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Monday, August 27, 2007

The Eleven Plus in Perspective

Naturally some Bank Holidays are spent clearing excess vegetation from the garden. After filling the compost bins some greenery has to land up at the local recycling centre. The car becomes full of bags and bins of garden waste.

The journey to the centre is straight forward. We travel mainly along an A Road through some road works - with a fifty mile an hour speed limit.

Just as the de-restriction sign came up I felt something crawling up my leg. I looked down and saw a large spider, Driving at about fifty miles an hour on an open three lane highway is not the time to try to capture a spider and let it gently out of the window. This was not a moment for a `touchy feely’ emotion.

The spider must have felt my hand moving but I could see no evidence of crushed spider. There were no little waving legs.

I looked for the spider when the car was empty – but there was no sign. The spider is still in the car. I only really use this car on `re-cycling’ runs – so I won’t be the next one in the driver’s seat.

I just hope……

So you could use an opportunity like this to start discussing fear of the examination. You could explain that it is nothing like the fear a person must have felt as the hangman’s hood was placed over the head. You could wonder at the fear you must feel as an avalanche rumbles towards you. Talk about how the people of Pompeii must have felt as the lava slid remorselessly towards them. Discuss what it must feel like to have to walk the plank towards a circle of waiting sharks.

This may help some children to feel a sense of perspective about the horrors they may feel that could encompass them in the actual examination. An inability not to answer a question is hardly a matter of life and death.

A parent’s reaction to examination results also needs to be put into perspective.

I do wonder, however, about the reaction of the next person to drive our car. I hope that their reaction will be in perspective if the spider returns!

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