The 11 plus results for 2018 entry into year 7 are coming out and the whole social media platforms and phones have been working without pause. Every mom and dad wants to know who has done better? Who is getting admission where? What's the cut off ? Will my child secure a position this year? Some parents are also feeling sad if their child has not made it to the desired school or managed to reach the cut-off of any school. Some parents are finding it as an experience to develop the exam skills and confidence.
Congratulation messages are circulating and now worries begin. It is just an exam messages are making their way into these groups.
What actually happens if your child makes it to a grammar
school or if he or she doesn't pass 11 plus exam?
I am of the opinion that 11 plus exam is just a journey or experience for a child and parents to feel and learn about a competition on an academic front. It is not a goal or an achievement. A child at the age of 10 and 11 doesn't understand why the parents are asking him or her to study so hard. The school teachers don't feel so pushy for their academic excellence. So a child gets confused about his/her own objective with the fun he/she wants to have, the huge homework for 11 plus, expectations of parents and no excitement from current school teachers.
When the results are out, people talk only about the student who made it to the desired schools. However looking at the numbers approximately for any school out of 2000 students who appear only 150 will have a chance to make it. So what happens to remaining 1850 students. Do they not make better headway in life? Or is the future dark for them?
The answer is no.
The grammar schools definitely provide a good platform for academic development. So do state schools. This year as per the report, 63 % students from state school were admitted to Cambridge and Oxford. Does that say that still Grammar schools are better in producing academically brilliant children?
The reality is very different.
Every child has special skills and talent and they should be nurtured and supported in the same to make their mark. If all these children with different talents have been tested on some specific subjects then it is bound to happen that some with good skills in related areas will excel and some with different skills wont.
When secondary school starts, a student starts experiencing individual responsibilities. He or she manages their own way to school and coming back. He or she will manage the homework on their own. Pack their bags on their own and manage the communication between school and parents on their own. They start understanding themselves better and become inclined to the area or career of their choice. Parent and teacher monitoring is needed to avoid digression towards wrong association or path.
This secondary school phase will bring out the best of the child on their academic skills and on their other curriculum abilities. In addition, the canvas is long enough. They have 5 years to prove themselves better. This phase will make the children stand on one equal platform whether they study in Grammar school or State school.
When you apply for a university in the future, no one will ask you how much did you score in your 11 plus or discriminate you because you are not from Grammar school. So don't worry. Just take the 11 plus exam as an experience for a competitive exam preparation. More than that treat it as an experience for your child to set a study (self also) pattern. This is biggest take away for their secondary school and future career.
So if you child has passed the 11 plus exam, make the best out of that Grammar School and don't let this achievement make him or her relax. Year 7 will be a big academic jump for all of them.
If you child has not passed 11 plus exam, don't worry. Keep his or her moral high. Consolidate the learning while preparing for 11 plus exam. Score wonderful marks in Key stage 2 SATs. Achieve the higher sets in secondary and start planning for systematic study for secondary and thus University…The Big Goal!
- Nishikant Kothikar