Thank God it's Friday

10th March 2000 at 00:00
MONDAY Ofsted. Just saying that little word sends shivers down teachers' spines. My school - one of the 200 most improving in the country about four years ago - is having one. It's the first invasion since our old head went to work for the DfEE, so our current head is probably pretty worried about whether the school has gone downhill.

Today is the first day of the attack, and the teachers look slightly stressed. I see a few of the inspectors around. They seem old. They all have beards and wear ID badges with humiliating passport photos on them. I don't see the point. Who wants to come into our school and pretend to inspect us?

TUESDAY My dad says teachers should keep their lessons the same in Ofsted week (he's a head of English in north London). What do the teachers do? Totally change their lessons. I walk into my French class to find a list of things we have to achieve in the lesson. Does this happen normally? Of course not. But there's an inspector in the room.

WEDNESDAY Invaders rule far and wide - even the pupils are starting to look worried. The teachers' faces are colourless. More French, but there are no inspectors in the room so the lesson is bck to normal. No more inspectors at all today, in fact. You know they are in the school, but they seem to glide around effortlessly. It's hard to recognise them.

THURSDAY Everything seems to be quietening down as Ofsted just seem to... mingle. More of the bearded chaps scan the canteen with their 2020 vision looking for something to use against us.

In the library, I see our balding head of modern languages rush in and out with an NQT, trying to work out what lessons the inspectors are going to be in. I swear he's losing more hair follicles by the minute.

At swimming, the teacher throws a brick into the pool, expecting us to fish it out. Is this some kind of torture? I don't think the inspectors would be happy with that teaching effort.

FRIDAY Ofsted seems to have mysteriously disappeared. You'd expect the teachers to be happy, but any smiles are kept under wraps.

PS: Was it good? To quote Ofsted: "Outstanding in all departments" and "adds value beyond learning". What does this mean? I'll have to get one of our superb science students to decode it for me.

Adam Lynes is in Year 10 at Sandringham school,St Albans, Hertfordshire.


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