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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Eleven Plus Values

Every parent hopes that their children will become heroes one day. For some children to be regarded as a hero it would take a act of heroic bravery. For other children a fight against a terrible disease changes an ordinary child into becoming a hero. For most of us our children are simply our heroes.

When I was at junior school we were `invited’ to learn the famous poem `Vitae Lampada’ by Sir Henry Newbolt. The invitation was simply that we were to know the poem by Friday. The poem is about the values we learn at school and how we carry what we learnt at school into later life.

Play up! Play up! And play the game!
There's a breathless hush in the close to-night
Ten to make and the match to win
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play, and the last man in.
And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat.
Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,
But his captain's hand on his shoulder smote
"Play up! Play up! And play the game!"

The sand of the desert is sodden red-
Red with the wreck of the square that broke
The gatling's jammed and the colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed its banks,
And England's far and Honor a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks-
"Play up! Play up! And play the game!"

So when you feel that all is against you in your quest for good marks in the eleven plus examinations – let the whisper of these words run through your mind. You are not being faced by a gatling gun. What ever you feel blood is not being shed – even though you might feel the need for it at times. You are still in England and there is no river of death.

You just hope that your son or daughter, one day, will rally the ranks with the words: `Play up! Play up! And play the game!” This is the fighting spirit that will take you and your eleven plus child through the examinations. A fierce determination to do as well as possible is necessary.

Be brave! Fight hard!

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