Should the 11 plus be broadened? Watch

Arran90
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
A perpetual argument in education is that between comprehensive schools or the 11 plus and grammar schools. What this argument totally overlooks is the nature of the 11 plus exam itself.

The 11 plus is a narrowly focused exam restricted to English language and mathematics. It is a surprisingly easy exam for children of average intelligence to swot up on. I know of tutors who can testify this. There is also some evidence that it is an exam that works in favour of children with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism. It is an exam that excludes physical, creative, and people oriented subjects.

It is a mistake to assume that children who fail the 11 plus and end up at secondary schools are less intelligent or able than the children who pass the 11 plus and go to grammar schools. Any secondary school in counties that use the 11 plus will have many talented linguists, artists, historians, musicians, and sportsmen although children with high abilities in mathematics and science are rarer. Conversely, any grammar school in counties that use the 11 plus will have plenty of students who are poor at foreign languages, hopeless at sports, and cannot play a musical instrument.

Would it therefore be a more intelligent, or even fairer, to broaden the 11 plus by examining:

English language
Mathematics
Science
A foreign language
Music
Physical education
Possibly one of history, geography, or religious studies

The end result will be that the 11 plus will reward children who are good all rounders and work against swots or purely academic types who are monoglots, unmusical, or physically unco-ordinated. It will make it much harder to get into grammar schools than it is under the current 11 plus. If the broadened 11 plus is rolled out nationally then it's possible that something like 90% of all primary school children will fail in one way or another meaning that very few new grammar schools will need to be built for the 10% who manage to pass.

Do you think that there is more public support for a broadened 11 plus than there is for the traditional 11 plus based on English language and mathematics? Should grammar schools be for good all rounders rather than so called 'clever' kids?
0
reply
xylas
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
(Original post by Arran90)
A perpetual argument in education is that between comprehensive schools or the 11 plus and grammar schools. What this argument totally overlooks is the nature of the 11 plus exam itself.

The 11 plus is a narrowly focused exam restricted to English language and mathematics. It is a surprisingly easy exam for children of average intelligence to swot up on. I know of tutors who can testify this. There is also some evidence that it is an exam that works in favour of children with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism. It is an exam that excludes physical, creative, and people oriented subjects.

It is a mistake to assume that children who fail the 11 plus and end up at secondary schools are less intelligent or able than the children who pass the 11 plus and go to grammar schools. Any secondary school in counties that use the 11 plus will have many talented linguists, artists, historians, musicians, and sportsmen although children with high abilities in mathematics and science are rarer. Conversely, any grammar school in counties that use the 11 plus will have plenty of students who are poor at foreign languages, hopeless at sports, and cannot play a musical instrument.

Would it therefore be a more intelligent, or even fairer, to broaden the 11 plus by examining:

English language
Mathematics
Science
A foreign language
Music
Physical education
Possibly one of history, geography, or religious studies

The end result will be that the 11 plus will reward children who are good all rounders and work against swots or purely academic types who are monoglots, unmusical, or physically unco-ordinated. It will make it much harder to get into grammar schools than it is under the current 11 plus. If the broadened 11 plus is rolled out nationally then it's possible that something like 90% of all primary school children will fail in one way or another meaning that very few new grammar schools will need to be built for the 10% who manage to pass.

Do you think that there is more public support for a broadened 11 plus than there is for the traditional 11 plus based on English language and mathematics? Should grammar schools be for good all rounders rather than so called 'clever' kids?
Hi, I think it's a very interesting post but I disagree for a variety of reasons:

1) If it's so easy to swot up on, why do you think it excludes people who are good at non maths based subjects?

2) Grammar schools offer many sports and compete at very high levels and against good-performing comprehensives.You are misinformed if you think there aren't plenty of non-sporty people at comprehensives.

3) There are many many children at grammar schools who play musical instruments to a very high level. Again, you seem misinformed in this aspect.

4) There is no evidence that grammar schools have more children with autism or aspergers than comprehensives. This is a complete red herring and wouldnt make any difference to your argument even it had any truth to it.

5) At age 10/11 not many people will have studied a foreign language, history, religious studies etc.This does not make the exam more broad, it makes it more irrelevant.

6) A lot of students at grammar schools are all rounders, academically and extra-curricularly. They are in no way more likely to be 'unmusical, monoglots or physically uncoordinated'
0
reply
Arran90
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#3
(Original post by xylas)
2) Grammar schools offer many sports and compete at very high levels and against good-performing comprehensives.You are misinformed if you think there aren't plenty of non-sporty people at comprehensives.

3) There are many many children at grammar schools who play musical instruments to a very high level. Again, you seem misinformed in this aspect.

6) A lot of students at grammar schools are all rounders, academically and extra-curricularly. They are in no way more likely to be 'unmusical, monoglots or physically uncoordinated'
There are plenty of students at grammar schools who are talented sportsmen and musicians, as well as good all rounders, but there is also a sizeable fraction who are not but managed to get in simply on the virtue of passing the 11 plus exam.

4) There is no evidence that grammar schools have more children with autism or aspergers than comprehensives. This is a complete red herring and wouldnt make any difference to your argument even it had any truth to it.
I don't have any figures for the percentage of students with Asperger syndrome in grammar schools vs secondary schools.

The statement "There is also some evidence that it is an exam that works in favour of children with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism" comes from the study of exam papers by members of a local Asperger syndrome support group. The group holds a repository of past exam papers (SATS, 11 plus, GCSE, and a few A Level subjects) along with records of findings about common problematic areas in different subjects amongst students with Asperger syndrome. The intention is to be able to help and support students with difficulties that schools are not always able to provide help and support with.

5) At age 10/11 not many people will have studied a foreign language, history, religious studies etc.This does not make the exam more broad, it makes it more irrelevant.
Nonsense. Primary schools have been teaching history and religious studies since the National Curriculum was introduced in the late 1980s. Foreign languages have recently been introduced as part of Michael Gove's educational reforms.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Is the plastic tax enough to protect the environment?

Yes (13)
5.6%
No (219)
94.4%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed