The eleven plus is quite a complicated examination. There are the desires of parents, the ambitions of the school and the goals of children. Some parents may even feel a need to shrink at the very thought of trying to help their child embark on such a winding path.
The first thing that parents need is information. They need to know about books, materials, teachers, tutors and the thoughts and feeling of other parents. The raw as well as the potential ability of their child is also a major factor. Parents also need to know about the pass rates in their present school, the entry requirements of the examination and the attitude of the school’s head and staff at school.
The eleven plus has a form of jargon of its own. Parents are not only involved with reasoning , for example, but also with the different types of verbal and non-verbal reasoning. As the eleven plus journey develops some parents may find that some of their friends become a little less communicative about some aspects of the eleven plus. The examination is a competition. Only the best and the brave will pass.
A man called Roger Ascham (1515-68) believed that children should be drawn to learning by gentle methods and not compelled to it by bullying.
Today, some parents may hope that their children are drawn to the eleven plus by a genuine desire for learning – and are not driven to it by didactic bullying.