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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eleven Plus and Holiday Work

Some children may be inclined to feel that their lives are reduced to a Spartan existance if they have to work over the school holidays.

The Spartans were a hardy lot. Boys had to go barefoot in all weathers and wore one garment. Their food was coarse and their beds were hard. Every day they were kept busy at work at gymnastics - along with swimming and hunting.

When boys left their mothers at seven they were banded together into packs - and subjected to a strict discipline. Boys were encouraged to take beatings in good grace - to train them to be hardy. There was sometimes a prize for the boy who took the most number of stripes without uttering a sound.

Even today it is possible that some boys would quite enjoy a life away from school and work. Spartans, you see, were not taught to read and write. There was no Spartan Eleven Plus.

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