We are coming up this weekend to an event almost as important as the Eleven Plus examination. England have just been soundly thrashed by the current world champions, South Africa. On Saturday England take on the might of the All Blacks at rugby. The All Backs are currently Number One in the world. England are a more lowly fifth.
We know that rugby owes a lot to Rugby School. The Doctor, who was the head in the days of Tom Brown, offered the following sermon:
`The meaning of life – that it was no fool’s or sluggards paradise into which he had wandered by chance, but a battlefield ordained from old, where there were no spectators, but the youngest must take his side, and the stakes are life and death….’
To pass the Eleven Plus your child can not be:
A sluggard or a fool.
It would be a very difficult examination to take by chance.
The Eleven Plus is not a physical battlefield – but can be a mental battle field. There are, however, winners and losers.
There can be no spectators in the actual examination. The child is on his or her own.
There is, however, one vital difference. The Eleven Plus is not a matter of life and death. It is an examination which some children find easy to pass and other children find extremely challenging.
But if your child does pass the Eleven Plus there is no doubt of the pleasure you will feel. Think of the pleasure that you would have if you could kick the winning goal for England against the All Backs. Think of reaction of the 80 000 strong crowd. Think of the millions watching.
We need to return to Tom Brown:
`There it flies, straight between the two posts, some five feet above the crossbar, an unquestioned goal …’