Tuesday, 05 March 2019
I’m not sure the BBC research into numbers taking GCSEs in modern languages was timed to coincide with many schools requiring pupils to decide what subjects they would be taking for GCSE. However, the news last week that numbers have continued to fall such that there are districts in England where no pupils sat a GCSE in French or German at all, certainly provided an interesting backdrop to our Year 9 discussions over option choices.
Wednesday, 06 February 2019
I’m conscious that, by the time I write my next blog, offer letters for 11+ will be winging their way from schools across north London, and most minds will be turning to choices. Open mornings will allow parents and carers to refresh their understanding of the inner workings of the schools they had visited so many months before, and schools will be shifting from big picture vision pitch to granular detail. At the same time, by the same post, a second tranche of letters will be going out bringing post-interview bad news. And, all the while, families are discussing the choices – endless chatter face-to-face, endless chatter online, and the best one can say about the process is that it makes a break from Brexit!
Monday, 21 January 2019
I haven’t yet read Engines of Privilege: Britain’s Private School Problem by David Kynaston and Francis Green (it comes out in February), but I was diverted by Kynaston’s article about his book in The Guardian: he (and his book) come across as measured and thoughtful, and he invites genuine dialogue which steers clear of grandstanding. While he levels some criticism at grammar schools, he is most concerned by the effect of private schools, such as Highgate, on social mobility.
Friday, 14 December 2018
On Tuesdays and Fridays, you will normally see me jogging up St Michael’s School path to make it into school in time for our 8.15 staff briefing, regretting the extra slice of toast or longer ruminating over the newspaper which has made me late. I encourage colleagues to meet face-to-face at least twice a week, and not only to cut back on the number of emails we send each other. One way we make the interruption to the early risers’ working morning more agreeable is to hold exhibitions in our staff common room, to which teachers and support staff contribute: holiday snaps, for example, or, as with last week, a competition to match up names with photos of teachers as toddlers.
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
In the febrile political climate which is gripping the UK, Highgate’s Music Department is exploring ‘Rebels, Romantics and Revolutionaries’ of the musical world in its Michaelmas concert this week (Thursday 29/11, 7pm, Junior School Hall), and catching early sight of the programme, I wondered what our aspirant instrumentalists made of their musical preoccupations: after all, to attend rehearsals, they forego the pleasures of a Dining Hall lunch and hang on after school has long since ended for everyone else. So I made my way to the Tuck Shop to put some questions and, having swallowed a very toothsome macaroni cheese, interrogated my unsuspecting blog victims.
Page 1 of 24