Disclaimer: the views expressed on this website are mine and do not necessarily represent the views of Hampton Court House or of any other member of staff.

Richard James (Webmaster)

This year, Years 4, 5 and 6 are studying Reasoning. Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning papers are used by many selective schools as part of their entry procedures at 11+ level.

For those of you not familiar with the subject, these papers equate to what you might know better as IQ tests.

Verbal Reasoning (this is something of a misnomer as VR papers can include questions based on numbers as well as words) covers a wide variety of skills:

Vocabulary and Spelling
Similarities and Opposites
Creating and finding words
Deductive Logic
Table look-up
and many other skills.

As Vocabulary and Spelling are essential to succeed in this subject we shall be working closely with the English department in developing these skills.

Non-Verbal Reasoning is based on pictures and designs rather than words. Among the skills tested in NVR are:

and again much else.

Beyond that, we use some of the reasoning lessons, especially in Y6, to develop other cognitive skills, for example:

Long Term and Short Term Memory
Visual and Verbal Memory
Concentration and Focus
Creativity and Imagination
Scientific Method
Critical Thinking
Research Skills
Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Intelligence
Appreciation of Music and Literature
Public Speaking and Debating

We also introduce children to a range of games and puzzles involving words and logic, for example:

SuDoku and similar puzzles
Logic Puzzles
Word Construction games
Word Finding games
Crossword Puzzles

We have already started working closely with the Mathematics Department on introducing SuDokus and other puzzles, and chess and other stragegy games into Mathematics lessons for all children from Y4 upwards.

We see Reasoning as a skill which, uniquely, straddes the Arts and Sciences divide. Verbal Reasoning, in particular, uses the cognitive skills required for mathematics and sciences to process the verbal information learned in English and other arts subjects.

Uniquely, again, it is the only subject on the curriculum which is concerned more with HOW you know than WHAT you know. And in a world where information on any subject is available on the click of a mouse, the skills children develop in Reasoning lessons are increasingly important.

You can print off sample verbal reasoning papers of the type we use at Hampton Court House, along with a lot more information HERE and the same thing for Non-Verbal Reasoning HERE. We recommend all parents to visit this site and download the information so that they can help their children at home.

I believe it can be beneficial for schools, parents and children themselves to be aware of how their brain works, their favoured learning style and their cognitive strengths and weaknesses.

Click here to find out more about how your brain works, here to access our resources and here to access external resources.