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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Eleven Plus and Rote Learning

Many children who have passed the eleven plus, and many more who will be going to perfectly good senior schools, will have been to a school open day by now. As families gather after the visit parents will naturally ask: “What did you enjoy most about the school?”

Their children will probably say: “The science lab.”

Could this be because the science lab seems to offer up so many new and exciting opportunities? Of course the only brightest and the best are explaining how the experiments work – and there may even be a science teacher garbed in a white coat! How stimulating!

What lies ahead for our budding Nobel Prize winners? One topic the children will probably remember for the rest of their lives is Avogadro’s number or Avogadro’s constant.  Do you remember the mole? (A gentle reminder follows.) A mole has the same number of particles as there are in 12g of carbon. This, as you will recall, is 6.022 times 10 to the power of 23 particles.

Then your children will learn about The Periodic Table of Elements. The science teacher would have explained that the table was devised in 1889 by the Russian chemist Dimitri Mendeleyev who predicted elements that had yet to be discovered! What a clever man! The table arranges elements in ascending order of atomic number. By now it will all be flooding back.

1 Hydrogen H
2 Helium He
3 Lithium Li
The table goes right up to 118 which, as you will recall, is Ununoctium Uuo.

Instead of messing about with eleven plus work – why not start your child on learning the table of elements? Imagine how the rest of the class will regard your child if he or she stands up in class when the Periodic Table is introduced – and proceeds to recall the whole table along with the abbreviations? Your child would be regarded with affection and awe by all concerned. Imagine the magnificence of a senior 6th former coming up to your child to offer congratulations? Just think of your child standing up on prize giving day to receive the science prize – and then be offered the opportunity of reciting the table! You would live in the reflected glory of your child throughout the duration of your child’s life at school.

Don’t delay! Start rote learning today!