At one time or another we will have used the immortal words:
Red sky at night,
Red sky at morning,
We all know of sages who are able to predict the weather from signs. Some use fir cones and others seaweed. Meteorologists today use computers to forecast weather patterns.
Eleven plus type questions emerge in the form of rainfall tables:
London 583 mm
Moscow 624 mm
Tokyo 1562 mm
New York 1092 mm
Lima 38 mm
Sydney 1181 mm.
Questions are forced:
What is the difference between the highest and the lowest temperature?
Give the mean of the figures and express your answer in cms.
But predictions are not always entirely reliable. In one sense the eleven plus examination is used to try to predict which children will benefit from an academically orientated education. Just as the weather experts make mistakes it may be possible that the eleven plus examination can also fail some children.
In time a group of eleven plus sayings may emerge:
Won’t read at night,
Won’t read in the morning,
Other children may terrify their parents in a different manner:
Has to argue at night,
Mother won’t bite.
Won’t work unless bribed,
Mum just cried and cried.
Eleven Plus child is very bright
Always studies at night.
Eleven Plus child is very smart,
And has a lovely warm heart.
How easy would it be to be able to predict which child will do well at grammar school? Most parents would hope for a smooth and loving relationship – but children are growing and developing and some are quite happy to rail against the forces of nature.