Thursday, October 26, 2006
Largely I think this may be due to my (no longer misplaced) faith in Thierry Henry. A hooted with laughter at the start of the season (since Henry was playing with all the finesse of a three-legged donkey). "That'll teach you to pick players just 'cos you fancy them", he jeered. Now however, he is the second highest point scoring striker with 54 points. Only Everton's Johnson (on A's team) beats him, with 57 points - the rest are miles behind.
Smug? Me? Whatever makes you think that?
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Don't get me wrong, I think the perceived English attitude to foreign languages (say it again, more slowly and louder but still in English, accompanied by a bit of hand-waving) is poor, to say the least. Relatives of A moved to Spain a number of years ago to buy a bar. They have since sold it, but still live out there and as far as I'm aware have made no effort whatsoever to learn the language. This just makes me die inside. I also think that to make it easier for our children to learn a language, leaving it to 11 is leaving it too late.
However I am concerned by the mixed messages given by the Government. I quote from the Standards site:
The centrepiece of the National Languages Strategy - Languages for All Languages for Life - is our commitment to give every child between the ages of 7 and 11 the entitlement to learn a new language. This marks a fundamental shift in our approach to language learning in this country and, by 2010 will transform the shape of language learning in our schools.
But it's not really followed through, is it? This comes from a QCA document published in 2004:
From September 2004, modern foreign languages (MFL) will no longer be a compulsory national curriculum subject, but will become one of the entitlement areas that all schools must offer within their key stage 4 curriculum. The new requirements are intended not to discourage students from studying MFL, but to provide greater flexibility and choice for learners.
And thereby lies the crux - it might not be discouraging students from studying MFL to exam standard, but it sure as hell isn't encouraging them to, either.
Maybe I'm being a cynic - perhaps if we engender a sense that languages are fun in primary, the students will carry it on through KS3 and KS4. But all I can see is that we have to shoe-horn in another subject - one that challenges music for making non-specialist teachers feel vulnerable - while our secondary colleagues work out who to make redundant in ever diminishing departments.
And then cap it all with this bit of gossip I picked up on the course. Over half of the primaries in our authority have made a start on rolling PMFL out in Y3 and some have actually been doing it for a number of years. Pupils are arriving at one high school in the authority with a grounding in Spanish - they can't just recite numbers, colours and body parts, they can have conversations, which is surely the aim of any language? Is the high school happy? Is it buffalo. It's thrown a strop because this part of the intake already knows what would be covered in Year 7 and part of Year 8 and it therefore is "having to teach them another language".
God forbid they should put those kids into a set and adapt the curriculum to take their Spanish on...
As well as that I need to work out how I can fit 76 children dressed as nativity characters, sheep, stars, etc into a performing space little larger than that taken up by a Mini Cooper...
Oh the joys of Infant teaching...
Monday, October 23, 2006
TOGS the world over are united in mourning the Mid-Herts Maestro. RIP Dr Wally.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I have been admonished by a reader for not updating my blog. Abject apologies, but time has run away with me (again).
Actually, it doesn't feel like much has happened since my last entry - it's been a round of keeping up with hearing readers (always a challenge) and trying to get ahead of myself in terms of planning for next half term (failed again).
In between it all though, I went to a Virgin Vie party and a joint 40th/wedding party in a barn.
The Virgin Vie party was interesting... K invited me along and I was rather ashamed to find that the 9 women there who were complaining that now they had children they had no social life or time to themselves were far more social and infinitely better groomed than I. With hand on heart I do have to say that I felt like a dog's dinner tied up in a potato sack next to them all. K has a similar outlook to me regarding girlie thigs like make-up (yeah, would be nice, look great with it on but it's just not worth the additional 40 minutes required in the morning) but she is slender and therefore looks good in pretty much anything, including tracksuit and motorbike leathers. Me on the other hand...
Ah well. Got some smashing nail varnish though.
The following night was a party in a barn complete with doors coming off their hinges, naff carpet to trip on and a hog roast. One of my cousins went to Sri Lanka in August to get married (half-way between UK and NZ where her husband comes from, so siblings from both sides could attend) and the party was on her 40th to celebrate the two events. She was wearing her wedding dress (always easy to maneovere strappy sandals and a full train around a farm yard I find) and having a high old time. The band were great, although a little loud and it was good to see a load of my Dad's family again.
During the evening I spotted my one of my cousins dancing on the other side of the barn. Now, he's only 9 years older than me, so I don't think he's that old. After all, in my head I'm still only 17, so that would make him 26, a mere spring chicken. But then I realised something horrific was happening. He was having a whale of a time - Dad-dancing! After pointing it out to A and having a chuckle, I was then mortified to realise that I was dancing in a similar fashion, but not actually moving my feet...
So there you go. Consider the evidence:
1. I obtain deep satisfaction from pulling dandelions up with tap root intact;
2. I have my osteopath on speed-dial;
3. The best way to spend Friday night is with a Chinese take away and Gardeners' World;
4. I dance like somebody's Mum.
I am now offically middle-aged.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
I'm not a great one for New Year's Resolutions in January, partly I suspect because I don't like being the same as everyone else (baaa!! Who am I trying to kid?) Anyway, I tend to leave them for September, for obvious reasons. This year, I decided I was fed up of being frazzled of a Sunday evening and I would do my damnedest to have my planning in to the Head on a Friday morning so as to reclaim my weekends. Last week I got a text from Phil (who we met on our holiday), asking about the usual Sunday night ritual, to which I smugly replied that all my planning was in, thank you very much and I was sitting down getting ready for Jane Eyre.
Oh, pride comes before a fall...
An extra staff-meeting for training, coupled with coming home Thursday night without my memory stick (I could have cried with frustration) has put the kybosh on my good intentions well and truly. So here I am, cursing myself and still wasting time by blogging instead of planning my guided writing...