What do children think about the eleven plus? Robert Louis Stevenson had an idea about what a seven year old thought of life.
He wrote “A Child’s Thought”
At seven, when I go to bed,
I find such pictures in my head;
Castles with dragons prowling round,
Garden where magic fruits are found;
Fair ladies prisoned in a tower,
Or lost in an enchanted bower;
While gallant horsemen ride by streams
That border all this land of dreams
I find, so clearly in my head
At seven when I go to bed.
An eleven plus child would be thinking about volume and area.
Stray thoughts about `The odd one out’ would pass through the consciousness.
The favourite verbal reasoning book would lie beneath the pillow.
The child would fall asleep holding a wrist watch murmuring: “I must move on.”
Pictures of the gates of the grammar school would glow in the darkness.
Exhortations from anxious parents would ring in the brain: “You will get a better job.”
The room for imaginary places and ideas would be curtailed.
“Seventy questions in fifty minutes. You can not afford to slow down.”
No castles, no dragons, no rescues, no gallant warriors, no fair maidens. Just work and work and work.
Bring back Robert Louis Stevenson.