Can we play at Sess Mints, Miss?;Pupil's diary

10th April 1998 at 01:00
Dyce primary in Aberdeen was a pilot for the Government's "How good is our school?" project, which involved writing a standards and quality report. Pupils' views are important, so headteacher Joan Fenton devised a typical session's diary.

August 20. My first day in Primary 6. We've got the depute head, who's really cool. She didn't even ask us to write about the summer holidays. Just as well, because I never even got to go to Aberdeen with my friends. My mum thinks 10 miles is mega far. I've made friends with the new boy called Lewis. I wish I lived in the country like him, so I could go on the school bus. Lewis says they're the first ones to be sent home when the weather's bad.

September 2. I had to go to Primary 1 today to talk to Kelley because she was crying and wanting to go home. I told her she would have to stay because her teacher is the insistent head.

September 26. It was our turn to work with Miss Phentin today. You always know when she's coming because the teacher has a quick tidy-up before she even tells you. Lewis says she works with everyone in the 13 classes because he's seen her doing reading in Primary 4 when he was going round looking for his tamagotchi. Maybe he's right because Kelly said Miss Phentin was playing a game called Sess Mints with her class last week.

November 20. Oh no, it's true! I can't believe it! Miss Phentin is looking at everybody's homework jotter and asking questions about when they do it. I wish I had believed Lewis when he said he heard teachers talking about this new thing called Pea Eyes. Miss Phentin is going to be using it and it's going to be kwality for sure.

January 6. Happy new year - not. I am in for mega grief at home because Miss Phentin says she's writing a newsletter to tell the parents that we have homework every night and other things. If mum looks back at the signatures in my jotter I'm dead meat! Lewis is an ace friend. He's going to help me.

January 28. That's the last time I take anything home from school for my mum to fill in. She bugged me the whole night asking me question for this survey on E Floss we're carrying out at school. I had to watch what I said, because she goes mad at the mention of drugs.

February 5. Lewis was in deep trouble today. He was winding up the relief teacher and he never knew that our teacher was just round the corner. Why does she have to look at the Primary 5's science work anyway? It can't be better than ours because we've been doing light and colour. When the teacher's busy with Group 7 we've been trying to mix paint the same colour as Ginger Spice's hair.

March 12. We had Miss Phentin again today. Most of the time she was looking at the stuff in our folders. Lewis sneaked a look and he seen she was writing about Recording of Pupil Ailments. Maybe she's trying to find out who has Pea Eyes.

March 17. There's something going on in the staffroom. We haven't worked it out yet but Lewis thinks it's to do with drugs.

He was sitting outside Miss Phentin's office all day until he could explain to her the mystery of the homework jotters that have been handed in to the school by people who live on the school bus route. He saw two teachers going along the corridor to the staffroom with their folders. Our teacher calls her folder her Bible. The funny thing was that one teacher was from Primary 2 and the other one was from Primary 6. You never usually see them sitting together when you go to the staffroom door at playtime about a serious matter.

Lewis didn't think that they were best friends because they both had on their tight mouths, but when they came back an hour later they were smiling and speaking to each other.

After playtime Lewis saw two more teachers doing the same thing and in the afternoon another two.

He was nearly getting his story right in his head about the homework jotters and they kept putting him off. He heard things like they were embarrassed about saying they were high and that they never would have marked themselves like that if they had been on their own.

March 18. Our teacher is in on the drugs thing as well. A Primary 3 teacher came to collect her and said something about being interested to see how you do it up the school. Lewis thought that they looked a bit happier than yesterday's lot.

March 19. Lewis asked the teacher if there was going to be a teachers' football team. She didn't seem to know what he was talking about and told him not to be silly, but he definitely heard Miss Phentin saying that the forwards planning was going well. Lewis reckons that they were trying out some annual bollocks stair rods, like athletes take.

April 14. I've gone off the teacher big time! She found out about our science experiment and was not amused that we tried out the colour on Tracey's hair. Lewis says science is going to be boring now because he heard teachers whispering about a science sex mince policy. I think it's going to be ace.

May 6. I wasn't really keen to come back to school today after the long weekend, but at least there's only eight weeks until the summer holidays. I had a quick look at a sheet of paper that fell out of the teacher's Bible. I managed to read Shelf Valuation 199798, but the list was a bit difficult. I quickly showed it to Lewis and he told me later it was just about the Pea Eyes. He says we're getting more next year.

I don't think I can stand the pace!

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