Category Archives: Early Years

240. They go up diddley-up up; they go down diddley down down…

Pick us, Miss, pick us! Look how neatly we have lidded our marker pens! And see our flip-chart of ideas – a thing of beauty, too, in many colours, to which we all contributed collaboratively, working as a team…

Apart, that is, for the cow who teaches at – well, you know the one. Her anyway. Didn’t want to come on the course in the first place.  Thought ‘Schemas in the Under Sevens’ was going to be about curriculum plans and not fannying around with a load of bricks. The only thing that’s stopping her playing with a mobile phone is that they’ve not yet been invented.  We’d be better off teaching six year olds to name parts of speech, according to her.  What a dinosaur!

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185. Desert Island risks…

Today I am covering Mrs Grenfell’s class and am under instructions to lead a discussion on different sorts of airborne travel: aeroplanes, helicopters, rockets and the like.

“I have something sad to tell you about Mrs Sugarsprinkles,” I start.  The children glance at Mrs Sugarsprinkles, who attempts to look grave.  “At the weekend,” I continue, “she got stuck on a desert island.”  I draw on the whiteboard a stick figure with a sad face and long hair, standing by herself under a tree on a small island. I add some surrounding sea and sharks fins, in an attempt to rack up the excitement.  Bit of a masterpiece, if I say so myself. Continue reading →

Spring Back

Just putting finishing touches to tomorrow’s post.  In the meantime…

Mixing Memory and Desire

 

173. You put your right hand it…

We’re jumping into a pile of leaves under the big conker tree at the corner of the playground; me and a handful of dots. The colours glow in the late afternoon sun and, once we’ve finished jumping, me and the dots, we start to choose our favourite leaves. We run our fingers over the veins, the shape, the edges. We compare colours, textures, smell. It’s a rather magical way to spend time on an October afternoon. And I’m being paid for it!

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In the meantime…

New blog in production. In the meantime…

149. Out of the mouths of babes…

“It was normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their children. And with good reason…”
(Orwell – Nineteen Eighty-Four)

“Time for our news books – I want you to draw me a picture of something that you did at the weekend and then – using your sounds – to have a go at writing a sentence or two underneath.”
(Every teacher of young children, everywhere.)

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143. The party of the first part…

Fancy being a fly in the playground at whichever poor school is coping with InvoiceGate! Are there factions of parents aligning themselves with each side, I wonder? Will they have badges – the Party Poppers and the Party Poopers? Sports’ day is going to be interesting.

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137. Another chance to read…

It’s a fair cop, guv.  It’s been a manic weekend trying to get Volume Two of the Jelly Chronicles edited before publication and I missed doing this week’s blog.

So, for your delectation and delight, below is another chance to read my favourite Christmas Blog in honour of this week’s Nativities.

More bloomin’ repeats…

The Stars in the Bright Sky

By the way, a Big Thank You for remembering to turn on the GiveAsYouLive when buying on-line this week.

135. A brief encore…

I’ve outlined the activities once, and then again. A child has successfully re-explained them to the seething masses and there does seem to be a more than equal chance that at least some of the class will know what to do. Though with Reception, of course, anything might happen in the next half-hour.

“Right,” I say. “Go back to your constituencies and prepare for government.” And up they get and off they toddle despite the fact that they have a fairly limited working knowledge of the 1981 Liberal Party Conference.

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132. More happy birfdy…

“It’s all right to listen, Miss Sugarsprinkles. It’s not at all rude.”
“Are you sure, Mrs Jellywoman?”
“Quite sure, Miss Sugarsprinkles. Please don’t worry.”
“I’ll just wash up the paint-pots, then.”
“Please do.” Continue reading →