Thank God it's Friday

13th October 2006 at 01:00
MONDAY It's Monday morning and the inspectors arrive. One teacher down but we can still do this. There's a piece of ceiling tile on the floor of the ladies toilet. I have a closer look and it all comes down. Looks like a leak from the roof. Secretary phones for help. After lunch the heating comes back on - and off and on and off. It's a recurring fault. It's my turn to phone for help. Inspectors like the range of activities we offer.

TUESDAY One nursery nurse reports for work with a broken finger - she won't let the team down. A second nursery nurse was taken to hospital last night.

Baby's due in six weeks or maybe sooner. The lay inspector arrives. I ask if he's come to fix the boiler. An honest mistake: the boiler man carries a briefcase too. The boiler man eventually arrives and finds the fault. The roofers come and say we needed a plumber. A Reception child explains to an inspector that the writing on the back of the book is the synopsis. The inspectors like the calm atmosphere. Who's calm?

WEDNESDAY Nursery nurse number three falls over a cupboard door in the nursery and breaks her arm. She joins nursery nurse number two in hospital.

The surviving nursery nurses and I share ourselves around. I take over a design and technology group designing and making biscuits. With no time to read the recipe, I start beating when we should be rubbing in. I cover the mistake by asking the children lots of questions. No one seems to notice.

The children roll the biscuits so flat we have to lift them with laminated paper. The inspector liked the links with science. She said she wondered how we would lift the biscuits. One inspector is quite unwell. We discover a little too late that she's allergic to the air fresheners which we have in two classrooms. The inspectors like the warm, caring atmosphere. We apologise for the air fresheners.

THURSDAY The inspectors talk to the children. A Reception child on the writers' table says excitedly, "Look - I can spell a swear word!" He sounds out "p-o-o" for all to hear. The inspectors like our emphasis on basic skills. Leaving after the inspectors, I find myself overtaking them on the dual carriageway and slow back to the speed limit.

FRIDAY The baby arrived today - five weeks early. That's a result!

Lynn Bartlett

Lynn Bartlett is head of Hawarden infants school, Flintshire, North Wales

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