Tag Archives: school

Back to school

Tuesday 23rd November 2021, 11.30am (day 3,743)

I am an educator, yes — a teacher if you like — but that doesn’t mean I hang around schools very often, if at all. This morning was an exception, however, and here’s where I spent it; St Helena’s only secondary school, opened in 1988. This is, of course, a model, which resides in the reception area, but it’s as good a way as any to get a feel for the place. The eponymous Prince visited in 1984 and obviously made a big impression on the islanders. Whether, in light of more recent events, they are thinking of changing the name, is not yet recorded.

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In a room, with people!

Tuesday 22nd September 2020, 4.40pm (day 3,316)

MGS event, 22/9/20

As Our Glorious Leader mumbles, fumbles and bumbles, people with lives to live get on with their jobs.  For the first time since 8th March, I got to be in a room with other people, and taught. As it happens, I was teaching other teachers, the good folk of Manchester Grammar School, a venerable establishment that has been around in some form or other since 1515. In the grim year 2020, this felt like an explosion of humanity.

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Joe’s school leaving shirt

Thursday 23rd May 2019, 1.50pm (day 2,828)

Joe's signed shirt, 23/5/19

On the day I started this blog, 26/8/11, Joe was just short of being eight-and-a-half years old. He did not finish primary school until July 2014. Yet today was his last day of lessons at Calder High — there are still exams to do, but no more classes. He arrived home at lunchtime in a shirt scrawled with signatures from staff and classmates. I can’t be the only parent asking — where does the time go? How quickly it passes…¬† at least for him. (Not for me. My life moves at a crawl.)

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Joe in the school library

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 4.45pm (day 2,351)

Joe in library, 31/1/18

When I started doing this blog on 26/8/2011 Joe was nine years, five months and twenty-two days old. His first appearance was a few days in, sat in the Railway and looking really very small. Not any more. I guess he hasn’t reached his complete adult form yet, he is not fifteen for a few weeks, but he cannot be far off. This is his ninety-ninth appearance on the blog. Doubtless I will find good reason to mark the next one.

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Joe’s last day at primary school

Friday 18th July 2014, 2.10pm (day 1,058)

Riverside year 6, 18/7/14

Today was Joe’s last day at Riverside, his primary school. You may do things differently in your country but this is a significant transition point for us. And here are the rest of his cohort. I like the animation in this picture, a sense of the joy of today, as well as its deeper meaning. Good luck to all of them.

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After-school club (empty this week)

Saturday 28th December 2013, 1.25pm (day 856)

Valley Crew, 28/12/13

Clare works here during the school term but at the moment, obviously, it is closed. We dropped off some spare toys today, being as we are clearing the house at the moment, so I used the opportunity to get a shot of the nice afternoon light within, at a point where I can do this without being arrested for taking photos of other people’s kids (these things have been known).

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Dormitory, Wayasewa Island primary school

Tuesday 21st May 2013, 2.20pm (day 635)

Dormitory, 21/5/13

A change of scene. Went on a guided trip today to the local village, having moved on from Waya Island yesterday but only to its neighbour, Wayasewa (a.k.a Wayalailai, or ‘Little Waya’). Both islands – which have no roads anywhere – have just one school, and the island’s children are taken here on foot or by boat at the beginning of each week and stay there in these dormitories. The island families take it in turns to look after them and cook their meals. All this is funded, in large part, by the resorts: on Wayasewa, indeed, the Wayalailai resort is 100% locally owned. This dormitory looks a little spartan but actually it was clean and colourful, and the school in an idyllic-looking setting with amazing views. Quite a place to grow up, I think.

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Hall display, Stubbings School

Monday 19th November 2012, 5.45pm (day 452)

Seacole display, 19/11/12

Stubbings is a school for 5-8 year olds, so this is an interesting question to ask – particularly where there is no presumption that anyone already knows the answer. When it defines ‘critical thinking’ in the dictionary, it says ‘see this’.

Incidentally this is Mary Seacole’s second appearance on this blog: the building photographed at Birmingham City University earlier this year bore her name. Quite a woman it seems.

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First day back at school

Tuesday 6th September 2011, 3.05pm (day 12)

Joe and ishmael, 6/9/11

Recently, any emergence of the topic of the return to school has meant that grouching and complaining is sure to follow from Joe. Nor does he profess himself ‘bothered’ about seeing his friend Ishmael again after their weeks off.

At 3.05pm out come this fairly bouncy pair of kids and Ishmael asks if Joe can come round for tea. ‘How was school?’ ‘Boring!’ J cries in an enthusiastic voice. It’s like the Lord’s Prayer. It’s just one of those automatic responses you give without conscious thought.

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