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Zentralabitur 2007 Englisch Schülermaterial

Aufgabe II GK Bearbeitungszeit: 220 Min.

1. Summarise what the author of this article has experienced.
2. Analyse the means the author of this article uses to get her message across.
3. a) Describe the photographs in detail.
b) Explain how the photographs and the caption underline the message of the article.
4. After reading this article Fiona (from About a Boy) writes a letter to the Daily Telegraph stating
her position on the upbringing of children. Write that letter.

1. Text from The Daily Telegraph, August 11, 2006 (abridged)
As a new book blames wealthy, pushy parents for piling on too much pressure, Tara Winter Wilson
reveals that it's not just the children who suffer.
Beware of the Queen Bee Mothers
Hand on heart, this is a true story.
Those without children will think I'm exaggerating. And those with will have experienced similar
situations. Just before my son's first day ever at nursery school, a fellow mum came over to my
5 "You've no idea what you're getting into," she said.
"What do you mean?" I replied.
"By sending your son to The Nursery School… you'll be traumatising him for life. You can't do
it. It's cruel."
"Cruel?" I replied. "Your children attend the school."
10 "Yes, but I'm rich."
"So nobody will befriend your son."
"They're three-year-olds," I said.
"No one will ask him back for tea. He will never be invited to birthday parties. He will be
15 shunned."
"But they're toddlers…" I repeated.
"Do you honestly think that any of those children will come here? Of course not."
"Why?" I answered, biting my lip.
"Because you live in Harlesden (a grotty part of west London), of all places. Everyone at The
20 Nursery lives in Notting Hill. It's social suicide to come here."
"I used to live in Notting Hill. We only moved for the space…" The truth is, we were dead broke
but I wasn't going to tell her that.

Niedersächsisches Kultusministerium 1 von 4

Zentralabitur 2007 Englisch Schülermaterial
Aufgabe II GK Bearbeitungszeit: 220 Min.

"And another thing," she continued, "how's Humphrey going to feel when the children do their
'show and tell'? They will have gone skiing, to Disneyland, done the safari in Africa, scuba-dived in
25 the Maldives. What will Humphrey have to say? Nothing. He can't compete. You're out of your
depth. You will destroy his life."
As I recall the conversation, I find myself seething with anger again. Forget children deciding
who their friends are – it's the impenetrable clique of "Queen Bee Mothers" who assess whether
you're good enough and who set the standards for your inclusion.
30 A recent bestseller in America - and now here - is entitled Queen Bee Mothers & Kingpin Dads
by Rosalind Wiseman, and it claims that social competition between parents is a universal
American psychologist Dr Madeline Levine this week added to the furore with her new book,
The Price of Privilege, about wealthy middle-class parents driving their children to do better than
35 everyone else, be it in mathematics or in their social lives.
Hell, since when did a toddler judge another toddler according to their socio-economic status?
It is the mothers who are to blame. For it is they who arrange the play dates, the sleepovers and
the parties. By carefully orchestrating their children's social lives, they are, I would argue, covertly
devising their own.
40 As a first-time mum, I knew nothing then about schools or competitive parents. So when my
stepbrother told me that the nursery school his son attended was great "because Fred's allowed to
be Batman in the school Nativity play," I innocently rang them.
"I hear you have a wonderful nursery school. May my son come?"
Pause. "How old is he?"
45 "Three and a half."
A little chuckle. "So sorry. You should've put his name down at birth. Preferably just after
"Sorry. I'd no idea. Bye."
"Wait a second. How did you hear about us?"
50 "My stepbrother told me that his son is playing Batman in the Nativity play. I thought any school
that has that kind of imagination is the school for me."
"Oh, so you have a nephew at the school?"
"Well then, that's fine. We accept cousins. Your child can start in September."
55 I didn't know that it was more difficult to get your child into The Nursery School than Oxbridge.
And nor did I know that there were parents who used blackmail, bribery and all the money in the
world to get their child a coveted place.

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Zentralabitur 2007 Englisch Schülermaterial
Aufgabe II GK Bearbeitungszeit: 220 Min.

It dawned like being drenched with ice-cold water; where your three-and-a-half-year-old
attends nursery school determines the rest of his life… from this school, he gets into the top
60 primary, the top prep, the top public school and then, of course, Oxford and a brilliant career..


14 ask him back – invite him to their house

15 shunned – avoided
21 dead broke – in a very bad financial situation
25/26 out of your depth – here: lost
27 seething with anger – feeling extremely angry but trying not to show it
38 covertly – secretly
39 devising – planning
55 Oxbridge – universities of Oxford and Cambridge
57 coveted – sth. that everybody wants

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Zentralabitur 2007 Englisch Schülermaterial
Aufgabe II GK Bearbeitungszeit: 220 Min.

2. Photographs:

Running scared: competitive

parents can be terrifying


Den Prüflingen stehen einsprachige sowie für den schulischen Gebrauch geeignete zweisprachige
Wörterbücher der Allgemeinsprache (Deutsch-Englisch/Englisch-Deutsch) zur Verfügung.

Niedersächsisches Kultusministerium 4 von 4