After a week out of the classroom, and a concerted effort to plan cover lessons in fool-proof detail (see here), I returned with a heavy heart. This feeling was vindicated when I saw my classroom after my short absence. I doubt that my desk had been intact for even one day, let alone several. And yet there is some gratification to be had from the experience, which is just enough to sustain me as I try to work my way through the confetti on my desk, and try to ascertain what, if any, work my classes managed to do when I was away. Because children, even if they spend half their time rallying against you, cursing you, slagging you off to their parents and friends, refusing to work for you, etc, do actually like the familiarity of the routine. Even if that routine is turning up late to your lessons, chatting for ten minutes after their arrival, not bothering to do any work or listen or join in. They seem to be comforted by the fact that they know it’s you there, at the front of the class, and when they are actually forced to do something productive, you’re not going to be that hard on them when they produce a pile of twaddle, and so they can get on with the more important things like passing notes or texting under the table. Or if they do end up in detention, well that’s a fair cop, and they know they deserved it, and although they may shout for a bit or act up in front of their friends, they know their time has come for retribution.
So when they swan up to your room late and find out that it’s not you there, but some sergeant major type, or a flaky woman past retirement age, or a nervous NQT, several emotions must swim through their minds, ranging from “I’m going to get in trouble for being late now” to “Great! A free lesson ‘cos teacher’s away” and including “Right, so what’s this duffer’s Achilles heel then” (although I suspect the last one is only for public school types and those who understood “Troy”). But strangely enough, the most common reaction to having a stranger in the classroom seems to be a slightly unsettling feeling. The kids don’t like feeling unsettled. It’s bad enough being a kid anyway, without further unsettling things happening.
You have an important decision to make – to choose a Primary School for your child. In 2003 OFSTED described our school as a “very good school with some excellent features”. We feel proud of our school and hope you will consider Wallands for your child.
The school is well known for being a very happy, open and vibrant school as well as for the outstanding quality and work of its staff, who are experienced and approachable. We believe in high standards both in the core subjects and in the more artistic side of the curriculum. Visitors will find stimulating displays of children’s work throughout the school and there is a strong musical tradition at Wallands. In addition the school is increasingly strong at PE and computer work.
At Wallands we strive to help children to develop a positive self-image through knowledge of the world and of themselves. The skills of good communication, independence and awareness of self and others, are taught in the context of a clear moral framework. Spiritual values, creative expression and logical thought are encouraged. It is a school in which clear expectations are set in terms of work and behaviour and where equal access to the curriculum is provided for each child. Full details of the curriculum are available at the school.
Reception and Key Stage 1 classes are limited to a maximum of 30 and Key Stage 2 to a maximum of 32. All classes are very well supported by Teaching Assistants with full time assistants in Reception classes. Our aim is to ensure that all children enjoy school and experience success, whilst also achieving the highest standard of which they are capable.