Monday, 30 June 2008


In one exam paper the question asked you to describe the room that you are in. The examiner is looking for number and quality of descriptive words used as well as the SPAG (spelling, grammar and punctuation). When a student wrote f*** off as an answer he didn't score many marks but did get 2 out of 27 for accurate spelling and ensuring that words are in the correct order. Suffice 2 out of 27 will not get you a pass.

Thursday, 26 June 2008


Today I had two new electric sockets fitted. I know that this involves removing plaster but have they had a mess. I mean there is plaster and dust everywhere. I am not sure they could have made it dirtier if they had tried.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Next Great Summer Adveture

Leave Norwich on the 25th of July stopping in Boston and St Louis before spending around two weeks in sunny California before heading back via Chicago and Boston before arriving back in Norwich on the 21st August in time for the A Level results day. All that stands between me and that is a vast pile of exam papers which need to be marked so from the 2nd July to the 24th I am going to be using every minute trying to get the papers marked.


In each school year a teacher can have up to three observations which can be graded either unsatisfactory, satisfactory, good or outstanding. In my teaching career I have had every type of good, good with outstanding features, good with both satisfactory and outstanding features, outstanding with some good features but in the two observations I have had in the last week were just outstanding. No caveats, no extras, nothing that can be improved, just outstanding. I am pleased.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Education Policy

The government has threatened to close over 600 schools , give them new names, more funding and specialist expertise in an attempt to improve the GCSE pass rate. The schools to close are those with less than 30% A*-G. This does not affect me directly but feel it is harsh in a number of areas.

1. Some of the schools are in areas that stream children such as Buckinghamshire and Kent. Of course you are going to get low results if at the age of 12 you cream off any students that show any academic spark and but them in a separate school. Schools in this category should be considered as a whole. Fine have Aylesbury Grammar but how do they help Mandeville Secondary (which is on the list)

2. Schools such as Oriel High are on the list. This is a school that specialises in children with Special Education Needs. If you look at the link you will see that it has over 52% of the students had SEN. Amazingly having a lot of students with SEN does not allow them to reach the target.

3. Schools in central Birmingham where there is a high number of students with English as a second language are judge to the same standard with those where it is less of an issue (Norfolk)

4 Turning schools into academies, separate to any outside control, would allow the school to set it its own terms and conditions for their staff. Too high and all the other local schools will suffer as the best staff leave (shifting the problem) or too low and everyone leaves. There are also fears over curriculum, if you take money from an organisation do they have a say on what is taught (creationism, intelligent design, evolution/ or what about schools designed to supply call centres with staff). There is some evidence that academies having different rules for aceepting and excluding students. Oh and exam results are no better.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Busy week

What looked like it should have been a quiet week became very busy but was productive none the less. I have been planning the next great adventure in the summer, planning a number of school trips, writing reports and planning a last minute observation, which went really well. Theoritically this week should be a quiet week but I have a feeling things will make it busy.