Although the exam at 11 does not involve a quiz-style test, it does assume a certain level of general knowledge. A pupil will not be tested on the name of the President of the United States or the capital city of Italy, but it is always useful to have these facts at your fingertips.
For example, if a Comprehension passage describes a ‘Guy’ being thrown onto a burning bonfire, it is possible that a follow-up question will assume that the pupil can identify a Guy Fawkes Night celebration.
Work your way through the quiz questions. There are 20 on each sheet. There is no need to write the answers down but read out the questions and make it fun. If you want, make it competitive – pit two children against each other. There is no pass mark, but generally speaking you are looking for above 15.
Here is the important part. If these questions generate discussion – go with it. Make a mental note of anything the pupil seems interested in. If there are any answers they don’t know look them up together.
In the internet generation schools are now emphasising the ability to find information rather than merely knowing information. It is important that the pupil knows where to look.
If there are any real gaps in the child’s knowledge do something about it. Watch the news together, ask them questions at the dinner table – what do you think? Where would you like to go on holiday? Why? Let conversations develop. Good luck!
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