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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Romance of the Eleven Plus

It is a story of kindness to an escaped convict and walking off hand in hand after having won the lady. What a romantic story.

There was young Pip, looking at his parents’ graves, when he met a fearsome man who demanded food and a file. Pip stole the food and the file and helped the convict.

Pip was later apprenticed to Joe - a hard working blacksmith. One day Jaggers, a lawyer from London, told Pip that a mysterious benefactor had provided enough money for Pip to be properly educated.

What a story and what an ending!

We know that every parent in Kent - and some from even further away, will be bringing their children to the marshes near Gravesend over the next few weekends. All will be searching for the hand of fortune. Some children will find the pot of gold by hard work and diligence. Other children will naturally rely on stealing a few hours of work in the hope that the examination will only ask questions that they know how to answer.

What ever route your children will follow in their lives, as parents you will hope for that little bit of luck and good fortune. Remind your children not to be too egocentric while the examinations approach. Remind them too to look kindly on the weak and the homeless - and help the disadvantaged when they can.

You could, as sensible parents, warn them to make an exception for any escaped convicts called Magwitch. You all know that Magwitch, in later years, was found guilty of killing his partner and so Pip lost his fortune. (But Pip did get the girl!)

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