"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together." “When I hear people say politics and religion don't mix, I wonder what Bible they are reading.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

"And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6.8

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4.19

"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2.12

Monday, October 17, 2011

Presentation Evening at the Knowledge College

“Sir, do we have to copy all that out?”

Not again. How many times do we have to have this argument? I scan the board.

It’s only two sentences.

There is a pause while the individual concerned considers this.

“No. There are three.”

How do you work that out?

“The punctuation marks, of course.”

Show me.

“Well, there are two full stops and a comma.”

I am rendered temporarily speechless, then patiently explain the value of commas and full stops.

It’s still the same amount of writing in the end. As in NOT MUCH. GET A GRIP.

Towards the end of the lesson I note that Aaron (It’s pronounced Arran) - No actually it’s not – is looking set to explode. Aaron lives with a form of Autism and I watch out for him a lot. He is clearly not a happy bunny. I try to work out the reason for his discomfort. He is sitting near to three rather gossipy girls. Surely that isn’t it?

As the rest leave on the bell I ask Aaron to stop back.

I can see you’re not happy Aaron. Is it anything I can help with?

Aaron smoulders. He doesn’t make eye contact.

It’s those screaming harpies. It shouldn’t be allowed.”

Good vocabulary Aaron. Do I take it that you’d like to be moved in the room?

I demand it.”

Then it’s a deal.

Here at the Knowledge College we had our annual presentation evening last week. It is a nice occasion and every Head of Department is able to present effort and achievement awards to children in each year group.

Picture us: all the Heads of Department ranged on the stage in our best suits and frocks with the Head and the Chair of the Governors sitting at a separate table arrayed with shields and cups. We had listened to two of our talented musicians playing the piano and everyone was relaxed as the prize giving began. It was seamless as the youngsters came on stage in groups to receive their prizes, many having gone to a lot of trouble over their appearance, when, all of a sudden the lights went out.

Some good natured cat-calling later it was decided to proceed in the dark as the power was giving no indication that it was prepared to come on again. However there were some logistical issues, not least the steady procession of kids making their way across the stage without tripping over the feet of members of staff: what an ideal opportunity for payback!

“Do you like this kid?” Bill peered at his running order. “I could take him out. No one would know.”

There was a little laughing. It grew in volume. At this point I noticed the Head, his bum inelegantly stuck out towards the audience trying to read the cups and shields by the light of his mobile phone.

Things are really looking up.

Another procession of children stumbled by clutching an assortment of bling with the words of the Head’s stage whisper ringing in their ears. “Take this one. We’ll swap them over in daylight.”

A mysterious figure appeared on stage in an eerie glow. I knew the place was haunted and this one was particularly scary and ugly. But no, it was only one of the Assistant Heads clutching a torch he had liberated from a passing Site Services Operative who was, even as we realised the truth, valiantly struggling to bring light back to this darkened corner of Yorkshire.

Have you ever tried to play with electricity in the dark?


Steve’s hair’s been curly for a week - and he shaves his head!

The event was over and all too soon we were stumbling into the gallery for drinks and nibbles served and coordinated by the redoubtable Mrs. D. and Mrs. P. It was like a fairly grotto with tea lights everywhere and the ambiance of a posh restaurant. A triumph ladies.

Isn’t it amazing what a woman carries in her handbag on the off chance it might come in handy?


  1. If you really have an autistic kid you might be interested in one of my latest FB friends, Ann Memmott, who is Diocesan Advisor for Autism in Oxford and now also advisor to the House of Commons and House of Lords (with a MUCH more ornate title than that). She's truly inspirational and her FB notes are the most valuable and gentle teaching material of what the world is like for autistic people I've ever come across. Ann is autistic herself, so is her husband and her teenage son, and she has SO much interesting information about autism and how neuro tpyical people can make the life of autistics easier.

    She's turning me into a little bit of a crusader... you would never have guessed...Ann Memmott... Facebook....you know you want it...

  2. Dear "Sir", As a former Coordinator of RE,I love your blog and laugh and nod my head even though there really isn't any music being played at the moment. Your posts make my day every time and I assure you that RE students are pretty much the same in New England as in your very classroom there in merry old England. And some days, things are not merry at all in both countries.
    Bless you, long may you labor!

    Bless you! nij

  3. Thanks Nij for the affirmation. Much appreciated.

    Erika thanks for the tip. I shall follow that up.

  4. We have a grandson. He's 9 and he hates to write. The people at the school say he is "on the spectrum." I liked this post.