Today was typical, BIG huge English exam, another candidate to cause me paperwork: bold as brass, end of the exam, as he walk out of the Exam Hall he gets his mobile phone out of his pocket. NO attempt to hide it…….   Because this is the second time this has happened I know that I need a JCQ suspicion of malpractice form! In reality as it’s a big part of his English GCSE it’s going to be a round of complaints and excuses from him and his parents.   I nearly prevented another boy from entering the exam because he arrived 45 minutes late. We actually woke him up when we rang home to see where he was. He’d misread his exam timetable, read Thursday instead of Tuesday and thought the exam was in the afternoon. I can’t imagine not being so nervous that I’d double check and then re-double check the exam timetable every two minutes!    In the end it was this arrogance on his part that got him in to the exam. He was so insistant that he should be allowed in that I rang AQA and it turned out we’re allowed to let them in up to an hour after the exam has started rather than just 30 minutes as I’d thought.  

I feel like I got next to nothing done today, exam paperwork and naughty kids traunting science got in the way. It’s the busiest time of year (in addition to exams I have options interviews and timetabling to get done) and absolutely no time to do it in – never mind the fact that I’m new at it and so it takes me twice as long as it should to get timetabling done. 

I keep smiling and telling the Head it’s okay but I’m not sure how much longer I can keep that going without him smelling a rat.  It’s a good thing that being a good actor is such a key teaching skill!

Following on from my tales of the police last week, this week the school’s had 2 ambulances in 24 hours; one led to a pupil missing a GCSE English exam, the other I still have no idea what was going on, all I know is that I was on lunch-duty and for over an hour an ambulance was parked in the car park and most of my duty was spent moving kids away from it.  

This links in to my stories of the exam hall last year.


Better than a nosebleed with Year 10 we had a concussed Year 11 – her and her friend had taken a short-cut through a building site (Yes I know they were silly!!!) and some rocks had fallen on them… they brought me a few as proof. Chloe already had a headache but it was getting worse; she looked pale and moody (but this is often Chloe’s way). As she walked up the stairs to the Hall she held her head in her hands, stopped walking and then collapsed (I wish I could say into my arms but actually it was onto the stairs narrowly missing doing herself a proper injury)

Unbelievably (or perhaps not) her Dad (a former teacher at our school) wanted to send her back up to the exam hall despite the ambulance wanting to take her to hospital. 

One thing I’m not enjoying about the Head of Exam Centre job is the paperwork ….. you wouldn’t believe the forms needed to deal with this sort of incident!

Have your Year 11 left yet?? Ours go on Thursday (they think it’s Friday).  

It’s that time of year again – have we really done all we can do or is a small part of us wishing we had another fortnight?

  Before then they’ve got a Maths immersion Day, exams briefing, a Religious Studies Exam (preceded by an RS immersion morning), a Leavers service and for some of them a rude awakening in the form of a letter telling their parents that we’d like them to stay on for another two weeks. Those lucky few are our borderline pupils who are still in serious danger of not getting 5 A* – C grades.   I’ve never before encountered immersion days in the form we have them. Groups of pupils or a whole year group off-timetable to work with subject specific staff. Having a Maths one this late has annoyed quite a few other subjects, the RS one is more understandable – they come in in the morning, have some last minute guidance and then, with the memories of the morning still fresh in their mind, sit the exam.   The Maths one is more panic mode really as the thought of our 5 A*-C with English and Maths levels falling from 63% in 2006 to 55 last year and now to possibly as low as 37% is not one that we can live with.   I am feeling quite sick at the thought of my input into Key Stage 4 intervention coming to nothing, not to mention the fact that these last minute additions is stopping me from getting on with all the other jobs that I have to do (finalising options and the whole school timetable to name but two).  

Well, I’ll spend all day Monday teaching Maths and then dealing with indignant pupils asking why they’re so special that they have to say on at school?