It began with a worrying report that the inspectors had circulated amongst the chattering members of the staff room. We are Good, but do we have what it takes to be Outstanding? Oh dear. Stern words from the Head to the effect that we have to ‘crank it up a notch’ today. I had run out of notches.
But no one knocked on my door all day, which was satisfying.
Over wet break we made a real effort to the pupils indoors; some may have effected various hazards on the stairs, others would have complained that they weren’t allowed to use hair straighteners in school if they went out. Some would just use the weather as an excuse to let off steam (of any sort). I was just pleased that my tutor group did not write on the windows. Immediately after the bell, as they scrambled back to lessons the fire alarm went off. There was nothing to do but go with it. I went back to check the room of course (well why not? The windows might have needed closing and my coat was in there).
We got the children out fast (they had wanted to be outside anyway), across the swampy field, back to get the soaking wet register and ordering them as alphabetically as the inspectors might notice.
It took a lot less time than usual to line up straight, soak a few hundred pairs of socks and shoes, ruin a few dozen hair styles and mutter about the steam we weren’t able to let off.
So we started asking whether this was a serious Ofsted tactic to prove how well we could do (it wasn’t) or whether anyone was likely to be expelled (they weren’t).
The day went without a chance to check on my own lesson observation, but in the staff room at the end of the day, the senior leadership team informed those of us keen to stay for a sherry that we had got level ones (A Good Thing) in almost every area, and had gained an Outstanding report. I had to say, their faces were a bit of a give away, but we pretended to look shocked and instantly delighted anyway. The Head told us there ought to be a higher level, so we can aim to improve.
My idea is that the school should fork out for all the staff to have a thank you meal, partly because my husband’s company is paying for him to have a meal out tonight to thank his team for good work. We will get iced buns in the staff room (on Friday?), but as we are officially now providing good value for money I suppose complaining would not be a Good Thing.