a right not a favour.

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