If, and only if, the eleven plus had interviews as well as final scores to take into account then parents could also worry about the `Milk Run’. Schools could be presented with a list of children who did have the academic qualifications for grammar school – and then have these marks added to the marks gained in an interview.
Just think of the excitement that would generate in a family if their child was invited to an interview! Mum would need a new dress; Dad would need a new suit. All concerned would need new shoes – and some may even feel the need for a new hairdo or haircut. This could be an even bigger event than Auntie Edna getting married to that millionaire.
Then would come the rehearsals and the script writing.
Parents would sit down with their children to discuss how scientific the pre-selection techniques could be. There may even be a need for consultants to be called in. (Family G. could live in a six bed roomed house with an indoor swimming pool. Mum could be a Director of a bank hence the six figure family. Their house is only a mile from a wonderful independent school. The nearest grammar school is six and a half miles away across town. Should their child be offered a place?)
Parents would be able to point out to their children that past behaviour is possibly the best predictor of future success. Maintaining good eleven plus grades along with membership of the local gym with county level tennis lessons along with drama and piano lessons could be important points to make on a C.V. (curriculum vitae) If your child could throw in the ability to talk about at least three good books along with a keen interest in palaeontology then the interest of the interviewer may quicken.
General advice would include:
Your child should have looked at least at the web site of the preferred grammar school. A prior physical visit to the school could also help.
Your child should be able to state clearly why he or she wants to enter that particular grammar school – rather than just grammar schools in general.
The C.V. should attempt to excite the interest of a prospective interviewer. There must be something that can help your child to stand out from the herd.
Your child should think about speaking clearly and answering in groups of three sentences. Single word answers must be frowned upon.
Advise you child to give as much information about himself or herself.
What can parents do about the milk round? How will you explain this to your child? Is it to do with bottles of milk? Is it to do milk being churned to make butter? Will a good school record help in the milk round? Will the style and content of the C.V. help? What actually does take place when milk goes round and round?
Why not help your child to make a start on writing a C.V.? This could help to focus the mind on the desirability of working hard towards a goal. Show your child your C.V. Build a family C.V. You know that Curriculum Vitae means `course of life’ in Latin. Help your child to plan and map out his or her course of life.