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Summer term - Week 15

Posted by Lights Out Ladies
Lights Out Ladies
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on Monday, 15 July 2013
The weather this week has been beyond fantastic and the whole school seems bathed in a warm glow. The honey-coloured stones turn from yellow to a deep orange as the sun sets and the staff sit sipping Pimms from mugs to ensure the pupils think that it is simply late tea.

Beyond the stone verandah outside the Headmaster's office the flower beds are bursting with a gorgeous clash of colour and the whole school seems sparkling, or is it just that we are waving off the last of the pupils today?

Next term I return in my new role as a House Ma'am (I know - I am going to get cards made up) but for now I can enjoy just sitting out the end of my first term as a humble History teacher.

I turn to the Second Master who has joined our small party and is sitting, eyes closing on a bench behind me.

"Any plans for the holiday?" I ask.

"I'm going to work on my book," he states.

I'm impressed until the Head's PA whispers to me that this is his stock answer for every holiday but no one has yet to see any glorious tome.

"You?" he enquires, one eye swivelled on me.

I'm flustered, "Ibiza," I shout, feeling that I have somewhat let the side down.

Fortunately at that moment a group of sixth formers come up to start shaking some of the staff by the hand. A lot of them are carrying mugs...

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Summer term - Week 13

Posted by Lights Out Ladies
Lights Out Ladies
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on Monday, 01 July 2013
I have been reliably informed by most of the Staff Common Room that this week is the most important week of the year. I wrinkled my nose on hearing this for the third time. Lights Out Ladies

A levels are over, GCSE's are done and dusted. Are we being inspected?

Oh no. It is the annual election of the JSGB.

Every year the school waits with bated breath for the announcement of the new members of the JSGB - the Junior School Governing Body. Pupils have to apply, by hand, for a position on the governing body. They are then selected for interview with the Headmaster and Second Master. The shortlisted candidates for President of the JSGB (or the prospective 'PJSGB's') are then invited to write a speech to deliver to the other pupils. A vote is held, the Headmaster and Second Master confer and then the entire body of twelve pupils is announced and the PJSGB is crowned (literally - the school decided against a badge when they discovered a C15th pewter crown acting as a bookend in the Geography department).

This year the contest has been heavily contested and the staffroom have been split. Felix and Gerald - two excellent candidates, both classists and both on the Cricket 1st XI. Both complete chinless wonders in my opinion.

Gerald wins through the day after his Father's Rolls was seen outside the Headmaster's house. His position is confirmed in the same breath as the news that the school has finally found the money needed to resurface the astro pitch.

Felix is seen smashing out his frustration in the nets and Gerald spends the rest of the week bossing people about in a special striped waistcoat and telling them all that as PJSGB he can lie in on Saturdays, marry Matron and keep a goat on school grounds.

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Summer Term - Week 3

Posted by Lights Out Ladies
Lights Out Ladies
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on Saturday, 20 April 2013
I have been at Brockfield House for less than 48 hours and have already been signed up for First Aid Training, Fire Training and a Minibus Driving Test. I am standing outside the office of the Second Master who needs to sign a green form for me that gives me permission for being out of school the following week. It's called a 'greenie' which I think is hilarious but have no friends yet to laugh with about that.

He appears in the little window of the doorway which makes me jump back and yelp. He opens the door and beckons me in. His office is like a cell in a monastery. A desk, a sofa, a bookshelf with philosophical tomes and little else. It is cold and I instantly hope he can sign my greenie and I can be on my way.

"And how are you finding things?" he asks.

"I am enjoying it, it's very new, I am well." I babble this quickly, like a shopping list, practically able to see my breath in the air.

"I am drawing up a Risk Assessment for a trip to the cinema," he chuckles inexplicably and points to his desk.


"The Hobbit." He laughs again.

I smile sympathetically and explain the greenie.

"The Headmaster will need to sign that," he says handing it back.

"I'm not sure he's here today."

"He's not."


I wait for a solution. I get:

"He's at the opera this evening."

Silence. I turn to leave.

"La Boheme."

"That's nice."

"He prefers Madame Butterfly."

"Who doesn't!" (I have never been to the opera and this is NOT the right response.)

I have to sit on the sofa, I have to be educated. I learn about opera. For the next half an hour.

I wonder when I should tell him I'm meant to be teaching Year 10 in 5 minutes for the first time.

I wonder, again, how I got here.

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