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Monday, March 25, 2013

Eleven Plus Pressure

In certain parts of England there is considerable pressure on eleven plus places. We hear of stories of nine to ten children trying to fill one seat. Surely that puts a large onus on the successful candidate – who has successfully fought off the many hankering after his or her place?

There is a term: `Nine tailors make a man’. The theory was that a tailor was so weak that it took nine of them to make a man of average strength and stature. The story goes that an orphan lad, in 1742, applied to a fashionable tailor for alms. There were nine journeymen in the establishment – each of whom contributed something.

The orphan lad became rich, in time, and adopted the motto: “Nine tailors made me a man.” The orphan went on to help others less fortunate. A good story!

This story of tailors and orphans may not be entirely true – but it does have a nice ring.

There is another suggestion about the nine. When a man died the bell was rung three times – with three peals. A woman, however, was only offered two peals for the three rings. (Eleven Plus mathematics shows that 3 times 3 = 9 but 2 times 3 = 6!)

We are told that in some Lancashire parishes that there were nine knells of the clapper for the man, six for a woman and three for a child. (Is this where the words; “I feel clapped out!” come from? This is just a thought!)

Eleven plus parents can take heart. They may at times have to repeat something at least nine times – but there is a chance that their child could, in time, become rich and help someone else!

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