Our school leads a Christian Union weekend away in the last part of the Christmas holidays. This year 200 pupils came away. The vast majority from my place with around 30 from two other Church schools.

The setting is a beautiful accomdation in a secluded centre in the Bexhill/Hastings area. I thoroughly recommend Ashburnham Place, it regularly hosts conferences and other activities for businesses, the NHS and other similar organisations and so I’m sure you’ll find something to suit your needs if it’s within your scope of travel. I enjoyed it so much when I visited for the day last year that I went on the coach and stayed the whole time this year. 

I won’t ‘bore’ you with the activities as they were all church-school related but I do have one or two other tales to tell.

Firstly we sent a total of five students home Saturday morning. The first four were caught smoking. The son of one of the teachers bunked a session (the first session on Friday evening), took three friends with him and nipped out for a cigarette. His mother noticed he was missing and from there it was an easy catch.

The other boy behaved outrageously towards another pupil during the night, won’t say more except that urine and bedding was involved. This child has behavioural issues and will be referred to Nigel, the pastoral deputy for further disciplinary action.

Carbon-neutral?

I say they were sent home – actually we took them home in the minibus. Two of the staff wanted to drive them the same night – (meaning that the teachers wouldn’t have made it back until nearly midnight) – I put a stop to that, my regular Saturday detention posts attest the fact that I don’t approve of sanctions which punish the adults more than the kids).

I do think that if would have got the parents more sympathetic to our cause if they’d had to come down to pick up the kids (a four-hour round trip) but I suppose it did make more sense for one pair of teachers to do it – especially as they knew the route.

Coursework marking avoidance

It all started with me offering one of the learning mentors a cup of tea as she stopped by my room as I was about to use the ‘free-time’ session to mark my coursework. My next post will be about the bonding that occurs on extra-curricular activities – students together, staff with students and staff with other staff.

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