4 weeks in.....
Well, credit where its due, Uni on Monday was actually helpful. The ICT specific session looked at our first assignment on inclusion and gave us some scaffolding about things to consider. One question did make me smile, the lecturer asked "Why do children go to school?", and all the usual answers trotted out blah blah so, perhaps it was a combination of Monday and working all night, I actually found myself with a hand in the air, "Its where they feel safe, or perhaps to get a hot meal" I offered. Just for a split second the tumbleweed rolled on through the room, as if one it seemed to be making up its mind whether to laugh or shake its head. "Er, yes possibly" replied the lecturer and then he was gone, looking for a more middle class answer amongst the safe student tables.....funny thing inclusion.
The generic theme for the day was indeed that of inclusion...(can you see a master plan forming!), two lectures one from Mr Inclusion and the other, with the aid of some of her students, from a head at a special school. I did want to ask that by terming a school 'special' would that not by inference make the rest un special but time and place, you know. Well she told her story and the children did there bit and they all got a clap and people went aaaahhhh so hats off all round, inclusion sorted!
School was again the place to be this week, observations have been stepped up this week to eight from a possible ten. Generic day was all about...go on have a guess...yeah inclusion and SEN....I must admit the figures of kids arriving in year 7 with a reading age of below nine really shocked me, 6 years in primary education and they can't read to an acceptable level en masse. I know its not that simple and yes, thanks for asking, I too was from an area of significant social deprivation so do understand that strong lager is higher up the shopping list than a bloody book. Anyway I found out one of the classes I'm going to be teaching, a group of Year 7's for music technology.....how cool is that, I get to play with sequencers and make dance music.
Last year the DCSF spent £70 million on advice....that's an obscene figure by anybody's standards. Imagine investing that much in new teachers.....you'd create over 3000 posts...now that would make a real difference.