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The Eleven Plus Exam!

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It depends on y our definition of "ruin your life". Lots of things can change someones course through life. Adapting to those challenges or altering course doesn't mean your life is ruined. A positive outlook and making a positive outcome of what life has dealt you with should make anyone happy. Its good to dream and have ambition but not achieving a dream doesn't mean you can't be happy ie your life isn't ruined. 

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What about all those eleven years olds who passed the exam and found that it opened doors for them?I am especially thinking of children from less affluent backgrounds when I say that.

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Was born in a council house in the 1960s, my mum scrimped every penny she could to get me tutored  for the 11  plus. Got me in to the best school in the area and I mixed with lots of entitled kids. First of my family to Uni, done three Masters degrees now - changed my life. 

 

Sheffield doesn't offer that for my kids as your education is decided by your postcode, though I am hoping some 6th form college choice will come a close second

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56 minutes ago, Skink said:

Was born in a council house in the 1960s, my mum scrimped every penny she could to get me tutored  for the 11  plus. Got me in to the best school in the area and I mixed with lots of entitled kids. First of my family to Uni, done three Masters degrees now - changed my life. 

 

Sheffield doesn't offer that for my kids as your education is decided by your postcode, though I am hoping some 6th form college choice will come a close second

Don't be so blinkered.  There are various routes to get to where you want to be. I'm only six years younger than you and didn't do my degree until I was a mature student.  Our local school was a high school until the year I joined when it went to comprehensive. I have no idea the difference but I know it was either having a sixth form or extending the sixth form for A levels the year I joined.

 

Not many kids at our comprehensive went on to Uni and it wasn't my preferred option. I knew prospective employers took degree students but also school leavers and paid for day release. I did OND/ONC full and part time then HNC part time. After I left for a slight career change I turned my HNC into an honours degree while working temp jobs in a similar field to what I was used to and what I wanted to move in to.  Its not an easy route to study while working but was always my preferred option. 

 

My comprehensive school let me down with Maths, my teacher told my parents so I had a private tutor for an hour one evening a week. It made a massive difference to me. I also took myself off to night school while still in the last year of comp school.  

 

I wanted to med lab science and work in a hospital but ended up being a microbiologist and chemist outside of the medical profession. I have been running my own company for over a decade now. My career changed directions slightly. If one door closes you have to open another. I'm very happy with how my life turned out. Anyone with a bit of gumption wouldn't let circumstances so early on in life stop them.  You have to pick yourself up and form another plan. A positive 'can do' attitude will get you far in life.

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The 11+ failed Sheffield children. Nothing to do with ideology, just statistics.

 

The 11+ was not a test that gave all children which attained the grade a Grammar school place.

 

After "scholarship", "guaranteed  military and overseas ", "industry", "guilds" etc.( collectively the "who you know and not what  you know") places in the GS there were only a certain number of places left. These were given to the highest scorers in the 11+ by an arbitrary catchment.

Compared to cities like London, Manchester and Liverpool, Sheffield had many fewer Grammar schools and places per head of the population.

Cities with higher percentages of active Non-conformist and Catholic populations forced the C of E to provide more Grammar Schools

Congratulation to the Sheffield ex Grammar school pupils, you needed much higher test scores to get in than their peers elsewhere.

 

An apology to the thousands and thousands of Sheffield children who were told they had failed their 11+ when in fact if they lived in anywhere in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, 

and most of England they would have gotten a Grammar School place.

 

And what about the disadvantaged 10 year olds who did the test? This group had up to a year less full time education and would have had a third less time to prepare for the 11+.

 

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There is a former thread(2017) about who actually set the 11 plus exam in the 50s and 60s, for anyone interested in this topic.

 

https://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/topic/442064-which-exam-board-was-responsible-for-the-11exam-in-sheffield-in-1960/page/3/#comments

 

Edited by Ontarian1981

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Also, the disadvantaged 13+ exam sitters who passed to Grammar School and had 2 years of catching up to do to be on a level with the 11+ exam sitters.

I was one of those and, in a way I wished I hadn't been, 2 years behind in all subjects especially languages having come from a Secondary School which never taught languages other than English.

 

Regards,

Duffems

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My parents generation did the 11+. Some of them failed it , some  were unable to continue with further study due to insufficient family funds to support them. My mum and aunty went back to collage when they were in their late thirties to study hair and beauty and went on to run their own businesses. Other family members have gone on to be successfully self employed without high academic achievement.  I think school leaving age was fifteen back then. (late 1950s). 

Edited by Chez2
wrong age

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I failed, it didn't ruin my life.  I certainly felt like I was swimming against the current until I went to University. The headteacher of the secondary school I went to  said we were there because we'd failed and weren't GCE material. The school  prepared us for a life of dead end manual labour with no direction or support for those who realised there were other possibilities. 

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I managed to fail it twice!

 

Single mom, free boots and school lunch, but I was the top boy in class! So ma went down to see what happened. She was told that it it would be difficult for her to support me  in grammar school and it would be better for all, if I took a job at 15 and  helped support her and my kid brother. That was it! (did become Head Boy of the school though, Heeley bank)

 

Fast forward 50 years or so, and after retiring from a career in Project Management in Canada, I'm teaching on contract in a U.K. grammar school.  I.T., and covering all the other subjects in the PM.  I'm also the Science Link Governor for another grammar school, one of the best 20 (OFSTED) in the U.K., and on the Finance and Staffing Committees. interviewing a very distinguished academic Professor up from London applying to be Head of the Science Department. Asking him about his educational philosophy, ethos and goals!

 

Did Educational Research on the effectiveness of Teaching Assistants, which required me to sit at the back, observe and rate teacher performance.  Also  ESL teaching in Europe, too.

 

It's a long journey, but I never thought I'd be teaching, or walking up and down school corridors, like Mr Goulding, telling the kids to ''quiet down", or "pick that up"!  Lol.

 

They never did know that I failed the 11 plus, twice!

 

Then back to Canada!


 

Edited by trastrick

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