Thank God it's Friday

7th May 2004 at 01:00

I have a precious hour of non-contact time today, so I start the week trying to catch up with everything that didn't get done last week. Then I observe a lesson by a local graduate teacher training student who joins us for "a week in an alternative school setting". She says "cool" a lot and makes me feel very old.


Year 5 are lively and keen to run their dance routines by me. They know I take part in amateur musicals and are trying to learn one of the numbers. I suspect the show director would be pleased to see their performances.


Reception are firefighters this week and keep trying to put out fires in the middle of the class. At least they are no longer Post Office workers; I received the same parcel more than 50 times and they can now all read my name, despite its length (it has several syllables). Then literacy with Year 5, using dictionaries. Davy asks if porn means disgusting and can he look it up in the dictionary. I tell him the definition is not disgusting and he can look it up. He looks up "pawn" and seems disappointed.


I spend a chilled-out morning with Year 5 at the wondrous Hindu temple in Neasden, with its gleaming white marble pillars and luminescent pinnacles.

The atmosphere is so serene that even the more excitable pupils are lulled into a state of calm. Their eyes are opened to a new world and new ideas and I feel so glad that, despite being a faith school, we allow the children to come face to face with other religions. Just think what they would be missing out on otherwise.


There is something about Fridays that makes me feel lifted. The children all check it really is Friday and nearly time to herald in Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath). At the end of the day we all go into the hall to finish the week with prayers and candles. As soon as I hear the songs I know it really is time to rest.

The writer is deputy head of a Jewish school in Hertfordshire. She wants to remain anonymous

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