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Monday, September 12, 2011

Eleven Plus Pressure

There are many types of training for arduous examinations. Soldiers, for example, go on training courses - with naturally variations to allow for the intellect of the individual.

One factor that appears to be constant in many types of military training is how the soldiers are kept apart from the rest of the world. Isolation is considered to be an important element of early stages in moulding the individual.

Secondly we know that trainee soldiers are sometimes given schedules where fatigue is an important element. The soldiers have to keep their kit clean – and there is no opportunity for any form or relaxation in the early days of the course.

Tension is also an integral part – can the trainee rise to the levels that are demanded? It is almost as if some instructors try to build uncertainly into the course. Will I pass? Will I be good enough?

Finally the instructors seem to try to keep humour out of speech and events. There would be few jokes as the trainees learn to listen and obey.

Where does this fit in with eleven plus children?

“Go to your room and study. I will see you in an hour and expect a paper to be completed.”

“I know that you are tired after school. Just work through this exercise – you said yesterday that you would do it. Pull your socks up and do your best.”

“Of course we want you to pass the examination. The eleven plus is important. You could be offered a place in a grammar school. You simply have to do well.”

“This is not a funny matter. There is no time for jokes. You need to settle down and do your work.”

Thankfully very few of us would consider such a brutal course of action with our eleven plus children. Very few parents would allow their child to become too tired and feel isolated. Humour and a complete lack of tension are essential.

Many eleven plus children will face their examination this week – or in the next few weeks – and many eleven plus children will be happy to enjoy the examination feeling sure that once the examination is under way the pressure if off.

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