☰ 8.20pm, Fri 5 Feb

8.20pm, Fri 5 Feb

Posted on: February 5th 2010

I arrived at school for 7.45am and headed straight to breakfast club to pick up a slice of toast. I ended up sitting and having a chat with Sam Fenn over eggs on toast. James Debenham joined us and we spoke at great length about our school football team and our plans for next year. Sam told me about the table tennis club he was attending after school and how he plays with his father and practises regularly. He can’t be that good, I thought. So I challenged him to a game. I said that if he won he could display a poster announcing his victory anywhere in the school. Read on to see what happened…

I got to my desk for 8.15am and went though my messages. I read a very interesting message from Ms Burke who has been working with Reception and Key Stage One teachers in ensuring we have effective differentiation in their classes. This is really good stuff.

I then moved onto looking at forms I have to complete for the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). All the forms have to be completed via the ISI intranet and once they decide the school is to be inspected your forms are locked, so I’m determined to make sure I complete them all thoroughly. With the school’s SMT, I have to complete a very detailed self evaluation form – all 16 pages of it; a job for half term perhaps.

Ms Milligan and I had our daily meeting. It started with a bit of teasing about this blog. We have to complete an annual census for the Independent Schools Council and we decided to finish it once and for all. The chess competition we organise for local schools was next on our list. Teams such as UCS, Highgate, Lochinver and Hereward House take part in our annual competition; we’re now in our 36th year. We confirmed who exactly will be there then discussed the meetings I had later that day.

I carried on with my ISI documents. Mrs Fern and I then had a chat about a few things. She asked if I would speak to our children about the importance of courtesy and manners – she felt a few of our pupils weren’t doing all they could in this regard. I agreed to talk to them later in the day. We then spoke about two boys who were due to come in for an entrance exam. The boys’ families are very interested in their son’s joining the school so we wanted to get an idea of their current level. The boys arrived at 1.30pm and I spoke with the families. They were very nice people and the boys were engaging and very polite.

More ISI work at 3pm – it is turning out to be quite complex and time consuming, but essential to get right. At 3.45pm I visited our Form 3, 4, 5 & 6 classes to check “Order Marks”. This is a good system we use to monitor poor behaviour where a teacher can give a pupil an order mark for consistently poor behaviour. If a child reaches five order marks they miss their breaks for a day and spend them instead with me. Our pupils all understand the system, which is important for it to work. Whilst I was with each group I took the opportunity to have a pep talk on the importance of good manners and courtesy.

At 4.10pm I had a quick chat with Miss Vaughan and Mrs Fern about how the two boys got on during their tests. It was a good conversation and we decided what to do.

I then headed to table tennis club. This club is a school council initiative and Ms Burke runs it, giving up her own time. As I watched, Ms Habgood popped her head round the door and challenged me to a game. I promised not to include the result in this blog, although I’m still not sure if she plays right or left handed. I hope you get the picture! And then to Sam. We played the first to three games. Let me start by saying that the tennis tables are children’s size and much lower than I’m used to… But enough excuses. A poster with Sam’s happy announcement is to be displayed on Monday. Naturally he was delighted; as for me, I left at 5.30pm with my tail very much between my legs.

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