Thank God it's Friday;Talkback;Opinion

14th August 1998 at 01:00
While teachers are taking their well-deserved summer break, 'The TES' gives three secondary pupils the chance to have their say

MONDAY I stumble downstairs to let my whining dog Beamish out. Discover it's only 3.15am, so go back to bed. Get back up at 7.15.

Registration, and a senior member of staff is upset because no one has returned any tickets for the Parent-Teacher Association raffle - the first prize is either a flying lesson or a trip to a health farm.

A ringing sound interrupts maths. Stuart reaches into his bag and pulls out a mobile phone. After a short conversation with his mum and a glare from the teacher, the lesson continues. Five minutes later, the phone rings again and a by now flustered Stuart dives into his bag, turns the phone off and then makes his apologies.

We spend 15 minutes of our French lesson debating when the French Revolution took place. As I have three French teachers - one Welsh, one English and one French - I would expect the French one to know the correct date. After going from 1873 to 1893 to 1973, she finally decides that it was 1793. Looking embarrassed, she changes the subject and tells us why the French flag is blue, white and red.

TUESDAY Student Bulletin Day. The lead story - yet another food ban compiled by the head. No eating indoors, no eating outdoors. Apparently it has nothing to do with the lack of bins.

The case of the lost trainer is today's main topic in registra-tion. One afternoon last week a trainer was thrown out of the window of a school bus, and the head is trying to find the owner.

I hand in the English essay that was due last week to prove that time is not wasted watching Home and Away to see if Kylie will be released from prison. Discover that it must be an important day for the head of humanities as he's wearing his lime green shirt.

It's lunch time and the head is on patrol. He shouts at a female student for munching a Mars Bar before realising that she's the head of sixth form. Apologises immediately.

WEDNESDAY The head has resorted to desperate measures to return the smelly trainer to its rightful owner: he's placing an ad in tonight's edition of the Evening Gazette.

Become confused when the bell rings for the end of school as it sounds remarkably like an egg timer - my first thought is that the cookery teacher has gone food crazy.

I trot downstairs and head for the bus. My Welsh French teacher, who's on bus duty, waves the students goodbye as if they're a procession of notable superstars.

THURSDAY Midbank Day. At lunch time the sixth-form business venture group runs a bank for the convenience of the school community. The current record of attendance in one day is five (including the three staff).

I excel myself in a French listening practice but am interrupted by the smell of something burning. After five minutes of trying to check if the heating has failed again, we realise that it's coming from the food technology room next door. The cookery teacher has been attempting to make a jam roly poly.

The head has been inundated with phone calls about the trainer; he's compiled a list of possible owners and is organising an identity parade.

FRIDAY Another eating ban has been instigated, and the case of the lost trainer has finally been resolved; the owner was changing for PE when he realised he was missing one.

The fire alarm rings loudly mid-morning. After informing the new English teacher what it is and where we have to go, we trundle out to the playground. Registers are taken quickly; 15 minutes later we're beckoned back into the building. The general conduct rule that "everyone walks on the right-hand side along corridors" is ignored as everyone rushes to the heaters. They're not on, so we trudge back to our classrooms.

A sigh of relief can be heard in every classroom when the bell rings out for the end of school.

Home at last, then it's time to look at my homework organiser...

Kerri Smy is a sixth-former at an Essex comprehensive

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