I Spy a New Term

I Spy a New Term

Before writing the usual blogs about all things educational that will appear throughout the year, I thought I would put together something that stems from the summer holidays before they are too much of a distant memory and we all get back into the swing of a new term.

On a car journey to our holiday destination with two of my children, now adult and an old teenager, I was telling them about the ‘I-Spy’ books my parents would buy for me before holiday road trips. You can still get them apparently.

They had different titles such as ‘The I-Spy Book of Birds’ or ‘The I-Spy Book of Road’. Then they listed things you needed to spot, with a points system based on perceived rarity. For example a bus might be worth 2 points; a tractor worth 5 points and a vintage car worth 10 points.

And seeing anyone doing any work to actually finish the coned off 30 mile stretch of the motorway that is causing all the congestion being worth at least worth 200 points and a celebratory box of doughnuts at the next services. (By the way, have you seen the latest ’You might not see us. We’re working at night’ signs on these stretches of roadworks? Hmmmm, yeah right….)

So here’s a similar ‘I-Spy’ list to start off the beginning of the school year. See how soon into the new term you spot them.

Feel free to tell me your scores if I’m working with your school this term or you are on any of the courses I’m running. I can’t promise any doughnuts though.

2 points

  • A teacher frantically searching for the lead needed to connect their laptop to their classroom screen. “It was there in July….”
  • Unfinished decorating / building / repair work that the contractor promised would be completed during the summer holiday.
  • A member of staff recounting how they met one of the pupils and their family whilst on holiday in a far-flung part of the world (see my previous blog)
  • A collection of balls and some small PE equipment retrieved from the school roof during the Summer break and now coalescing in a corner of the playground in various states of faded deflation and mouldiness.
  • A pencil that has been sharpened so much by a child that the conical section is now longer than the cylindrical part.
  • An overflowing lost property box by the end of the first week back.
  • A complaint from someone who lives near the school about parental parking.
  • The missing box of new exercise books, ordered in July, that finally appears near the school office. And no-one knows how it got there.
  • A child dropped off by a parent on a Teacher Training day despite the letter, social media post, school website and massive sign on the school gate informing parents that school is closed to pupils that day.

 5 points

  • PE hoops ‘borrowed’ from the PE store by KS1 to do Venn diagrams.
  • The missing CD of songs that was desperately needed for the leavers’ assembly last term.
  • Chocolates in the staff room, despite the collective ‘healthy eating agreement’ at the start of the year.
  • A children’s milk carton in the staffroom fridge that has been ‘borrowed’ from the milk designated for EYFS children, because staff milk had run out.
  • A stroppy note in the staffroom reminding everyone who has milk in their drinks to contribute to the milk fund.
  • A visit by a member of staff who has had their baby and finally has the energy to visit school during their maternity or paternity leave, looking shattered. (The member of staff that is. The baby looks lovely and is a bundle of bouncing energy, hence the former).

 10 points

  • The whole class all having their PE kit on the correct days.
  • The hall floor being cleaned after lunch in time for a PE lesson to start when scheduled, with no errant peas still rolling around or a suspicious puddle of something still glistening in a corner.
  • An apologetic subject leader asking if teachers can make last minute changes to their planning due to an oversight in subject coverage they meant to tell everyone about before the break. “Sorry guys!”

 And for the elusive 50 points

  • A parent actually apologising for over-reacting to an incident they heard about third hand and caused a scene about last week.

 Good luck!

However the term starts, from everyone at Focus Education, we wish you a successful year and we look forward to welcoming you to our courses or working with you in school. 

Back to blog