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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Eleven Plus and Little Annie

Do you remember the story of Little Angie?

Little Angie was walking with her mother down the high street. They passed a phone shop and Little Angie asked her mum for a new phone. Her mum asked her why she wanted a new phone and Little Angie explained that she wanted a pink phone.

A little later they passed a mature and comprehensive digital shop. Little Angie asked for a new ipod. “But mum my ipod is old now. The new one is much better.” The pair walked on.

Then Little Angie saw a new dress in a shop window. She had to have it. Nothing would deter her from nagging her mother into buying the latest outfit.

Laden with parcels the pair passed a jeweller’s shop. There was a delightful vase in the window. Little Angie actually burst into tears when her mother said no. To avoid an escalating scene Little Annie had her beautiful orange jar.

Little Annie then told her mother that she needed new eleven plus papers because she had completed the ones she already had. Her poor mother had to say no. Enough was enough. The family purse was bare.

The family arrived home. Little Annie ran outside and turned the vase upside down. All the orange liquid ran out. Little Annie cried and cried – and wanted the vase restored to its original colour. Sobbing disconsolately she went to her desk and saw that the only eleven plus papers were scuffed and written on. The howls grew louder.

“I will never pass my eleven plus if I don’t have the right materials. You blame me for not working but I do my best. I need new papers and you said no.”

Was the mother to mention the phone, the ipod, the vase, the dress and the papers? Was it mum’s fault or was it the fault of Little Angie? Should a third party have stepped in? Will Little Angie ever learn to look beyond the here and now?

(In the next instalment we will learn how Little Angie coped in the actual eleven plus examinations.)

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