Even when you’ve been in the school for a couple of years there can be surprises. And they are usually nasty, in the way that exposing yourself as a gossip when you only said one thing to the wrong person once will do. These days I like to think of myself as a sponge, soaking up the remains of the spilt guts that cross my path, but never squeezing them out in public. I do slip up occasionally though, and it’s a horrible feeling. Take this instance filled with obvious name changes and slight scenario alterations. Ms Cheddar and Ms Edam teach in my department. Both have similar experience, both are competent teachers, and both are friendly. Ms Cheddar is a bit more on my wavelength though, and has, at times, divulged information to me which has been useful in my understanding of our particular staffroom politics. One day Ms Cheddar and Ms Edam both go for the same promotion, and Ms Edam is the one to be promoted. Ms Cheddar tastes sour grapes, decides she can no longer work at the school, and fills me in on the extent to which Ms Edam has been kissing butt and manipulating people. I take it with a pinch of salt, but I am later asked by Ms Brie what I think of the promotion situation (along with raised eyebrows, rolling eyes, and the rest). Ms Brie has always been a bit of a gossip, and as such I usually guard my comments well, but for some reason I can’t help letting slip that not everyone’s pleased, and that I heard that she’d got the promotion because (insert any kind of kissing butt or blackmail story here). Of course, I do precede the statement with that get-out cause of culpability: “apparently…”. The minute I say it, I feel I’ve let myself down. First of all, although I’ve heard the rumours, I know it’s probably not true, or at least exaggerated. Secondly, I know Ms Brie will tell everyone she meets within the next break what she has heard, and probably embellish it too. Thirdly, I feel a bit scared, because if Ms Cheddar hears what Ms Brie is saying, then she could well know that it came from me. This kind of thing makes me feel about 14 years of age all over again, but maybe working in a school brings you out in a rash of gossip; a result of being in close contact with teenage hormones for too long. And perhaps there is a reason for all this juvenile behaviour. Ten minute chats about the weather at breaktime aside, contact with colleagues in a school is fleeting. Most of the working day is spent in the company of children, and even if there are other adults in the classroom, perhaps to support children with learning difficulties, there’s no time to chat and find out something about their lives. On the other hand, there are long-standing teachers in my school who are extremely good friends. They car-share, baby-sat for each other once upon a time, meet up in pubs, have dinner at each others’ houses, and even end up marrying each other. Maybe it’s just a slower process in a school than elsewhere. Or maybe the gossip that divides some of the staff binds others, so that the only thing they have in common is a shared irrational hatred of somebody else, usually middle or senior management. At least, that’s what I heard…
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.