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The learning log: one teacher's mission impossible to get her class writing about their time in school

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A primary school, somewhere in England. Last week.

“Class, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a learning log. This is a half-page summary of your favourite lesson. You have 48 hours. It is not the place to use inappropriate language, write in REALLY BIG letters to fill the page or extensively quote Meghan Trainor. If you are successful you will get an undisclosed but thrilling number of house points. If not, you will have to karaoke to Bat out of Hell with the headteacher Mrs Threapwood during the whole-school end-of-term assembly.”

Everyone accepts the mission.

Eight children choose maths. 

Teacher: “Well done Dion. Can you think of somewhere in the classroom where you can find a right-angled triangle?”

Five children choose to write about the water-cycle.

T: “What a lovely drawing Saima. An imaginative use of the 24 new gel pens you got for your birthday. An extra three housepoints for the claret and blue parrots.”

One child picks PE.

T: “What a graphic description of blood dripping from Henry’s mouth after the football hit him. Well done on remembering that canine is the correct name for the tooth that was knocked out.”

Four children write about an RE lesson on “special food for celebrations”.

T: “Honey-soaked apple slices are a tasty treat, Orli. But your presentation is a bit sticky. We did talk about what should be sellotaped into your book AND WHAT SHOULDN’T after that incident with the rabbit droppings.”

Three girls write about the lunchtime djembe club.

T: “It was all about that bass, ey?”

Four children ignore the instructions and write about swapping football cards in the playground.

T: “Wow. What a lot of writing, Malik. I was interested to learn that Alex thinks that you should give him Alexis Sánchez in return for a Sunderland defender, three West Brom players and Brendan Rodgers. You were right to refuse. Five house points.”

The remaining child wrote about Mrs Threapwood’s assembly.

T: “Your description of 'liking the assembly best because it didn’t feel as long as other weeks because Hana in Year 2 threw up all over the floor and some of it hit Jamal' lacks punctuation and correct sentence structure, Anika. But I do agree."

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