Sunday, 5 December 2010

Christmas Term

This term was rather good, even though our numbers were somewhat depleted by weather and snow related injuries.
We started off Morning Assembly with a uniform inspection by Mr Andrew who made disparaging remarks just because my blazer is a tad long in the sleeves....well, my Guardian always gets my school uniform slightly large so that I can grow into it, hasn't he seen the Tesco clothes voucher ads? The rest of me was neat and tidy though! Anyway Andrew R got the hp for being tidiest (hmm another Andrew...nepotism?) and he did look smart I must admit. Although I did manage to duff him up later.....
We had a short break before first lesson started, and I had to see Mr Malcolm in the Staffroom re a bit of cheekiness which he had upgraded to Impertinence (they never down grade do they!)
The time table had had to be revised because poor ol Mr Grimshaw couldn't get his huskies kick started and so was stranded in whatever bit of the country he hails from unable to come. That was a shame because we were all looking forward to his English Heritage Lesson. Instead we got ol Anthrax, who proceeded to baffle us with one of his English as a Foreign Language lessons. Well, it was certainly all foreign to most of us. We had to fiddle about with a sentence concerning us just waking up on a ship which was about to strike a mine. It was certainly a minefield for us! He introduced us to such mysteries as the preterite, the pluperfect, the present continuous active, ditto passive and other sundry snippets of information. Michelle and I sought to enliven the lesson by donning alice bands complete with purple velvet bats...... as Mr Andrew is reputed to spend his spare time hanging upside down from the rafters, in the basement, like a bat, we thought he might have some empathy with them. Nothing doing of course, the man is a cold fish, we got an entry in our books for wearing the wrong colour headband in class, cos Mr Ray, who was Classroom Assistant said purple wasn't a school colour, and when I turned and had a discussion with Daisy and Sarah about purple being a school colour for Hawthorne's School, (and the rule doesn't specify which school) that didn't help either, ol anthrax hauled me off to the Staffroom at the end of the lesson and laid in with his usual enthusiastic manner. In my agitation I forgot to say thank you, and was rapidly reminded with a second dose of a cane that stingeth like a serpent!!

The next lesson was Social History with Mr Melman, variously known as Postman Pat, or Dr Death (on account he has this thing about murderers and executions). Jane being sadly absent (we all send our best wishes for a speedy recovery Jane) Postie handed me a pile of A4 papers and told me to hand them out. I inadvertently ruined the start of his lesson by announcing brightly, oh it's Albert Pierrepoint, which apparently was going to be his first question. I then ruined any chance of earning a hp for being helpful by offering a copy of the picture to everyone, including the off duty Beaks and the caretaker....well Mr Melman had said give one to just can't please some people! We had a lively discussion about hanging, hung and hanged, and Mr Pierrepoint's prolific career (437 victims or thereabouts), and then it was break.
Art with Mr Malcolm was super fun. He brought along these modelling balloons and we all tried to make animals, or something recognisable, but not rude, from them. It was quite a revelation to know what those balloon thingies we have seen in our Guardian's bathrooms are actually used
for....Melman very kindly confirmed this.
It was jolly difficult to make anything too. You would have just twisted a tail and two legs for the back end and be starting with the front end when the back would untwist, usually with quite a rude noise, and you would be left with a long tube again! Daisy managed a lovely swan, and Benji made a Dr Who type head band, I ended up with a survivor from a ship wreck wearing a life jacket and sitting in an inflatable raft..... I must have been influenced by ol anthrax's lesson.....being struck by a mine!
Mr Melman filled in a missing lesson (due to Mr Grimshaw's absence) by giving us a General Knowledge Quiz. Saxons were a tad thin on the ground, so ol Anthrax stood in for Jane Kershaw (although she is decidedly the prettier of the pair) and the battle began. It ended up with Saxons first, Romans second, Celts third and Vikings fourth, all done in a good spirit with much laughter and banter.
Lunch came next. I was temporary Christmas Lunch table monitor, and I set out all the Christmas Crackers and chocolate coins and the teachers' pressies while Mr Curmudgeon did the cutlery and cups and jugs of (soft) drink. Each of the teachers' crackers was marked with a specific teacher's name. It is always satisfying to see the worry on their faces as they gingerly shake the things and hold them to the sides of their heads. One year I must prime them properly, and watch all those ears explode!!
We had scrummy pasta bolognaise with garlic bread, followed by even scrummier apple crumble and cream. The teachers opened their pressies. This year they got personalised books linked as closely as possible to their interests, Miss Livingstone and Mr Holmes shared a book about a little lost Dinosaur who they help to return to the Jurassic period, Mr Melman had a book of zoo rhymes about giraffes and animals with voracious appetites, Prof Robertson was sent back in time to meet real historical figures, Mr Malcolm won an art competition and went on a hot air balloon ride, Mr Grimshaw's is still waiting for him, and Mr Andrew turned into a steam train and disappeared over the hill, I liked that one. Mr Ray, being new, had arrived after the books were commissioned, but my Guardian found a CD entitled MrRay so he wasn't left out! Mr Curmudgeon took charge of a bomb shaped pressie for Mr Reamon!
Lunchtime over we settled down for history with Prof Robertson. We did a sort of role play of the Battle of Hastings. Celts and Vikings had a battle up North, Stamford bridge I think, and marched south cos the Normans (role played beautifully by Roman House) were about to cross the English Channel to invade. Anyway, they all met at Senlac Ridge, which is something, I understand of a hop skip and a jump from Hastings, as in the Battle of.... ,and spent all day battling to and forth. Then Harold shouted "keep an eye on the Normans lads" and one of them shot him in the eye with an arrow and that was that. William, the chief Norman, took the throne and he was crowned on December 25th at Westminster Abbey as William 1st..... so that was our Christmas link with history...neat hey?
Christmas Art with Mr Ray followed. Most of the children made paper decorations while I dressed the Christmas tree. I made a feeble joke to Mr Andrew about there being a vacancy for a fairy to sit on top of the Christmas tree and I was dragged away and well and truly thrashed........ one tends to forget the limited capacity of the sense of humour of some of our Beaks. Still my friends rallied round and cheered me up again. It's nice to be surrounded by people who really do care.
We had Final Assembly, and as is customary, Miss Livingstone gave presents to all the teachers. She never gets one for herself, so this year Tommy mac organised a committee and we redressed the situation. As Head Girl I called on the pupils to give three hearty cheers for Miss Livingstone and the teachers, which was done with commendable enthusiasm, then I handed over a present to Miss Livingstone from all of us pupils. She seemed to be dead chuffed.
Some of the Beaks and pupils had to leave then. Mr Melman is apparently on some sort of curfew and legged it as soon as Assembly was over, and Benji needed to be home by a certain time too. Still, that left lots of us for games, and dressing up. Geoff turned into a girl, and Mr Ray appeared in short grey trousers and a school tie and jumper..... and I was lucky enough to be in the Staff Room being dealt with by Mr Malcolm when Master Ray was hauled in and whacked by Miss Livingstone for falling over in Musical Statues. It was worth a week's pocket money to see him blush when he was whacked! He's a good sport.
We played uno stacko, and musical chairs and musical statues and pass the parcel. Pass the parcel was great, we got chocolates if we had the parcel when the music stopped. The other games were a bit dicier, as once you were "out" you had to go to a Beak to get whacked! I made sure I chose Mr Malcolm..... this was a game after all, I didn't want to spoil it with more tears!
We had a lovely buffet, mince pies, sandwiches, scrummy rolls, salmon mousse and cheesy bits and sausages. Plus cherryade, orangeade and lemonade to drink......... mainly cos we are children, but also to make sure our Guardians were safe to drive. New Grange Manor is a sensible place to go to!
And then it was all over. Back into vanilla clothes, hugs all round and wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy new year and we were off. My journey home was a little less lonely this time, as I was able to offer a lift to a fellow pupil and drop them off at an underground station a few minutes drive from my home. Chatting made the journey that much shorter! So all in all, another successful term at New Grange Manor School, and roll on February Term!
Bethany Grant
Head Girl


  1. I see my "turncoat" transformation into a pupil went unrecorded... still, I had to have some fun, even if it did cost me a few thrashings. Ah well... fun to see "how the other half live" even if it was painful.

    See you in the new year!

    Mr Ray.

  2. It certainly didn't go "unrecorded" Sir, you are mentioned in despatches in the Final Assembly and party paragraph. I dunno, you just can't get the Staff these days!!