Category Archives: Education

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.)

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

142. Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? Edgar Bergen

“I’m disappointed with you, Taylor.  Mrs Twinkletoes tells me that you wouldn’t do your writing this morning,” says Mrs Karma.  Taylor looks at her blankly.  To be fair, looking blank is his specialism: he’s had seven years to perfect it.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

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 →

118. The Final Countdown…

I’ve got it cornered.

The In-tray

The In-tray

The Still-to-do List is down to one sheet of paper; the accumulated detritus of my years at Thrush Woods has been herded into a corner of the ICT room and sits tamely waiting to be sorted. I’ve found no untaught children stacked away in boxes, so it looks like I’ve got away with it again.

Continue reading →

105. Tiny acorns…

“We were just wondering if you knew who’d got the job,” I asked Mr Oak, our retiring Headteacher.

The white smoke was billowing from the room above. We were all keen to know who our next boss would be: a Head makes or breaks a school and the staff with it. Were we going to be maked or breaked?

Mr Oak shook his head. “I don’t know. They’ve not asked me for any help at all with the appointment. Not with the job description or the showing round or the interview. I’ve no idea who they’ve appointed. Sorry.” He lowered his head and I crawled out of the office, conscious that my Headteacher was deeply upset, and that I’d just made things worse for him.

Continue reading →

104. Oh… sugar!

“Where’s Olivia?” asked her mother. I looked at Olivia’s “going home place”. She wasn’t there; neither were her coat and bag. I was already soaked to the skin from the dash between the coach and the classroom but this was nothing compared to the tsunami of icy panic which now washed over me. Surely we couldn’t have left her at the Butterfly Farm … could we? We’d counted the children incessantly, Miss Sugarsprinkles and I, at every twist and turn during our trip from Hades but had I actually count them after we’d sat on the coach for the journey back? My mind went a blank.

Continue reading →

103. “Romeo met Juliet by the fish-tank.”

The Marker’s Lament

June brings assessments,
reports, progress data. Where
are the strawberries?


Having a screw loose, Pa needed some bits from Screwfix this week.  Instead of just driving down there, he ordered on-line with their Click and Collect service first, thus bagging  £1.35 towards a cure, costing him narry a penny.  The link to GiveAsYouLive is here.