Archie has attended the same school for all his school life. Most of the children in his class have been his friends since they were three and four years old. In the early days around twenty children used to go to his birthday parties. Now he prefers to spend the time with one or two of his close friends.
His parents try to take him away on holiday at least twice a year. He has been on holiday in Europe, Asia and America. The family will be going to spend a month in Australia next year – but after the eleven plus examinations.
Like any normal boy he likes Star Trek and films about adventure. He reads a little but prefers to play on his lap top.
He is athletic and plays for a local football team every Sunday morning. He has had trials at one of the major clubs – but is waiting to hear the result. He swims very well and plays U13 cricket for a local team. He is a bowler – but thinks that he would prefer to be a batsman.
Archie really likes school. He has always found mathematics easy and sits on the top table. He writes good stories and quite enjoys planning them.
He was interviewed recently by Julie Stone.
What did you feel when your parents told you that they were thinking of the eleven plus examinations?
I have always known that one day I would be writing eleven plus examinations. My grandparents live just over the road from the local grammar school for boys. My granddad used to take me for walks on the school playing fields and tell me that one day I would be able to go to that school. I don’t want to let him down.
You play a lot of sport. How will you be able to find time to fit all the work in?
It is quite easy really. I try to concentrate on one activity at a time. My mind does wander sometimes when my swimming coach makes me swim backwards and forwards. He makes me look at the clock so that my lengths do not get too slow. This keeps me focused.
I don’t have much time to read books – even though my mother keeps nagging me. I can read OK – but I only really reading books about sport. I have started to collect autobiographies – especially one about cricket.
Do your parents nag you much about work?
Sometimes. I don’t really want to have to work every day. When I have been playing cricket all afternoon and evening I am sometimes quite tired – especially if I have been swimming before school on the same day.
My mother keeps telling me to keep a balance in my life. This is very difficult when I like sport so much. I would like to be a sportsman one day. It looks as if it is good life. But I do want to go to university as well. My granddad keeps saying: “Get a good job first.”
Do you have any advice for other children writing their eleven plus examinations?
Well I have not passed mine yet. I think I will pass. I will certainly try hard. My advice to other children is to be organised. I try to do my homework when it is time to do homework. I do bits of eleven plus all the time. I very seldom sit down to do an actual paper.
I am lucky – I like school and my teachers at school. If I was going to make one big suggestion I think that some children should try harder at school.