Do you remember turning eleven
And making transition to Year Seven?
It wasn’t called that back in my day
But felt traumatic anyway…
Going from a tiny community school
To a herd of hundreds, all older, more cool:
An experience, frankly, I still resent.
Everything simply taken for granted
While leaving me thoroughly disenchanted:
No preparation, just the firm expectation
That I’d be ‘fine’ as I stood in line.
Making transition to Key Stage Three,
An experience that totally silenced me
All because there was no preparation
For accession to this senior station:
The ‘scholarship’* that I’d achieved
A magnanimous offer but ill-conceived,
The tiny handful of State School kids
Didn’t know how to do what the other girls did,
Confident on their territory,
Completely terrorising me…
Though not alone in that regard-
It seems there were others who took it hard,
This sudden sense of isolation
Resulting from absence of preparation.
Five years of silence thus ensued
(For those that know me now,
No need to be rude!!-
Nothing spoken, little gained
But how to avoid going through that again,
And here I am several decades later
Performing my toil in such a the-A-tre…
But parents of teens now making transition,
Please take heart from my disposition:
Things are very different indeed these days-
The stuff of ‘transition’ deserving praise.
Even if they’re feeling a little bit scared,
Your tender teens have been well prepared.
Time will tell as they find their way-
And it’s only six weeks to the holiday!
*Passing the ‘Eleven Plus’