If we try to look into the mind of a ten year old – and then exhort them to strive to reach a grammar school – we may need a little help. Just as children look at adults with a sense of disbelief (at times) so adults sometimes fail to understand children.
Take the choice of grammar school. Some children may enjoy the atmosphere of an old traditional building. Others will prefer the glass and solar power look. The music room in the older type school could be in the crypt of the old church. The `modern’ music room could have feeds for the school radio, recording facilities for video and the school’s podcasts.
Look now at the lunch time food. If you are lucky enough to be able to visit the school around lunch time then your child will be able to look ahead to years of school lunches. In the one canteen you could walk into the sliding smell of boiled cabbage. Your child may also comment on a pervading smell of bleach – used to try to kill the smells of cabbage and odorous mince and stale potatoes. Your much loved grammar school candidate may want to see rows of fresh green vegetables and healthy fruit smoothies. It is just a matter of choice.
Now for thoughts on after school activities. Your child may prefer the idea of the debating society and the art club. A different child would want a fifty metre swimming pool and a membership of the fencing club. Watch your child’s reactions to the different clubs on offer. After all you would prefer your child to socialise in the relative safety of the school grounds – rather than down at the local.
Finally your daughter may have her own ideas on the uniforms of the grammar school. She may like the idea of a lime green skirt and a tasty looking purple blouse. Other girls: `WOULD NOT BE SEEN DEAD IN THAT!” Quite simply the length of skirt above the knee may be enough to turn your eleven year old away from one school and into the arms of another.
Even eleven plus children are allowed to be a little irrational at times.