Look, for a second, at a group of men hunting. Visualise a band of men on the trail working together quietly and forcefully. The men will not need to communicate with shouts or wild gestures – there could almost be an absence of words.
Think of one man hunting on his own. His thoughts and actions would probably be very different to those if he was part of a larger group. If he was to join a hunting group then, more than likely, he would adopt a very different pattern of action.
Suppose, however, a totally unexpected event was to take place. Then the men would need to be able to communicate. One man may emerge as a leader through words and actions. The leader may make gestures and encourage the remainder of the hunt to adapt their behaviour. Some men may object to how the leader intends for the group to react. Other men will be likely to fall in with the wishes of the majority.
Think of a one parent setting out on the eleven plus trail – hunting down resources, books, materials. This lone parent may use the internet, rely on playground gossip or haunt the bookshops. The parent could then join a larger group of eleven plus parents with common interests using the internet, coffee mornings and school meetings. Leaders will emerge – some will dominate others will lead by example. Books, ideas, tutors and experiences could be shared and assimilated.
We can build a picture in our minds of some parents, around fifty years ago, approaching the eleven plus with little information. `Eleven Plus Power’ lay in the hands of the few. Today eleven plus parents have many different sources of information – as well as access to a wide variety of comments and thoughts. At times parents will need to hunt on their own. It is their child, after all, that is trying to pass the eleven plus. At other times parents must be a welcome part of a much larger community.