Tag Archives: Education

#proudmama

14 Aug
Can't believe it's been seven years...

Can’t believe it’s been seven years…

 

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The phone rang at eight-thirty this morning:

Tilly: Hello?

Spud: [Scream] Mum!  AAB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I think he was pleased.

 

The Best Days Of His Life

19 May

My baby’s all grown up.  Sad faces all round…though I am relieved he survived my cooking.

This was him seven years ago:

alex 1stday stockgram 06082007 (26)

 

This was him two weeks ago:

DSCN2885

That uniform really lasted!

1794774_10203745469216786_5170206785749170175_nSpud is now on study leave for his A Levels and then – idiocy and/or idleness notwithstanding – he’s off to university in the autumn.

The school gave them a good send off: Leavers’ Day started with a Full English Breakfast; followed by a huge dragon bouncy castle with tunnel and slide.  As the Hub said, they filled them up then emptied them again…

Lots of fun activities ensued including a barbecue and the handing out of Most Likely To… certificates (decided by each student’s friends).  Spud was found Most Likely To Run The Grand National, because his nickname is ‘Stallion’.  I daren’t ask for details.  Finally, they let off the traditional balloons in the school colours.10252131_10203745537178485_259882759226844147_n10175955_10201016035723498_8529203522459418278_n

They were given leavers’ hoodies:

DSCN2880

I asked why he was the number 14.  So did the Hub.  I admit it: sometimes, parents are stupid.10277565_10203745529338289_7679196353554244942_n

They received Year Books; but they didn’t write in them.  The tradition is for each child to buy a hard notebook and pass it around; teachers and friends write pages and pages of memories, good and bad.  It’s a lovely tradition.  Spud read the clean ones out to us.  I may have sobbed a little.

In the evening, they attended a Leavers’ Ball.  Five of Spud’s friends came here for pre-ball drinks and post-ball sleep.  What a funny world it is: hundreds of screaming teenagers on a bouncy castle in the morning and hundreds of screaming drunk teenagers bouncing on the dance floor in the evening.

They boys passed their school on the way there and back to the ball.  Both times, they spontaneously burst into the first two lines of the school psalm (no one ever remembers the third-plus lines).  ‘How middle class are we?’ asked Spud’s friend; before coming back to sleep on the floor of our council house and be fed a breakfast of homemade pancakes – some burned, some not; it’s the luck of the draw.10151876_10203745559339039_8569076471560965562_n

Spud has had seven happy years at a wonderful school.  He has been given a first class education at their expense.  He has great relationships with friends and teachers and many great memories.

It’s all downhill from here.

Happy future, darling.

 

 

To Answer Your Question

19 Sep
English: human mind for performance psychology...

English: human mind for performance psychology DYK page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Squeezing this in before more visitors arrive.  My boys say we should think about turning this house into a hotel.

To answer your question, the courses I have signed up for with FutureLearn are:

For two reasons: they sound interesting; and there was no creative writing course.

I am thrilled that so many of you have signed up for something.  Learning is fun (but knowledge is power.  Hope that helps with my electricity bill).

 

Time To Learn

18 Sep
Sesame magazine

Sesame magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’ve had a visitor here since Monday so I haven’t been able to blog as much as I had hoped, but I have sneaked away to tell you about this:

The Open University has teamed up with universities around the globe to offer free online short courses.  I have signed up for three, with staggered start dates; the first begins in November.  

Join me!  It’s all online so you don’t have to live in the UK.  

Here’s the link: FutureLearn.

 

Joke 745

7 Apr

Cartoon by Dave Walker

An English public school was forced to raise its fees.  The headmaster decided that the simplest way was to implement an across the board 7% increase per annum.  Unfortunately, when the secretary typed the letter, she missed out a crucial ‘n’ in the last word of the letter, consequently, it read thus:

Dear Parent

Due to increased building costs, I have decided reluctantly to raise the fees by 7% per anum.

About a week later, one concerned parent replied, saying:

Dear Headmaster

I regret your increase in fees, but I would like to continue paying through the nose as before.

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This is alleged to be the message that a School staff in the Worcester area voted unanimously to record on their school telephone answering machine.

It came about because they implemented a policy requiring students and Parents to be responsible for their children’s absences and missing homework.

The school and teachers are now being threatened with legal action by some parents who want their children’s failing marks changed to passing marks – even though those children were absent 15-30 times during the term and did not complete enough schoolwork to pass their various key stages.

The Message:

Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school.  In order to assist you in connecting to the right member of staff, please listen to all the options before making a selection:

  • To lie about why your child is absent – Press 1
  • To make excuses for why your child did not do his/her work – Press 2
  • To complain about what we do – Press 3
  • To swear at staff members – Press 4
  • To ask why you didn’t get information that was already enclosed in your Newsletter and several letters posted to you – Press 5
  • If you want us to bring up your child – Press 6
  • If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone – Press 7
  • To complain about school lunches – Press 8
  • To complain about bus transport – Press 9
  • If you realize this is the real world, and your child must be accountable and responsible for their own behaviour, class work, homework and that it’s not the teachers’ fault for your child’s lack of effort: Hang up and have a really wonderful day!

From Will & Guy.

 

 

Joke 436

2 Jun

 

Dolmen

These are not really jokes, but they are amusing all the same.  They come courtesy of my dear friend Vivinfrance.  Enjoy!

In the English language newspaper Connexion in December there was a list of the howlers of baccalaureat (Bac-a-laugh-a-lot) candidates.

  • A square is a rectangle with one side a bit shorter
  • The 100 Years War lasted from 1914 to 1918
  • Napoleon was his grandfather’s nephew
  • The Normandy landings took place in England
  • The Maginot Line was built to keep out an invasion of German tourists
  • Plankton was an old Greek philosopher
  • The Egyptians transformed dead people into mummies so as to keep them alive
  • The Armistice is a war which ends each year on November 11
  • China is the country with the biggest population: one billion per square kilometre
  • Dolmens were kind of bus shelters every 100 metres
  • To make eggs, the hen has to be fermented by the cockerel
  • In the Roman circus, the radiators ate the lions to make people laugh
  • The successor of Lenin was Stallone
  • Asphyxia is a heart attack while breathing electric current
  • It is forbidden to arrest someone in their absence
  • When the hunting season is closed, it is strictly forbidden to open it.
  • In the Middle Ages, fire made smoke.
  • Children are often born young.

A Brief Explanation Of English Schools

8 May
Cover of "School Daze"

Cover of School Daze

I wrote a post, School Daze, about Spud’s last days at school (until he goes back for two more years in September).  It was understandably a little confusing for non-Brits, as Janie pointed out, so here’s a brief explanation:

Children start school the year they turn five, in Reception, presumably named because it is the first time they are received into school.  I think it is the equivalent of the American kindergarten, but many schools don’t even have gartens, kinder or otherwise, especially in the inner cities.

Next come Years One and Two, ages six to seven, known as the Infants.

Years Three to Six – eight to eleven – are known as the Juniors.

We have infant schools and junior schools and infant and junior schools, which are known as Primary Schools.

High School follows at eleven, turning twelve, starting in Year Seven, to Year Eleven at sixteen.

It is legal to leave school at sixteen and go out to work or on to College or Sixth Form.  College is not varsity, it is for further studies aged seventeen-eighteen. Colleges – also known as Sixth Form Colleges – are separate institutions which only teach that age group.

Some high schools have sixth forms, but most state schools in Stockport do not have a sixth form.  State schools are public schools, not to be confused with schools known as public schools, which are private schools.

Private schools and grammar schools – which are fee-paying high schools, apart from those grammar schools which are not fee-paying high schools – usually do have a sixth form.

The term, Sixth Form comes from the days when high schools were known as Secondary Schools and had First Year to Fifth Year instead of Year Seven to Year Eleven.

Secondary schools were known at one time as Secondary Moderns or Comprehensive Schools.  Secondary Moderns were not comprehensive in their teaching and Comprehensives were ultra-modern until pupils trashed them.

We now also have Academies, which are privately sponsored state schools, but I don’t want to confuse you so forget about them.  Everyone else does.

Sixth Forms consist of Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth.  Despite there being seven years of secondary schooling (two optional), there is no Seventh form – not even when there was no Year Seven.

The Scots have a different system – and probably the Welsh and Northern Irish, as well.

An important point to remember: the Northern Irish are British as well as Irish, and not just Irish like the Irish.  The English are British and the Welsh are sometimes Welsh and sometimes Welsh and British.  The Scots are a law unto themselves and tend not to worry about British law, preferring Scots law, because we – the English, who are British like the Scots – will never take away their freedom.

I hope this helps.

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