Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Uniform part 94

Now - school uniform eh, What a load of cojones as they don't say? Well, I think so. I am there with da kydzz on this one. The whole uniform things is dealt with with no imagination down our way and doubtless it is the same elsewhere. The Wise Head continues to insist that having the top button done up with a straight tie and tucked in shirt will lead to improved grades via better behaviour.

We have a new policy for behaviour which looks not too far removed from the last one. It has an extra layer in before the ever so scary Senior Management get called out with the shepherds crook and tazer. It is all well-intentioned but fails to take into account that the majority of kids from the Grimmouth demographic have little pride in much that could be considered aspirational let alone their 'school community.' I suspect that they have as much price as the dynamic and inspiring SLT did when they were 13.  Having some imagination regarding uniform, perhaps including talking to the children about it, might make reduce confrontation and perhaps have an impact on increase learning  rather than leaving staff to impose inconsistently of course, yet another discipline initiative which will be left to flounder when the latest short stay deputy heads off elsewhere...and why are they so insistent that girls wear ties? Weird. As ever no clear answer on this.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Mithering musings

What a weird start to the day. Hearing the news that the war criminal Blair became godfather to some spawn of Murdoch at a ceremony on the river Jordan. What terrible images came to mind of these foul people playing religion the devil's own spawn. Yes, the evangelical nutter Tony with his Messiah complex would of course be the right person to use. Godfather Rupe asking his former plaything, the er... Middle East peace envoy to be godfather to his offspring. I think irony must be trying to get out somewhere.

Then I found myself agreeing with the ex-politician Nick Clegg which made me feel a little uncomfortably itchy and grubby. Still, it was nothing too complex as the political failure was simply stating the obvious that parents ought to be a little more involved in their well thought through sires education and not leave it all to the teachers.

And then there was the news that of the new ‘Free’ schools nine are open to various sectarian groups cleaving to belief systems honed by goat and camel herds some a millennia or two back. Not the best way to raise children.  It did though get me thinking how short the shrift would be were I to try to set up a school based on say the teachings of Marx...and rightly so.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Insect days

The wise head meets Ofplod

 Two teacher days to kick off. The first one to compare tans, peeling skin and holiday / helliday stories (those where you take your kids) and slope off early for an end of summer glass of something fresh with happy smiling colleagues. The second to dissect the appalling exam results which push us below our usual bog standard with the Once Wise Head, a Teresa May lookalike, with bulging eyes and dangerous pulsing vein in her temple wanting answers. Our unlamented erstwhile year 11s scored 10% below their tracked and predicted grades meaning that our localish rightly much maligned rivals are above us in the league table - a bit like being Blackburn Rovers compared to Wigan Athletic. From bad can come good as this may  have an unwitting effect on the various toads on their final last ultimate final warning who will no longer fear being downgraded to the more scabiferous unBSFed neighbours.

So a whole day was spent crushing data, scratching heads, blaming departed HoDs, faulty systems. Reasons made and excuses found and still much vagueness as we have 20 new teaching staff - in percentage terms a shift of 25% - who had nothing to do with it. Doubtless this will be the basis of the various fun filled PD sessions as the dread shadow of OFSTED looms ever larger and nearer.

Moreover, after much insinuation that we were crap a brave colleague opined, to a laser beam stare from the Wise One, that with the social and economic demographic of the catchment area there may well be more than a hint of a correlation between that and the underachievement not just crap teaching. In other words you can't make Ming from mud. Added to that, there is an awful lot of cynicism in the area not surprising when there is 20% youth unemployment nationally and higher still among the good folk of Grimmouth. Our brighter kids consider the idea that University is too expensive and the best job on offer in a few years might be with mum's (latest / next) boyfriend. So why study when there is bloody Facebook, games, cheap booze, drugs, sex which are all way more interesting than getting your revision done for an education that, from the perspective of many, will probably get you nowhere.