## Saturday, February 23, 2013

### Eleven Plus Choices

In Year 5 there are children who take eleven plus examinations. Some authorities used to allow all children the opportunity of sitting the examination. Today there are some authorities where parents and children are offered a choice – and have to register to enter.

At the beginning of year five some parents may remind their eleven plus children about Pythagoras for a number of reasons. One could be because five times any number ends in five! This could help with many different types of multiplication and division. It could also help a lot when tricky little exercises on down on lowest terms.

Of course five is the hypotenuse of the smallest Pythagorean triangle. 5 = 12 + 22. This may not come up on an eleven plus paper – but may entertain a bright Year 5 child.

Of course some parents may feel that their child needs to do at least five hours of eleven plus work a week. The eleven plus preparation may be timetabled or may take place in an ad hoc environment. The latter may offer more opportunities for negotiation and discussion – and this could be a vital part of eleven plus preparation.

There is a blog in the Rossendale family of schools – wherea teacher reflects on the value and nature of negotiation and choice. Some parents may take heart from the reasons why children are sometimes allowed to make their own choices.

And finally the number five is the amount of times a parent needs to remind a child to settle down to work. After the magic: `I’ve told you five times’, sanctions are perfectly permissible.