Thank God it's Friday

14th November 2003 at 00:00
Monday Excitement bubbles as the new school minibus is delivered. Senior prefects cheer and one bright spark asks why it has no carpet. "Too many kids were sick on the old one," a colleague correctly replies.

Tuesday Girls say they've seen a flasher on the way to school. The police are informed. Break passes uneventfully but lunchtime brings multiple "sightings". The police are called again and senior staff scatter to patrol the boundaries. A breathless bursar arrives. To loud cheers, she has just chased the man off site into the path of three police cars.

Wednesday Three Year 7s come to explain their desire for world peace. They have written to the Prime Minister but he hasn't replied. We decide they will compose a song, record it on disc and send it to Messrs Blair and Bush. I encourage their efforts and mention my participation in CND as a student.

Thursday Emma's friend has composed a poem, but is more interested in my protesting days. "Were you really a peaceful activist?" she asks. "I've never been a peaceful anything," I reply. How do you explain to Year 7 the Aldermaston marches and being bombarded by pigeons in Trafalgar Square?

Friday I attend a multicultural event at a local school. After German dialogues, French songs and Spanish poems, the 16 African drummers begin. I am aware of tiny flakes descending and nudge the head to alert her to the slow demolition of her Victorian school hall. The crumbs of ceiling settle around us. The drummers end and the head goes to the front to give her vote of thanks. She looks as if she has a bad case of dandruff.

Gill Pyatt is head of Barnwood Park high school for girls, Gloucester

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