Thank God it's Friday

3rd December 2004 at 00:00
Monday I get back from a restful half-term holiday to find that the workmen have been in school. As well as handrails and fences everywhere, we have a set of "Asda-esque" sliding doors on the front of the school with a new security system. Unfortunately, the builders have forgotten to connect the electricity to the entry system, trapping 15 reception children and their teacher between the two sets of doors.

Tuesday My Year 4s are talking about what they got up to during the holiday. "I went youth hospitaling," says Jake. Images pass through my mind of his family touring local accident and emergency departments. Paul starts telling us about a TV show. "There was this person on it. He had men's bits and women's bits he must have been a tripod."

Wednesday We start selling poppies for Remembrance Day. My recent lessons on money and giving change seem to have been futile. "How much is one?"

asks Emma. "At least 10p," I reply. "Oh," she says and goes out to play.

The class come in after playtime plastered in poppies. They look like a hit-and-run at the florists. "But I had 50p, and that's five," protests Emma as I begin the unpinning.

Thursday "Quick, we need your help in the playground," stammers one of the learning support assistants as I'm collecting my thoughts in the staffroom.

I get outside to find a Year 2 child with his leg trapped in the new handrailings. I subdue shouts of "Fetch the fire brigade!" as I apply washing-up liquid to the offending limb and release the captive.

Friday We start a new topic on fact and opinion, and I ask the class for any facts they know. "The speed limit is 70 on the motorway," answers one.

"The Eiffel Tower is in Paris," says another. Damien raises his hand. Every instinct tells me it is a bad idea to ask him, but I do. "The Vikings invaded England," he says. I'm gobsmacked. "Yes, brilliant! Anything else?"

I ask. "After that they landed on Mars," he replies. I console myself with the fact that he must have been sort of listening during our topic on space exploration.

Matthew Cave is a Year 4 teacher at Stoke Bishop primary school in Bristol

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