In theory children writing eleven plus examinations this year will be sitting a form of the International Baccalaureate. The IB is supposed to challenge students. Six subjects are studied, three at a Higher level and three at a lower level.
One of the main aims of the IB is to give students the wherewithal to be able to compete for places at top universities and, in time, gain worth-while employment.
The IB is recognised internationally – so a good level pass at IB level is recognised as a prestigious grade.
It could make a major difference to children sitting the eleven plus if they were faced with six subjects – three at a higher level and three at the lower level. This could contribute to far more rounded children entering grammar school. Suppose eleven plus children had to take mathematics and English at a higher level. They could then do either verbal reasoning or non-verbal reasoning at the same level. Children could then be offered a small range of subjects at the lower level – with one being the discarded reasoning paper, another the basic elements of a language and the third lower level subject being science.
Grammar schools could be offered children who were a little more rounded. Eleven plus children would not be channelled into studying a restricted number of subjects in great depth. It may, possibly, turn out that the effects of coaching would be diminished.