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Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Eleven Plus Road

To some parents the eleven plus is a route of careering joys and triumphs. Other eleven plus families may feel, at times, a little despondent and unsure. There is a poem - some feel by Sam Foss and other attribute the poem to `Anon’. I am not sure just how old the poem is. The title to some is `The Genesis of a Road’ and by others to `Calf-Love’. It is all a bit confusing.

One day through the primeval wood
A calf walked home as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.
Since then three hundred years have fled,
And I infer the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

Some parents may enjoy reading the full poem as it charts how man follows a path and others follow. Some parents may even care to read the full poem with their children as it does seem to describe some of the events that some of us meet on our eleven plus journey.

Your conversation could, possibly, follow along some of these lines.

Parents: We can see how meandering along without a plan, as the calf did, can lead to great things – but would writing an eleven plus plan help us as a family?

Child: I wonder why the dog then the sheep had to follow the same path?

(At this stage you will see why you need to read the whole poem to make any sense of this discussion. Why not click on the link?)

Parents: The path became a lane. Why then did the crooked lane become a road?

Child: Well the road was there for a hundred years – it could have been beaten down by the passage of feet over the years.

Parents: How did the lane turn into a renowned metropolis?

Child: I suppose it is a bit like the eleven plus. I learn a little every day and one day I will be ready for the examination. My brain will be busy with ideas and thoughts. I am looking forward to the examination.

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