It is to be hoped that parents are now concentrating on trying to build confidence as the examination grows closer. I had the privilege of chatting informally to a number of children who has attended courses over the school holidays. The universal feeling was the extra work had helped to build confidence.
The film `Braveheart’ showed Mel Gibson and an army of Scots preparing to do battle with blue stripes on their faces. Other than decoration we can only imagine that the blue to there to denote sameness (rather like a school uniform), bravery and an attempt to instil fear into opponents.
The Maoris are another `tribe’ who paint their faces and perform highly ritualised dances or routines to terrify their opponents. The Hakka at the start of a New Zealand Rugby match must be intended to strike fear in the hearts of the opposing team.
I witnessed today another example of pre examination moral building. A ten year old girl had a pair of the brightest pink shoes imaginable. We were all highly impressed. She felt good – and looked good.
It may be very unwise for any eleven plus child to arrive in the examination hall with painted faces and pink shoes. Parents could, however, arrange for a little fake tattoo and a snippet of pink ribbon tied to the shoelaces. After all you have worked hard with your children, supplied tutors, papers, comfort and support. You just want your child to feel good on the day.
After dropping the pre examination children, mothers (and possibly some fathers) could paint their faces and wear a little pink. Some, however, may prefer the solace of a little pink gin or two.
“Yes please, a little sweet gin and a touch of bitters. Make that a double. Chin, chin children. Down the hatch.”
“I do feel better now.”