Never Mind The Bullocks

Proof of provinciality today in big lunchtime alert about eight bullocks infiltrating school playing fields. To be fair, bullocks looked as perplexed as some members of the Leadership Team sent out to intercept. Fortunately four Year 11 students took control and directed rogue livestock back through gap in hedge normally reserved for smokers. Merit points dished out in abundance as result.

Acutely aware of possibility of unfairly conflating ‘provincial’ and ‘rural’ in this diary entry but feel opportunity too good to waste.



Email arrived this morning, forwarded from the DFE, about development of WORKLOAD REDUCTION TOOLKIT (their choice of ALL CAPS). Bemused to discover that email asks (in a tone of barely concealed desperation) for suggestions about how workload reduction might possibly be attained. Deadline for suggestions is 4th DECEMBER.

Fight off temptation to instantly respond with email suggesting first step may possibly be to not overload already overworked colleagues with additional tasks at ludicrously short notice.

Additionally fight temptation to respond with an observation that in the climate of competition engendered by the various Secretaries of State for Education over the past decade or so we would only be willing to supply suggestions of effective strategies for workload reduction on a consultancy basis and attach overview of consultancy charging structure.

Decide finally to click ‘delete’ and turn attention to next item on to-do list.


Devastated to discover that The Twitter has doubled the character limit of Tweets to a massive 280 and in so doing completely exploding my previously posited theory that 140 character limit behind dominant movement in education of reducing complex systems to ultimately meaningless lowest common denominator single words. Convinced that Life Will Never Be The Same Again.

Personalised Learning Checklists

Conscious of the fact that this ought possibly to be ‘Personalized’ with a ‘z’ because it may be another of these fashionable educational notions imported from the United States of America. Immediately start thinking of somewhat dark and inappropriate joke that M shared at breakfast table after reading about yet another mass shooting: “America just needs to start again from scratch, doesn’t it? Switch if off and switch it back on again.”

Reflect that although it made me laugh this perhaps is sign of The Times That We Are Living In or alternatively that M has spent too long watching television.

Main point of diary entry however meant to ponder the concept of Personalised Learning Checklists. J suggests we deliver input about these to colleagues at our next training opportunity, alongside something on aforementioned ‘Knowledge Organisers’. Barely withhold groan on reading email and immediately respond with request that if we do so can we please not use so much fashionable edu-babble. Entirely convinced that ‘List Of Things To Remember’ and ‘To-do list’ are equally valid terms for these concepts. Concede that if so, extended blog posts about such concepts become exceptionally difficult to write. As evidenced in this diary entry.

Rest case and tick ‘write diary entry’ off Personalised Learning Checklist.



HandmadeCyclist_Day2_67664_1024xWe often say that in teaching three things are inevitable: Death, taxes and OFSTED. To this list we ought also to add ‘the email about Missing Mugs From The Staffroom’.

Delighted to report that the Missing Mugs email was sent around to staff this morning by a member of our admin team whose job description, I am sure, does not involve ‘keep audit of mugs in staffroom’. This email follows inevitably from prior missives from individuals pleading for the safe return of their Special Mug (implicit in which is the accusation that some other unfeeling oaf has purloined it for their own malignant purposes, chief of which is to Irritate and Frustrate the owner of said mug).

Admit to feeling gleeful that email systems allow global sharing of such Important Topics, especially when inevitable use of ‘reply all’ is extravagantly applied by key colleagues whose guilt in mug appropriation is made apparent to all. Immediately try and remember The Time Before Email and therefore how colleagues managed such issues in those circumstances. Forced to conclude that because we were never made globally aware of the issue then plague of mug misappropriation simply never happened. File this conclusion in folder marked ‘Evidence that Computers Have Ruined Our Existence’. Revel in fact that such a folder exists on computer and once more celebrate a contradiction with coffee in Special Mug.