Jaynehowarth’s Weblog

Journalist and writer

Posts Tagged ‘grammar s chool

A polished performance? Fingers crossed

with 12 comments

It’s over and it couldn’t have come a day too soon.

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=sitting+exams&iid=7029050″ src=”a/7/a/e/South_Korean_Students_8eb1.jpg?adImageId=7996220&imageId=7029050″ width=”234″ height=”157″ /]

All we have to do now is wait. And wait. And wait.

Yesterday, after months of preparation, my daughter actually sat the entrance exam for the grammar school she wants to attend.

She has worked hard for it, too. Since August, she has been seeing a tutor so she could get to grips with the verbal and non verbal reasoning questions that these school tests ask.

Starting from a low-ish base, the trajectory of her understanding has been steadily rising until – at last – she really felt she could tackle most of the questions.

My friend, whose son sat the exam and managed to attain a coveted place at the boys’ school a few years back, warned me how I would feel on the day of the test.

“You will feel dreadful,” she said.

I laughed. “Of course not,” I replied. “It’s just a test.”

She was right.

Yesterday morning I sat at home with the sickest of feelings. My guts lurched when I thought of it, even though I knew – deep down – that my feelings were faintly ridiculous.

My daughter was allowed the morning off school and didn’t see my wan face. Thankfully didn’t suspect my nerves and had no inkling that my stomach was doing a darned fine impression of a washing machine.

She didn’t even click when I asked her in a wobbly voice – an hour before we were due to leave the house to find a car parking space in town – if she was OK.

As cool as a cucumber, she turned away from the Nickelodeon channel and said yes. And carried on painting her nails (she wanted to look good for the test).

Painting her nails!

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=painting+nails&iid=4268397″ src=”7/4/b/7/RAFW_SS_200708_ab39.jpg?adImageId=7996187&imageId=4268397″ width=”234″ height=”175″ /]

Thank goodness she had that attitude.

I’ve heard horror stories of girls and boys being harangued by their parents about the importance of the grammar school tests and how they are EXPECTED to pass – or else.

My daughter reported that there were a handful of girls weeping as they sat the test, most probably because the formula had changed and the questions were nothing like they had seen or practised before.

She and her friends were all worried about their performance because of the surprise change in questions, but we parents reassured them that all 800+ girls who were competing for the 96 places would have had the same concerns.

So, it’s done. Over. The £26 a week tutoring is finished with (thank heavens). Results are out on March 1.

To celebrate the end of this stressful three-month chapter we ordered pizza. It was pulled at delicately, though: she didn’t want to spoil her French polish…


Written by CommonPeople

December 3, 2009 at 5:05 am