“Have I left it too late?”
“Oh dear, I’m afraid that I have left it too late.”
These could be the reflective thoughts of some parents as they contemplate the eleven plus and its impact on their child. Parents do like to worry. We all envy the children who pass the eleven plus without opening a paper. We feel respect for the parents who are able to maintain that if their child has the ability to pass then he or she should go to grammar school – but if success is fickle and the examination is a disaster, then `it was meant to be’.
For many parents the fabrication of a successful eleven plus candidate begins as soon as possible. For some children, however, the eleven plus journey is a long and tedious process – interspersed with glimpses of elysian joy. (Oh, well done dear, off you go now.) Other children seem to sail through the whole process unhampered by doubt. Parents can only work with the material they have – their much loved child.
The eleven plus examination encompasses a broad band of ability. There are the high flyers and at the other end of the scale the children who have to work hard to get there. Some parents need to throw all their resources into trying to fabricate a structure that will support and lift their child.
There is no doubt that many children achieve a certain status during the build up to the eleven plus. Some will be cosseted and shielded. Apart from the very fortunate `exceedingly bright children’, very few will be left to work on their own.
Parents, in many different ways, are continually trying to asses the potential of their children. Few parents will be able to maintain a blind and unwavering faith in their child’s ability to pass the examination. Some parents will want to maintain a steady pressure while others will be content to develop and adapt to their child’s sensibilities.
Many parents would love to be able to show an inscrutable face to the world.
“It is not too late. I have done the best I can. If my child passes then grammar school is an option. If my child does not pass then we will make another plan.”