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The eleven plus exam!

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Who remembers taking this exam? There seemed to be few pupils from my Catholic primary school who passed to go to Notre Dame High School which I attended. I found out years later that places had been taken up by girls who had been paid pupils at the schools own primary school which was actually closed around the time I started. Thereby making the whole selection process one of elitism!

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I remember passing it - don't actually remember taking the exam itself.  But I do remember my disgust when I found out friends were promised a bike if they passed. I wasn't promised anything or even had the words well done said to me. I was told 'Tha'll have to learn to talk proper now tha'rt mixing wi' them from t'posh end of town'. Needless to say I was too scared to open my mouth for a while. 

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28 minutes ago, Lyn 1 said:

I remember passing it - don't actually remember taking the exam itself.  But I do remember my disgust when I found out friends were promised a bike if they passed. I wasn't promised anything or even had the words well done said to me. I was told 'Tha'll have to learn to talk proper now tha'rt mixing wi' them from t'posh end of town'. Needless to say I was too scared to open my mouth for a while. 

I too remember passing it. The fat lot of good it did me !

My mother decided that it would make me into a snob and vetoed my "elevation". I was sent to the local Secondary Modern instead. She failed on the one count, I became a snob anyway.

At least it meant I went straight  into the top of the top form.

The headmaster shamed her into letting me take the 13 plus but that came to naught when she took me out of school after 4 terms anyway.

I left without any qualifications and had to work for years to get any,

Still it made me the person I am,   ( bitter and unpleasant ):rolleyes:

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I took my 11+ in 1963 at Gleadless County Primary School and promptly failed and went on to Hurlfield School for Boys. (Both schools have forums in the Sheffield Schools section.)

As I remember the papers were spread over x2 separate Tuesday mornings in February and March. On one day the morning was split between an English and an Aptitude paper.  On the other day the morning was split between a Maths and an Aptitude paper. 

The whole process was torture, it was a ridiculous experience to put 10/11yr olds through. 

How could five plus years of primary education be assessed in two mornings of high pressure formal testing?  What consideration was given for the amount of stress the learners were put under?  How could two mornings of exams evaluate what was the best secondary school path for the learners, bearing in mind that the two main paths were very different? 

It may be said that its sour grapes on my part, however I got much better O’level results than older brother who went to City Grammar School.  My partner failed her 11+ and now has a PhD from Nottingham University.

When I did some work at Sheffield Polytechnic in the early 80’s I tried to get hold of the 1963 11+ papers from the Education Offices on Leopold Street, but I had no luck.  I was told it would be impossible to know where they were stored as the archive of past documents was so vast.  I wonder what happened to all that paper work when they closed Leopold Street offices?  I’d love to see those exam papers and wonder whether I would pass today!

Wazzie Worrall.

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I remember taking the exam.

It's only what happened last week that gives me the problem.

Anyway, it was the City Grammar School for me which seemed to work well.

And I do remember that my last teacher in Junior School told my mother that was the correct school so maybe that person got me in and not just the 11+.

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On 06/09/2019 at 15:08, hilldweller said:

I too remember passing it. The fat lot of good it did me !

My mother decided that it would make me into a snob and vetoed my "elevation". I was sent to the local Secondary Modern instead. She failed on the one count, I became a snob anyway.

At least it meant I went straight  into the top of the top form.

The headmaster shamed her into letting me take the 13 plus but that came to naught when she took me out of school after 4 terms anyway.

I left without any qualifications and had to work for years to get any,

Still it made me the person I am,   ( bitter and unpleasant ):rolleyes:

I feel I should qualify the "bitter & unpleasant" quote by pointing out that I'm afraid my necessary medication has a lot to do with this.

Following a recent relapse in my health I've had to take much increased levels of steroids for a while and you wouldn't believe just how much they affect your temperament.

Still, I'm still here, I think, checks pulse.  :unsure:

hilldweller

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On 06/09/2019 at 14:40, Lyn 1 said:

I remember passing it - don't actually remember taking the exam itself.  But I do remember my disgust when I found out friends were promised a bike if they passed. I wasn't promised anything or even had the words well done said to me. I was told 'Tha'll have to learn to talk proper now tha'rt mixing wi' them from t'posh end of town'. Needless to say I was too scared to open my mouth for a while. 

I was promised a new bike with drop handlebars and gears if I passed. I failed because my maths were terrible and went to Wisewood School. I got an electrical apprentice ship in a steelworks and never looked back. Eventually ending up as Chief Service Engineer in an electronics company. My wife didn't pass because her papers were lost and they would not let her take the 11 plus a second time. She started work as a comptometer operator then studied accountancy and ended up as Managing Director of an electro plating company.

Failing the 11 plus doesn't seem to have done us any harm.

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I agree that doing well at the age of 11 is not that important - some are late developers. Some people are  very intelligent but fail exams. We are all capable of being good at something - it is whether we get the chance to prove it. Life, to me, is one long learning curve.................  

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Hi Lyn,

It wasn't me who went to City Grammar it was my late brother John Worrall. He left City Grammar in 1963 so I guess he would have started there in 1956.

Cheers,

Wazzie 

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Thanks - That was before me. 

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I remember the 11 plus well. There were only 9 people took it from Woodthorpe School in 1967 and only  myself passed. It was the last year and it certainly changed my life. I passed for King Edwards on Glossop Roadand it took 2 bus rides to get there. No 'mummy dropping me off in the 4x4' at 11 years old! We shared busses with girls from Notre Dame (my neighbour Marie Dawson went there) and Girls High School. The exam papers were Maths English and Aptitude to test general levels of intelligence. How different to SATS it was I don't know but it was a time of pressure and expectation.

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My mum saved these cards as I was the first in our family to pass the 11+. Still in pristine condition after all this time.....img121.thumb.jpg.703f93ab2082ac874bad234f3b747659.jpg

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16 hours ago, Jen13 said:

My mum saved these cards as I was the first in our family to pass the 11+. Still in pristine condition after all this time.....img121.thumb.jpg.703f93ab2082ac874bad234f3b747659.jpg

Hi Jen,

Brilliant, you took the 11+ the year before me. I didn't realise that learners were actually sent a letter to invite them to attend the exams. The other interesting thing is the signature of T.H.Tunn - Director of Education. So many items had Tunn's signature on, including those green school regulation boards. Do you also remember those blue Sheffield Education Dept excerise books? There were three main types, NF - narrow lined for Maths, which also had mathematical scales and measures on the back cover, S - wider lined for writing and P - plain for drawing? There may also have been a squared book also mainly for Maths and one which was mixed plain and lined pages. At both the schools I attended excerise books were closely guarded so it was a bonus if you could get your hands on one for your own use. At secondary school we also had large green excerise books which also showed the Sheffield logo. Unfortunately I didn't keep any of my old school excerise books so I have no examples to hand.

Cheers,

Wazzie Worrall

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I do remember the exercise books with all the information on the back..rods, poles, perches  etc. I just wondered when they would come in handy!

Before I took the 11+ we did "mock" exams and my mum took me to Andrews (my favourite shop at that time) to buy some revision books. 

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I'm glad that somebody else remembers those blue excerise books with their rods, poles and perches on the back. What crazy systems of measuring they were, mind you, the money also left a lot to be desired - twelve pennies in a shilling, twenty shillings in a pound! Night mare, 'If an egg costs 3D what would a dozen cost?' There was also the range of coins which included; Three Penny Bits, Six Pence (Tanners), Florins and Half Crowns.  Purses and trouser pockets bulged with the stuff, our geography teacher once told us that in times of high copper prices bent scrap metal dealers would melt down pennies because the scrap value of the bars was worth more that the monetary value.  I don't know what contemporary 'copper coins' are made of because they are magnetic, a magnet won't touch an old penny! 

I also remembered Andrews at the back of the City Hall. It was a wonderful shop, the range of materials for sale was mind blowing. I think I'll put a posting on Sheffield Shops to see who else remembers it!

Wazzie Worrall. 

 

 

 

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My brain still automatically processes decimal currency back into old (real) money and my mouth says 'How much!' I don't think our pockets bulged with coinage as we never had much. It was bottles back to the shop for spending money - mainly penny ones. But when watching quiz shows on TV my brain automatically knows the answer to old money, mental arithmetic, times table type questions and old measurements.  I still remember farthings being in use. 

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And I remember the use of farthings as well.  They were used by bread shops for pricing their products.

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My grandfather used to collect silver threepenny bits for me and I kept them in a little wooden money box shaped like a cottage that he made for me. It was kept in my grandparents front room. I suspect that I didn't have exclusive access to it, the amount never seemed to increase.

I also used to take an old sixpence each week to junior school and Mr. Courage, the headmaster used to enter the amount in my Yorkshire Penny Bank book.

I also remember being taken to the bank branch on Bradfield Road by my mother to withdraw it, for the day trip to Cleethorpes.

 I think I've mentioned them before but does anyone remember the one old penny Hovis loaves. I used to take my penny to the bakery which stood opposite Oakland Road WMC and exchange it for a tiny loaf. First I would devour the top crust, then pick the squishy bit out of the middle, then eat the outside. All before I gained the school gates.

The sweet shop opposite use to sell Cadbury chocolate bars priced at 1,  2 or 3 old pennies, I kid you not. The 1d bar was about 3" X  0.5" by less than 0.25 " thick. The  2d & 3d bars were correspondingly larger. You could also buy a segmented bar like the modern ones but much smaller for 6d.

Happy Days  :rolleyes:

hilldweller

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I remember that too - the very small Hovis loaves, silver threepenny bits and the choc bars. I had some money in the school bank but my mum said the book was lost - she must have drawn it out. 

The books (hardback classics)  I bought from Andrews shop near the CGS cost 2s 6d (or 12 and half pence). We would go to the nearby sandwich shop and buy a buttered cob and next door for a tuppenny apple. Healthy or what! At least our brains were fed. 

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I remember dreading the exam, and worrying about it. In the end it was abolished and I was in the first batch of kids to miss it. Last year the BBC put up some examples of the exam, I tried to do it, and was gobsmacked

at how hard it was for kids of that age.

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And that is why the kids who passed the exam are so, so smart.

And the kids of today aren't.  The schools today are so "dumbed" down that the asinine quotations are so, so appropriate.

I used to live close to a university and the teachers there spend most of the first year bringing students up to speed on Mathematics and English.

So who is at fault, parents or inane schools or what?

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