Thank God it's Friday

20th January 2006 at 00:00
MONDAY The children are excited about our excursion to the museum and boat trip around the city docks, planned for later this week. I try to calm their excitement by reminding them that it's not until Thursday. I then spend far too many hours filling in the risk assessments and planning groups for the parent helpers, making sure they've had their Criminal Records Bureau checks.

TUESDAY I phone the health and safety department to check things. "Have the boats got enough child life jackets?" they ask. "And make sure all your adult helpers can swim." I grab as many parents as I can at the end of the day to ask if they've got their 50-metre swimming certificate handy.

WEDNESDAY Ben's mum is a little worried about him going on the trip because of his asthma. "He doesn't like to carry his inhaler with him," she says, "so I'll send him with some throat sweets. Just let him suck one of these if he starts to wheeze and that should cure it." I think about updating my risk assessments.

THURSDAY We pile 90 children on to the coaches and set off for the museum.

The tour of the Egyptian artefacts goes well, and the children behave brilliantly.

Then comes the tricky part: getting them to the harbour. We're walking in a long crocodile when suddenly they start laughing and looking up. Above us, on the roof of the city's council house, are Batman and Spiderman protesting for Fathers for Justice. The children think it's great, especially all the television cameras. They shout and wave at the protesters as I walk backwards trying to keep an eye on everyone.

Unfortunately someone has left a manhole cover open, and the children stop in their tracks as I plunge down to my waist. I drag myself out and find a bench to sit on. Even the superheroes on the roof look concerned.

FRIDAY I limp into school with my leg in bandages. We start our history lesson, and I recap the Egyptians. The children seem to have forgotten everything about Tutankhamun, but can write a brilliant story about Batman and Spiderman rescuing a stranded teacher from a sewer.

Matthew Cave teaches at Woodstock special school, Bristol. If you have a diary to share (no more than 450 words), write to TES Friday, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX or email We pay for every article we publish

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