Saturday, June 28, 2008

PGCE Final placement - Week 8 of 9

Well it's a funny time. Most of my PGCE colleagues have finished their placements now and had all their files and standards signed off and I have another week to go. This week has been quite nice really. I was doing a few more fun things with the kids and the good Lord has smiled on me a bit, too. Tuesday we had an African drumming workshop in the morning. I have this strange compulsion to get myself a djembe now. In the afternoon, about 10 of the class were out playing in a football tournament, so we did some more fun activities. Wednesday was my planning day so no contact with kids all day. Thursday I had to go into college in the afternoon for the final meeting and Friday was INSET and all the staff were doing tasks at home so school wasn't open. This was wonderful for me, not only because it was an unexpected oasis of peace before the final push, but also because I had my daughter's confirmation on Thursday night and it was my 27th Wedding Anniversary on Friday. Thank you God - it is so wonderful that you can operate outside of linear time and organise things like that!

The confirmation was lovely, actually. I may sound surprised at that but it is because it was done on a pastoral area basis. For administrative purposes we now have to do things with two neighbouring parishes which means it can lack the intimacy that doing stuff in your own church has. We had to trek out to St Winefride's in Neston. It's a lovely sandstone church - very picturesque but with the weirdest layout on the inside. We were OK as we were facing the altar. But a large section looks sideways on so it is not the most inclusive layout I've seen. The big downside of this pastoral area arrangement is that you can't invite your family as there is no room. As his Lordship was with us, he had to sit in the cheap seats at the side and didn't really see that much. The church was full so there was no chance of inviting grandparents. The pianist was excellent which assisted greatly in encouraging a bit of singing. We didn't hang around to say hello to the bishop as St Winefride's church hall was straining a bit to cope with the numbers and I was getting claustrophobic. We escaped to the calmer ambience of Pizza Express in Heswall.

Friday morning meant a much deserved lie-in and lunch at the Hinderton Arms in Neston. His Lordship and I then went to Ness Gardens to walk off the worst excesses of lunch before replacing them with a slice of home baked cake. Even Ness is not a safe haven from the recent infestation of superlambananas. Now, just time to replenish my energies, do a bit of planning and into the final push for week 9 of 9!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

PGCE final placement - Week 6 of 9 -What a corker!

Well, this week was a bit more upbeat for me. But I must admit to being completely knackered. I am desperately trying to figure out how you can do a decent job and still have a life! 3 more weeks to go and I am counting down in every way possible - pairs of daily disposable contact lenses I need, marking off days on the calendar. By the time I have my next hair appointment I will have finished. I have purchased my last monthly travel season ticket. I have 15 more days in school, of which 10.5 are teaching days. If I could put as much imagination into my lesson planning it would be great!

Humour spot of the week this week:

Me: Can anybody tell me what this is? (holding up a champagne cork)
Pupil A: A cork!
Me : That's right, it's a cork! What is it made from?
Pupil B: Cork.
Me: Yes, well done, it's made from cork. But where does 'cork' come from?
Whole class (in chorus): From wine bottles!

From the mouths of babes, eh?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

PGCE Final placement - week 5 of 9 Numeracy across the curriculum...

'Here I am' is the deadly boring and uninspiring RE scheme of work used by, I think, all of the Catholic Primary Schools in England and Wales. Whoever devised it wants shooting, seriously. What is even worse is that, considering so many teachers must have to use it, there is absolutely nothing on t'internet in terms of resources/ideas of how to deliver the scheme. But anyhow, we were looking at 'Building Bridges' which is essentially about relationships and reconciliation. I happened to tell the kids the story of when Jesus was asked by Peter how many times we should forgive someone, should it be seven times. Jesus responded with seventy times seven (according to some translations). I was so bored that I decided to use this as an opportunity for some cross curricular maths. I unashamedly picked on a young chap by the name of John. He is the maths star of the class. I cannot keep up with him workwise. He just eats up everything that you put in front of him (metaphorically speaking!). I gave it to him as a mental maths challenge. He had a little think about it and tells me its 490. OK, to an adult of average intelligence, this is no great shakes. But this little guy is seven years old. His classmates splutter their way through the 2, 5 and 10 times tables. Many struggle to mentally calculate something like 15-6. Suffice it to say I was well-impressed.