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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Eleven Plus Looks

What are the characteristics that eleven plus children inherit from their parents? Parents would hope that intelligence; wit, beauty and good nature would be passed on. Children would hate to inherit irascibility, a liking for a glass of wine and an apparent inability to hear some one else’s opinion.

Parents look at their children and think `immortality’ – for it is their progeny who hold the future The perpetuation of the family is important to most families. The study of genetics is the science that shows the slight variations that children have from their parents.

“I am a grammar school girl. My daughter should pass.”

“My dad played rugby for his grammar school. I want to go to the same school and play rugby too.”

We are, however, very fortunate that children do not develop in the same way as their parents. Think of a grandfather, father and eleven plus son all with the same physical characteristics - with same expressions and the same attitudes to work and play. Imagine the same colour eyes staring at you over the morning egg cups.

Think too of the problems the family would have doing an eleven plus paper together. Grandfather, father and son all getting stuck on the same questions. Three sets of identical eyes would swing towards daughter, wife and mother at the same time.

We are fortunate that innumerable generations have failed to replicate acquired characteristics. We remember the story of a well known and beautiful actress who once remarked to George Bernard Shaw what a wonderful child they might have with his intelligence and her beauty.

“Ah,” said Shaw, “but suppose he has my looks and your intelligence.”

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