There may be the odd parents – at one time or another – who may wonder if their child really does have the ability to pass the eleven plus. We are talking here about the child who read before school, plays the piano to Level 4 and the flute to Level 5. He or she reached Level 4A in mathematics and English in Year 3 at school – and won the class prize three years in a row for achievement.
There is a phrase in the English language `Away with the fairies’. We know that the fairies represent proper fairies – but also elves, goblins and the like. We know too who used to live in `Never Never Land’ – and what happened in the end. We also know that that one interpretation of Never Never Land is the state of mind that a child seems to enter where nothing you say appears to make an impact. Your child just looks at you with open, trusting eyes – but you know that whatever you say is not being computed. You child is just `Away with the fairies’.
You know that your bright eleven plus candidate will enjoy a high respect for truth. If you asked whether or not eleven plus work had been done – you know that you will get a true and faithful answer. You know too that you can trust your child to do the right thing. The right thing in eleven plus terms is never arguing with parents, always doing all the work, being polite and well behaved and saying thank you whenever you offer any help. (Even if your answers is patently incorrect.)
You also expect your child to follow at least some of the traditions of the family. (But not that of Uncle Will who had to run away to sea because he had been a bad boy!) You really hope that your child will do well on the established route of grammar school, university, high powered and prestigious job, two car garage, index linked pension and a small castle in France.
When you child is `away’ then you cannot really suggest that he or she can cope with a string of utterances like:
“Make up your own mind.”
“You do as you please. I give up.”
“You go your way .”
You want to continue to be a true eleven plus parent: honest, kind, sincere and empathetic. When the fairies enter the soul then feel reassured that, in time, your child will return to the fold.