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Friday, May 31, 2013

Meryl Streep and the Eleven Plus

Could tapping into skills associated with Social Intelligence help with preparing your child for the eleven plus examinations? On the day of the examination you want your child to be gifted and unique. You want the finished article.

Instead of help your child concentrate on working through eleven plus papers what about trying to build confidence in the areas of empathy, resilience, curiosity and creativity? When you child sits down at the desk in the examination room you want your child to feel confident and positive.

“If you pass the eleven plus we will all go to Florida.”

“If you pass you can have a new bicycle.”

“If you pass we will go out for a nice meal.”

Some parents will resonate with the idea of encouraging their children to do well but other would prefer their child to acquire good study skills, sound pre-examination nutrition, learn when to take rests and how to enjoy recreation.

Suppose your child was able to enter the examination without feeling unduly anxious. Imagine a child who was able to say, “Don’t worry, I will just do my best. Thank you for all your support and hard-work. The examination, now, is up to me.”

The sceptics will argue, “How can we test the happiness of an eleven plus child?” A different question could ask, “Why shouldn’t we label a child as having grammar school potential?” The present state of the eleven plus can provide some of the answers – but cannot hope to satisfy everyone.

One remarkably powerful element of Social Intelligence must be empathy. A question for learned: Was Meryl Streep talking about the eleven plus when she said: “The greatest gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.”

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