What is the most important characteristic of an eleven plus child? The will of the parents for an elusive: `Eleven Plus Pass’’? The desire of the child: `To Go to Grammar?’? The intervention of a: `Super Tutor’? The right: `Books and Paper’? All these probably play a part but there may one element which could transcend all of the above – how intelligent the child is.
We know that being bright gives children a big advantage over less able children. An intelligent child will be able to do better on a test of ability than a competitor who is stronger or can run faster.
The chances of passing, however, are probably increased if the eleven plus child is systematically developed through a program of appropriate instructional and incentives techniques.
Do you remember little Anna? She was kept in an upstairs room and only received enough care to keep her barely alive. Apparently she had no instruction or friendly attention. When she was found at six she could not walk, talk or do anything that showed intelligence. She was believed to be deaf and probably blind.
Four and a half years later she could follow directions, string, beads and could talk in stilted phrases. Her development remained that of a normal child of two to three years. She had, however, made considerable progress. It seemed that Anna was held back by a lack of early communication.
Eleven plus children probably need:
The opportunity to talk, argue and listen
The right books and materials
Supportive and focused parents
Advice from the school at the right time
And finally – a good dose of real intelligence.