Sunday, May 25, 2008

A day at skool learnin Nuffink

Thursday 22nd May 2008
The heavens opened last night, by 2.30am there was wind, thunder, lightning, rain and it woke Carolyn up. Carolyn doesn’t like waking up at the best of times, she tolerates getting up at 6am to make Ian a cup of tea before he goes to work but that is something that gives her a purpose in life, to wake up just because a bit of wind and rain is being a bit noisy is something that will give her the right hump, and it did.
The problem appears to be that Carolyn, despite the fact that she is invariably asleep before her head hits the pillow, is convinced that she couldn’t get to sleep for hours. Ian thinks that the problem is that she is so brainy that everything it takes the rest of us hours to mull over before going to bed, she does in milliseconds, but believes that it has taken as long as it would for us mere mortals.
We had an appointment with one of the other Private Schools today, we had booked the appointment expecting to be shown round by somebody who had a teaching background and would be able to answer our questions as we walked round. Not an unreasonable expectation when you are looking at getting children into school mid term and have not had a chance to see the school at an official open day.
It was an Anglican school, probably the biggest private school in the area and they obviously believe that they don’t have to go the extra mile to get people to part with their money and send their little darlings to their school. We arrived just before 9am and sat in reception waiting to be seen, a few minutes later another couple arrived with a 3-4 year old and a baby in a push chair. At about five past nine the Chaplain came out and said that he would show us round, we just had to wait for someone else who also wanted to look round but was currently in a meeting with the Principal.
We are not amused to say the least, assuming the Chaplain does know about the education within the school, we are not going to feel comfortable discussing the educational needs of our children in front of other parents and we suspect the other parents will probably feel the same. There is also the problem that we expected to speak to the Principal about our needs and concerns and while one family had obviously already spoken to him, we hadn’t and we suspected the other family hadn’t which meant that either one family or both families were not going to have the opportunity to speak to the Principal.
After about another 5 minutes a Mother and Child came out of the office and we set off to look round the school. It was a farce, the Chaplain said “this is the first time we have tried taking more than one family round at a time and I don’t know how this is going to work”, he then went on to say “I’m not very good with names so I won’t ask what your names are because I won’t remember them”, this is getting better.
We all march off with the Chaplain in front talking as he leads the way, we can hear or understand some of what he is saying but we were close by, we don’t suppose the family with the pushchair heard much. First stop Kindergarten, we really need to see this don’t we! We were going to wait outside so that the couple with the Kindergarten aged child could get the most out of it, but the Chaplain told us to go in because we would be leaving through a door on the other side of the building. So six adults, three children and a largish pushchair had to wend their merry way through three classes of little ones, the gangways were tiny, the people who needed to know about these classes were the ones furthest away from the Chaplain and the pushchair kept getting stuck in the aisles.
We then went through almost every block of classrooms without actually seeing a great deal and when it came to answering questions, the Chaplain was not the best man for the job. Whilst he knew where all the classrooms were and what new building was going to be done and the reason for it, he did not do teaching himself so when it came to questions regarding the technicalities of teaching, he was about as much use as a chocolate fireguard.
When we got back to reception we asked the Chaplain a couple of questions about things that we felt were pertinent to our children and his reply was that we needed to talk to the Principal, sorry we almost forgot, wasn’t that one of the reasons we made an appointment in the first place?
This particular school has about 700 students and wants to take that to 1200, if they don’t get their act together it may take them some time. We wasted our time this morning, we have made an appointment to meet the Principal but have yet to decide if we will bother turning up.
We got back to the Café and the quiche that Ian had put in the oven before we left had not been taken out when the two, yes two alarms had gone off, despite the staff admitting that they had heard them. Ian had the raging hump for the rest of the day and ended up having to work late in order to get everything back up to date. Carolyn was most displeased with the school and even less happy with Ian having to work late, today was not a good day to have a reasoned discussion about the school.

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