Monday, November 27, 2006


I give their website a 5 for everything

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All hallowes eve

I am celebrating All saints Day tomorrow. It is when the Christian church remembers saints who 'have gone before '. Our faith community believes that true believers are all saints, belonging to the crowd or host of witnesses. I have been thinking of Mary and Robert Fuchs , neighbours of ours when we lived in London in the seventies and eighties. One day I will really tell of their tangent to my circle. If I ever have to thank anyone for helping me to grow in my own faith, it will be that hungarian couple. They lived completely by faith , and shared all they had, time, food,washing machine, encouragement,advice and support in prayer. It will be documented. I have just read the astonishing book "The torn veil" by Gulshan Esther, still in print after over 20 years. Mary and Robert's story was just as astonishing. How many of us can say we have met people who were truly Christlike, and why have we not written it down.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Scarborough Choral Society

A treat was missed by hundreds yesterday. Eldest child and I went to Westborough Methodist Church to listen to the choral society's offering to the year of Mozart celebrations. Choir about 50 , audience about 40. Evening fantastic. Soloist Rachel Jagger talented and charming. Where are you , MUSIC LOVERS OF THE EAST COAST? Are you all watching 'Come dancing' or having a bevy or three in the sitting room with a DVD. You were not on the streets of Scarborough, only teenage laddettes, wearing bra tops, were out and about.
I dare say that now that Simon Cowell has discovered Choral singing , it will get as popular as ballroom dancing again. Remember you heard it here first.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Excellence cluster

Was there ever such a stupid phrase as 'excellence cluster'? This week has been an insight into the minds and pockets (of other peoples money) of the suits that run the LEA. Guess what, the new initiative for raising standards and stretching minds involves having a week where everyone in year 6 does Egypt all week. We will have the expert help of some whiz kid suits*, whose funding is for a week with us. I will run that by you again, as I have just remembered that for two of those days the wks* will be preparing a feast of academic and hands on treats lovingly prepared in the kitchens of various and varied resource banks of their own choosing. We in yr 6 have a box labelled Ancient Egypt, and seventy years experience, cunning and the ability to 'wing it' whilst reading Terry Deary in the loo, and have taken 1 hour after a busy day to cook up our delights.
I have been wondering if anyone from my past remembers those sessions in a Wimbledon middle school when we had IDE.That afternoon a week of mixed ability mayhem, all using the learning styles that they enjoyed and challenged them, doing pottery, drawing , interviews, dancing , and serious research of the book kind ,Encyclopedia Britannica not on line. All in an ants nest of INTER DISCIPLINARY ENQUIRY and resulting in the 1970 's version of ICT. This was a display in a classroom set aside just for the purpose. It would say 'Egypt' on the door for a term, until replace by something like 'Colour'. Models were lovingly arranged on tables and labelled with neat ink and white card. Booklets were placed on bookstands, best handwriting and pencilled illustrations in tiers to catch the eye. Children would show others what they had learned, Ancient Egypt was still Ancient Egypt, only the science has been updated since. Cine films would loop for an excited audience. Photos of the visit to the BM to see the real artefacts would be copydexed to black sugar paper. Those two hours in the queue with most of London, after school, with 30 children aged 13 is what I call a school trip. A freewill trip. Cost nothing. Children paid their own tube fares and entrance to the exhibition. Museum attendents calling out 'whose with this lot then?' as they all pointed to miniskirted miss and shout 'she is', in that queue ,to see the gleaming gold of that mask was something none of them will ever forget. Now husband , then boyfriend, remembers meeting us after his day in the city, a real suit, astounded that 4 purple could all be as tall as he.
Wandering off, going sentimental, searching for the nostalgia of the past. Yes and No. I have heard it all before, it is not new, only the names have changed. Multiple intelligences, VAK, mindmaps, emotional literacy; these are only words . I remember now how we thought IDE was the new black.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The bigger puddle

Dear David Hockney,
Your latest series of paintings of the countryside around here has intoxicated me . How did you think of making wheel ruts pink or finding so many shades of green for the spring Tunnel ? I am looking forward to seeing them for real . I know I wont look out of place in the Annely Juda gallery(Half-term) as I will wear my Turquoise boiled wool coat (you would love the colour). I have been thinking that my lump sum next year could willingly go on 'The Bigger Puddle' but it would only buy a dandelion in the left hand corner.So glad you have come to live amongst us. When lived and taught in London I missed our skies. Sometimes I would go and sit on the swing in the garden of my landlady and watch the sky, but it was so noisy and full of aeroplane trails. I did find a place , the viewing gallery in the Shell centre, and took the lift up there as often as I could, it was quiet. Now I drive home from school up Woldgate following the romans, filtering through lanes to Bartindale following the route of prehistoric man past Argham, and think the skies would have amazed all our forbears in just the same way. They were not very different from me and you.
Yours sincerely

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Cheap Thrills

Last day tomorrow, not counting weekends, so I can report that the highlight of the the six weeks for me, was yesterday, as sibling 'Hullteacher ' calls me to the Buddleia to view the moth we have been hoping for . The day flying Humming-Bird halk moth is a breathtaking sight, better than the all the holiday DVDs, the Sparrow halk last week in the garden, the cloudspotting over the North Sea, the Hockney views of the wolds, and the half price tickets on the clothes in Cinnamon (Burgess Hill).

Monday, August 21, 2006

High tea again

First grandchild has her third birthday tea today. Busy grandmother has put everything on the dining table to tempt the palates of three under threes who do not eat artificial colourings , preservatives , sugar before savoury, and are organic. Four adults , parents to under threes, two grandparents, one great grandmother , one great aunt, and a ringing telephone are in the dining room. Recap -three high chairs and everything to spread on bread, a mushroom flan from the Italian vegetarian cookbook 1987, pork pie for the father of the birthday girl, and a last minute mango when all is refused, are sitting in splendour amongst doilies . Great grandmother opens bag to place on banqueting table her own ham sandwich, in foil and cling film, and a tiny flask of tea. She has ,very wisely in her eyes, read the health and safety manual for aged parents , and carried out a risk assessment to avoid getting a tummy upset.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Feeding the five thousand

Exactly half way through the summer break and I have just wound down. The weather has changed of course, the rain is bringing a great crop of slugs, and perenniel weeds like nettles just to thwart my bare hands as I make my way to the compost heap with the peelings. I forget to tell you, I have had so many visitors since the last day of term, that all I have done is load the washing machine , the washing line, the fridge, and the dining table. Today three toddlers sat in high chairs eating, ham, cheese, salad, bread(a week old) and butter and (oven) chips, kiwi fruit (sliced) and buttered toffee bread and I realised that High Tea deserves an immediate revival as it takes no time to prepare and all the old contents of the fridge are eaten at one sitting.The adults were delighted, their progeny spoiled for choice, and Grandpa thrilled to recall a bygone Sunday era. I might just make a Madeira cake next week, and clean the silver teapot.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Am feeling encouraged today. Two mothers were talking to me as their year 6 progeny spend a last day at our school "My child has always liked you" says one, other nods, "you are just like a mad professor". Great I think , the label eccentric will follow, and I have reached the height of perfection.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tell it how it is.

I would not believe me. I am exaggerating. It would not be so bad if you tried this. You are not giving the children a suitable curriculum. It is not interesting. It does not engage them.You are not trying enough strategies. You need layered Targets. You need working walls. I have had enough. I need a rest. I need to finish my Agatha Christie. I do not need inclusion, infact I would like to be excluded myself.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Post Hype Stress

What am I going to do now that my Football stickers are not the currency of year6. I expect year 3 will do anything for them.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Top trumps

Who would have thought that the simple pack of cards downloaded from the Oxfam site would have been such a success ? As FIFA fever spreads like that tummy bug throughout the whole of school, at least years 3 to 6 now know what the letters stand for. The clever cards of 32 qualifying countries draw the children in to a world fronted by football but undergirded with hard facts of what used to be known as general knowledge. I and they have learned without even realising it that in Angola the life expectancy of a human being is less than 46years, and that it has the highest infant mortality rate amongst countries in the World Cup. Children and Miss now know that the highest CO2 emissions are from USA, and that Togo has the smallest population. We have had a good week with these cards. Thank you Oxfam and thank you Gareth Pitchford , your Primary Resources site is really going somewhere. It helped that each winning card and we spun these out, led to the reward of a football sticker card from an album company making millions and probably adding to CO2 emissions.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Keep your eye on the road

Have been waiting weeks for the first Spotted Orchid to flower by the roadside near the Royal Oak turn off,on the A165. First one today.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Wars of the Roses

Have just seen the trilogy Henry VI, Edward IV and Richard III in one day at the Stephen Joseph. IF I am tired but happy, I dont know how the members of Northern Broadsides are being in character so long. At least it was good to spot the religious Henry having an anacronistic fag outside the stage door. Im now reading 'The daughter of time ' by Josephine Tey of course, as I cant find my copy of '1066 and all that '.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A city on the East Coast

Kingston upon Hull is a great place for a weekend.Now that the ABC (remember David Whitfield and Gene Pitney) has been knocked down it is so much more convenient to stroll to Albion street past the One World Shop, and then the Chinese supermarket and get a bus somewhere. How about the 115 to Newland Avenue-do the second hand book shop have lunch in the veggie cafe behind Skeltons .
Then wander down Marlborough Avenue and see if the Post Office in Hardwick Street is still there or check out the Tenfoots, or is that tenfeet.
Spend the evening at the New Theatre listening to 'The Marriage of Figaro', (Opera North) in English , in the stalls of course, see the geasepaint.
Stay at Madam Claphams and have a really clean room with a proper bathroom , not a cut out corner borded in, eat a Full English with great service, no brown bread. Then stroll on across the square, into a Sunday with no school Monday to ruin your enthusiasm or a later Heartbeat. Walk past the remains of Queens Pub and across the end of the Technical College. Remember your mother once took the car and put it in that multi-story when it was first built and then forgot and went home on the bus. On down the staithes along the river. Have Parish Communion at Holy Trinity , and Thank God for preachers who tell it as it is.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Thank God for Chelsea

Really awful days at school do not last long. Have been cheered up tonight as this evenings hour of the Chelsea flower show BBC TV offering has raised my spirits. Thank you Carol Klein- you are a natural. I loved watching you, interesting , informative , opinionated, and I feel I want to know more about some Thistle called Cirsium. A natural educator, and why ----you love your subject. I am going to have a good day tommorrow, I love Escher, I am ready to tessellate , look out YR6.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Two days to go to half-term. How many of us are thinking this-we happy breed. Sitting here in my quiet and cluttered sitting room , organising my favourites and listening to the rest of the household snoring in front of the TV I cant free my mind from school. How sad is that. Have decided to follow the conventions of 'The English Patient' and do all that Literacy tells you not to-so punctuation in this blog is going to be Level 2a at best, in it you will find my best non-agreement of verbs and I will spell words as they sound or as my memory servres, yes thats serves. Fruity Friday, thats a laugh.