I met a governor from the days of yore
Who said: “When I was young, aged ten or so,
There were special tests, set in place by law.
The teachers said, “These check how much you know.”
We practised all the sections, maths and more,
The VR tests, all done in solitude.”
Those transfer tests (11 plus) were there to gauge
How best to provide for each child’s aptitude.
Now from the DfE these words appear:
“Assessment at the end of each key stage”
But look on what’s expected, and despair!
No levels will remain. Children will be scaled
On how to age-related expectations they compare
And if, at age eleven, they have passed – or failed ….

(VR = verbal reasoning)


Based on Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown

And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.

And on the pedestal these words appear:

`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

The lone and level sands stretch far away”.

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