Thank God it's Friday

4th July 1997 at 01:00
MONDAY: Arrive early for the start of Health Week and almost suffer a heart attack. There's a skeleton in the hall, shrouded in plastic and in the half-light it looks realistic.

I calm my nerves with several unhealthy doses of caffeine.The day goes well. Thanks to the school nurse, who's brought in a plastic body as well as the skeleton, most children can now fit the major organs into the right position - approximately. Watching the excitement that's generated as teams compete to fit the bits together, I'm sure there's a gruesome game show in the making here.

TUESDAY: Today's highlight is the skipping contest. Our children have been practising every lunch-time for weeks, egged on by our enthusiastic dinner ladies who re-kindle rhymes from their own childhoods. Each winner must have skipped miles and all for the mystery prize . . . a skipping rope.

WEDNESDAY: Sports Day arrives with the predictable onoff rainy weather. Bad temper, aggression and petulance abound. Next year we shall definitely drop the Parents' Race but at least in Health Week we are spared serious injuries. Competetive mothers charging at the finishing tape in pursuit of team points are truly awesome.

THURSDAY: The health education evening for parents goes well, unlike last year. We hit the local press when a parent objected to references to masturbation and contraception in our updated sex education videos. "Parents Storm School over Sex Videos" did little for our image. We had changed the old videos because children were sniggering about the flaired trousers and kipper ties, which detracted from the main points we were trying to make. Such evenings can have a contraceptive effect. After watching the "Birth" video, one Mum was overheard saying she'd only have more children by adopting them.

Friday:We have a problem with children coming to school far too early, so I patrol the playground to discourage them, and conversely stay on to encourage the latecomers to get here earlier. As the playground clears a small solitary figure comes striding purposefully across from the infants clutching her violin case. This is Jemima, the most self-assured five-year-old I have ever met. She has violin lessons at our school and brushes aside any offers of being fetched by her big sister.

Some parents have obviously been discussing our health education programme with their children. Lara confided to her teacher that she was going to be a nun because she did not like boys. Minutes later she's decided to be a nun from Monday to Friday because she wanted to go to discos with her friends at weekends.

Health Week draws to a close with First Aid talks and sponsored circuit training.

Bob Aston is head of a primary school in Kent

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today