Thank God it's Friday

7th July 2006 at 01:00
MONDAY The post-SATS silly season has well and truly kicked off for Year 6 teachers up and down the country, and we are no exception. Our topic for the next seven weeks is the history of London, and my head has politely suggested that I take my class on as many trips as possible. This roughly translates as "Year 6 have gone bonkers, please get them out of my hair."

TUESDAY My colleagues eye me with envy as my class and I troop off the next day for our first adventure; a visit to the Tower of London. We haven't been there half an hour before Phillip is chasing a raven, I am chasing Phillip, and I am being chased by a burly Beefeater. After order is restored and I have begged the Beefeater not to throw us out, we go to see the Crown Jewels. Time soon runs out and we realise that we haven't visited the Bloody Tower, one of the smaller towers on the site. The children love the fact that it has a swear word in its title. When we get back to school, they run up to my head and say "Miss didn't let us see the bloody Tower!"

My head looks worried.

WEDNESDAY Off to the Houses of Parliament today. Feel a little concerned on the bus, when I overhear the children talking about how much they hate Tony Blair and how it's not fair that he lives in Buckingham Palace and spends all our money. Put them straight on a few issues. They are excited about being in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, although the only questions they seem capable of asking are along the lines of "is that chairdoorpillar made of real gold?"

THURSDAY The South Bank is our destination today, starting with a tour around the Globe Theatre. Feel proud when I see my class all lined up on the stage listening with rapt attention. Soon lose the warm fuzzy feeling when a German school pass us and most of my boys start to chant "three nil, three nil, three nil." Try to give the German teacher a jovial look which says "Sorry, you know what kids can be like, bet yours are just the same,"

but the German teacher looks horrified. We leave promptly.

FRIDAY My head asks me how I feel the week has gone. Despite being knackered, having blistered feet, sunburn, and no voice, I think that nothing beats learning outside the classroom. The engagement and excitement that these normally apathetic children have shown is unbeatable.

"Great," says my head "you'll be okay to take them out next week then?" I just smile wryly.

Kate Harvey teaches in a south London primary school. She writes under a pseudonym. If you have a diary to share (no more than 450 words), write to TES Friday or email We pay for every article we publish

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