Seizing weapons of class ruction

31st January 2003 at 00:00
ALL we need to know we learn at primary school. Listen in.

"Tony, did you push him?

"Yeah! I did"

"Why?"

"Miss, he's got scissors under the table."

"What should you have done?"

"Told you. But Miss, George told me to do it."

"And if George told you to jump out of the window you'd do that would you?"

"But please Miss, it's a special relationship."

"George. Why are you getting Tony to push him around?"

"Darn it, I don't like him, Miss, and my daddy says if he hits me, I hit him back."

"So that's now one of the rules of the playground, is it?"

"Shucks Ma'am, that skunk jus' ain't allowed scissors."

"It's not fair, Miss. Everyone else has got scissors. Why can't I?"

"You know why, Saddam - because of last time. Have you got scissors?"

"No, Miss."

"Miss, he's got them. He's hiding them, Miss."

"Quiet, Tony."

"Miss, I haven't. Look in my pockets if you want I See!"

"He has, miss, he has, he has!"

"Quiet George! What was that Kofi? I Yes, I think we need to have a circle time about this."

It was the author Robert Fulghum who first said All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Here are five points from my primary school.

* Don't dive in there - check your facts first.

* We don't do "He hits me and I hit him back".

* Yes, some people may not be safe with some implements and we should remember that fact, but there are mature ways of sorting this out.

* If everyone picks on someone, that person will be unhappy.

* Try to sort things out by sitting in a circle.

Huw Thomas is head of Springfield primary school in Sheffield

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