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Looking forward to easy adult life

AFTER weeks of cramming, booster classes and mock tests, 11-year-olds cannot wait to put their feet up when they grow up.

Asked in their science test last week, "Which one life process can an adult do that a young child cannot?" pupils came up with the answer "go to the pub".

Other offerings from contributors to the TES website's primary chatroom included: go to the shops; drive a bus; smoke; vote; cook the dinner; eat and drink light refreshments; and reach up to high places.

The question, in Science B, was a test of children's knowledge of the human life cycle.

But as Roger Mitchell, chairman of the Association of Science Education's primary committee, said: "As teachers we know what we are trying to say, but you can never be sure children see it the same way.

"If you don't make it clear what you're asking, the answer can come as a surprise."

There were some children who grasped what these adults were alluding to. "A couple of children's eyes lit up and big smiles spread across their faces when they read this question," said one teacher.

"I think they knew the right answer - but I was too frightened to look at what they had written!"

Even the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority anticipated that some pupils may interpret the question more widely than "human life processes" would indicate. One mark is to be given for answers indicating reproduction: reproduce; have a baby; produce offspring; produce sperm. But, no credit is to be given for "drive a car".

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