Sunday 14th August 2011
EXAM results out this week. Miss being there to shake hands, pat backs, offer hugs. A sort of doors-shut-others-open day, what with the autumn term beckoning. Sod the national curriculum. I’d want everyone to be examining recent events.
“Welcome back, folks. Please take out your i-phones and bookmark this link.”
The video of a Malaysian student being first helped and then robbed has been widely screened. If only we could start here:
“Your English homework. Tell the story as if you were a) the student b) the robber c) a passer-by. Yes, Aisha? Mm… interesting idea, if you can make it work. Essays written entirely in text speak don’t usually work for me, but you never know.”
Down the corridor, the Head of Maths has distributed statistics about young offenders, costs of policing, rising prices, and relative salaries. Scholars are busy drawing graphs; and conclusions.
“When you saw this,” the Art class is asked, “how did you feel? frightened? excited? angry? frustrated? sad? confused? Go on. Pick up a brush, pencil, a lump of clay and show me.”
“It’s a team obstacle race, Jordan,” explains a track-suited member of staff. “That’s why I put you three together. Ready?”
Science pupils look into cameras, learn about bone injuries, are sought their views on nature/nurture.
“Ils actuellement aident lui. That’ll do,” comes from Modern Languages. “Then it’s a stage direction about them walking off along the… what, Kirsty? Trottoir? You’re kidding. Oh my god! The pigs are on the trottoir!”
In every Religious Studies lesson, silences are being observed, the meaning thereof explored.
“Seventy-five seconds on a city street,” sums up the History master. “But what if we saw this as a film of the last seventy-five years? What if each of those boys represented a different nation? Yes, Ashraf.”
Or will it be:
“Listen up, guys. My job this year is to help you pass next summer’s exams. The only riots allowed are riots of laughter at my jokes. Right. Mouths closed, books open. Turn to page…”