The English School System

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Re: The English School System

Post by Kismet » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:30 pm

Tracer » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:30 am
I always considered kippers classless - as has been said, Bertie Wooster ate them. I think Peter Wimsey did too. Certainly Ginger's Dad would have. Good point about the fish course being dropped - when we have fish for dinner I can still hear a voice saying: "Fish is a course, not a meal". But like most of us nowadays, my dinner at home is one course only. We don't even do puddings - I only eat those when I eat out.

Fish knives and forks nowadays are considered middle-class by those who still get anxious about class. I believe the Queen Mother despised them, but as she had her fish ready filleted (and every decade or so choked on a stray bone) maybe that is the implication. I was raised to use fish knives and forks and don't like eating fish with ordinary cutlery. No doubt that would be frowned upon by some people - but fish knives and forks really do make fileting out a whole fish very easy. And I really don't give a damn
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: The English School System

Post by Kismet » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:30 pm

Tracer » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:32 am
Frecks wrote:I must admit I would be quite put off by very bad table manners, gobbling food and speaking with a mouth full of food but that is probably just me



You are not the only one - that would be a deal-breaker for me too.

I once had a man friend who claimed he'd been to public school - not that it mattered to me but obviously mattered to him - but I knew he hadn't because he didn't use his cutlery correctly. However, he did eat politely and was not unpleasant as a dinner companion.
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: The English School System

Post by Kismet » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:31 pm

kylie_koyote » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:19 am
Ginger eats sardines (for breakfast, blech!) in Fails to Return, and I think Defies the Swastika too, but I can't check at the moment.

I have never eaten a sardine and have no plans to. The very thought... I'm sure some people love them and that's fine, but not me. Although if it was a matter of sardines or starvation, I could probably manage it.
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: The English School System

Post by Kismet » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:31 pm

Frecks » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:33 am
I have never eaten a sardine either. I think they were very popular years ago because they came in a tin with a key attached so they could be opened readily - I think it was the same with bully beef which they eat a lot of with hard tack biscuits.
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: The English School System

Post by Kismet » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:31 pm

Fascinated as I am by the fish knives and social class connotations of eating kippers and sardines, I feel the need to return to exams.

In my day, there were two ways of getting into Oxford and Cambridge University. You could apply, be interviewed and successful candidates were made an offer: you would be accepted onto the course of your choice if you got three A grades in your A levels. The other way was to sit the Oxbridge exam, held considerably before the A level examinations. If you passed, you were accepted onto the course of your choice regardless of your A level results - essentially an unconditional offer - (although I believe you were expected to gain at least one E, for appearances).

Nowadays, you apply to an Oxford or Cambridge college, and acceptance is conditional both on A level results, an interview and an aptitude test for many courses.

Does anyone know of any current situations, where entrance is decided solely on an entrance exam, taking no account of academic qualifications?

I can think of the 11+ exam: pass and you can go to one of the remaining Grammar Schools, no other entry routes available. Any others?
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: The English School System

Post by Kismet » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:32 pm

by Fairblue » Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:06 pm
By exams, Kismet do you mean "a set of questions or exercises evaluating skill or knowledge" as opposed to a set of tests designed to find out if a person has the correct skills for a particular job? For example, the Government's National Career Service website states that to become a Prison Officer You don’t need any particular qualifications and one must:

.....take the online Prison Officer Selection Test (POST), which checks your numeracy skills.

If you pass, you'll attend an assessment day where you'll:

take another numeracy test (POST verification test)
complete a POST language test
take part in role plays to see if you have the right personal qualities for the job
complete fitness tests
have a medical and eyesight test

I assume you mean the former but thought I'd better check.
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: The English School System

Post by Kismet » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:32 pm

Kismet » Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:24 pm
When does an exam become an aptitude test? I was thinking more along these lines:

The Young Professionals Programme (YPP) is a recruitment initiative for talented, highly qualified professionals to start a career as an international civil servant with the United Nations Secretariat. It consists of an entrance examination and professional development programmes once successful candidates start their career with the UN.

Who can apply?

The YPP examination is held once a year and is open to nationals of countries participating in the annual recruitment exercise. The list of participating countries is published annually and varies from year to year.

Basic application criteria:

You must have the nationality of a participating country.
You must hold at least a first-level university degree relevant for the exam subject you are applying for.
You must be 32 or younger in the year of the examination.
You must be fluent in either English or French.



But one of the application criteria is a relevant first degree, so it doesn't meet my criteria of entrance being decided solely on the entrance exam.
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Re: The English School System

Post by Tracer » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:22 am

This may not be a good time to admit that I both possess and use fish knives and forks. (imagine a blushing emoticon here). I actually find it easier.
Mr. T., whose background is different, neither does nor wants to, which I don't mind at all.

The late Queen Mother famously despised the use of fish knives and forks as a middle-class thing. Of course she would have had her fish presented already filleted, though this didn't prevent a couple of medical emergencies when she choked on fish bones.

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Re: The English School System

Post by Tracer » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:25 am

And, back to the schools thing - years ago I had a boyfriend who said he had been to private school. I knew he hadn't, because of the way he used his cutlery. I didn't mind that, but I never trusted what he said, as, if you'd lie about something like that, what else would you lie about?

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Re: The English School System

Post by Kismet » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:39 am

Tracer wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:22 am
This may not be a good time to admit that I both possess and use fish knives and forks. (imagine a blushing emoticon here). I actually find it easier.
Mr. T., whose background is different, neither does nor wants to, which I don't mind at all.

The late Queen Mother famously despised the use of fish knives and forks as a middle-class thing. Of course she would have had her fish presented already filleted, though this didn't prevent a couple of medical emergencies when she choked on fish bones.
Fish knives were designed to make eating fish off the bone easier. They were just going out of fashion when I got married, so I didn't receive a set (I got everything else from pastry forks to jam spoons, which I rather liked.) My decent cutlery set was one of the few things I had to leave behind when I separated from my then husband as it had been a wedding present from his side of the family and I still miss it. There was something very satisfying about having an implement for (almost) every occasion!

I don't often eat fish, but when I do it is served in such a way that it can be easily eaten with an ordinary knife and fork. I think the fashion in fish has changed to types and cuts which don't need a special implement to eat. A lovely example of food habits changing.
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: The English School System

Post by kylie_koyote » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:46 am

Tracer wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:25 am
And, back to the schools thing - years ago I had a boyfriend who said he had been to private school. I knew he hadn't, because of the way he used his cutlery. I didn't mind that, but I never trusted what he said, as, if you'd lie about something like that, what else would you lie about?
A couple of times, I have had British people comment on my fork-holding and ask if I went to school in Britain. I didn't, but I went to school in Norway with lots of British children, and I got teased for holding my fork in my right hand like a feral colonial, so I started holding it in my left hand.
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."

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Re: The English School System

Post by Tracer » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:24 am

My American cousins commented freely on my holding my fork "upside down" when we first met. We had to agree to differ on that one.

Did anyone know the ditty:

"I eat my peas with honey
I've done it all my life
It makes the peas taste funny
But it keeps them on my knife"

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Re: The English School System

Post by Fairblue » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:35 am

Tracer wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:24 am
My American cousins commented freely on my holding my fork "upside down" when we first met. We had to agree to differ on that one.

Did anyone know the ditty:

"I eat my peas with honey
I've done it all my life
It makes the peas taste funny
But it keeps them on my knife"
Never heard of that one, Tracer!
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Re: The English School System

Post by Kismet » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:47 am

It's one of Spike Milligan's poems, I think.
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: The English School System

Post by Tracer » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:33 pm

Ah. I couldn't recall the origins. I had thought maybe it was a Hillaire Belloc.

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