October 1958

The 11-plus: An ordeal for Children?

NewsagentsBe prepared within the next two months for a revolutionary change in the running of Dundee's schools. The Socialist Town Council is already determined that the 11-plus system must go - that a substitute way be found for deciding which children shall attend our junior and senior secondary schools. So far one has not been found.

One-time method of assessing a 12-year-olds aptitude was the qualifying exam. Its critics condemned it as too final, too guillotine-like in it technique. It was suggested that the entire nature of a child's future schooling should not hinge on one major test. That for the nervous pupil or the off-colour pupil the "qualie" was unfair. So the one-exam system went and the 11-plus arrived. On headmasters and teachers it put some of the of the onus of calculating a child's ability during Its last two primary years. In the final year there were also two written examinations and four intelligence tests. This is the more gentle system of grading that operates at present in Dundee schools.

It is due to be scrapped, because some of the Town Councillors feel it is still too harsh on the sensitive child. They also claim that it reacts unfairly on the "late developer" - the rare boy or girl whose brain doesn't reach top gear until the age of 13 or 14.

Within the next month our Education Committee members will set themselves the most difficult task of all - to find a way of skimming the scholastic cream without someone saying its sour. Already they have rejected suggestions that recruitment for the academy five-year course should be based on intelligence alone. That more responsibility for sorting the sheep from the goat's should be placed on the primary teacher.

Most popular choice is the comprehensive school - the lumping together under one roof of junior and senior secondary departments. But this means a shortage of big enough roofs. So the startling innovation may be this:-

That all attempts at selection be abandoned; that the only qualifications for future five-year course students will be that the parents are willing and the child shows keeness. In favour of the free-for-all system it's argued that under the 11-plus not all academy places are filled by top-grade pupils. Every year the parents of about 100 successful candidates decide against the five-year course. Only after persuasion by headmasters and education officials are about half persuaded to change their minds. So the advocates of the free-for-all maintain that the 11-plus has created an artificial demand for academy places. That by removing the alleged stigma of failure from those who chose a three-year course, the demand for academy schooling would not exceed the number of places available. An the nerves of the 11 and 12 year olds would remain intact.

The J.M. Ballroom

Monday first
Autumn holiday
(usual arrangements at 12.30)

Come along and spend an enjoyable evening's dancing at Dundee's Premier Ballroom.
The J.M. Ballroom, North Tay Street, Dundee.

Dundee Repertory Theatre

Monday , October 6
For two weeks
Joan MacArthur
Juno and the Paycock
By Seam O'Casey
Directed by Raymond Westwell.
Famed drama of the Irish rebellion
Nightly at 7.30. Saturday 4.30 and 7.30.
Box office - phone Dundee 3530.

Sausage Pie

This is a very tasty dish for a hot supper if unexpected visitors drop in. It can be made in a hurry and takes only half an hour to cook, - Mrs W.Eaglesham, Stranraer, Wigtownshire.

You require 1lb sausages, 1 tablespoonful of breadcrumbs, three tomatoes (skinned and sliced), salt to taste, one egg beaten in a little milk and brown breadcrumbs.

Put layer of sausages in an ovenproof dish, spread over the breadcrumbs and cover with the slices of tomatoes. Repeat these layers until all used. Keep sausages for the top and lastly sprinkle over the brown breadcrumbs. Beat the egg and milk together and pour over. Cook in a moderate over for half an hour.

The United Job

You can forget all the speculation about who is to be the new Dundee United manager. No one has been approached. Directors have an open mind.

"It would not be right to invite a man after you advertised the job" secretary George Fox said. "Gibbie McKenzie is not an applicant. If he applies he will be treated the same as other applicants. His name has not been mentioned and he was not approached. All applicants will be treated on their merit"

The list closes today. There's a reasonable number of applicants. Some are very well known and some are from England. The directors may meet next week to review the situation, but there will be no rush to fill the post.

Story-time Again

Dundee youngsters' "Story Hours" starts again this week in the libraries. This is the sixth winter session and attendances keep on growing. Children from six to fifteen sit on the "magic carpet" and story-tellers Janet Easson and Kay Mather read excerpts from books. The story-tellers get quite a lot of fan mail. The children put in requests and often send them Christmas cards.

Libraries find that there is a big demand for the chosen books because the youngsters want to read the whole story. The number of issues in the juvenile branch increases after every story time.

Here are the story time dates. They all start at 6.15p.m.
Ward Road - Nov 5, Nov 26, Dec 17, Jan 21, Feb 11, Mar 4.
Arthurstone Terrace - Nov 5, Nov 26, Jan 21, Feb 11, Mar 4.
Blackness and Coldside - Oct 22, Nov 12, Dec3, Jan 7, Jan 28, Feb 18, Mar 11.
Lochee and St Roque's - Oct 29, Nov 19, Dec 10, Jan 14, Feb 4, Feb 25, Mar 18.

Vacancies for Weavers

W.G.Grants have vacancies for Weavers and experience Girls, starting now. Earning will be over £5 per week plus bonus. Working conditions are excellent. Applicants should contact the Personnel Office at the Panmure Works.
W,G,Grant & Co Ltd., Panmure Works, Carnoustie.

"Ice Cold in Alex"

All next week at the Green's Playhouse
Nethergate, Dundee

A thousand square miles of blazing, pitiless desert and a story so unusual, so gripping that it could only spring from life itself…..

"Ice Cold in Alex"
Showing at 12.15, 3.0, 5.45, 8.35.

An associated British production starring
John Mills, Sylvia Syms, Anthony Quayle, Harry Andrews.