Thursday, 6 December 2012


PPA =  planning, preparation and assessment.  That wonderful 10% of teaching time that we have out of class to do what it says on the label - planning, preparation and assessment.  It's a relatively new thing, statutory and it's marvellous.  I didn't get mine yesterday!
ICT = Information and Communication Technology.  It was supposed to be our time in the computer suite yesterday.  We didn't go!
D&T = Design and Technology.  We are making shakers.  Yesterday we didn't!
SM = Staff Meeting.  Cancelled.

And the reason for all of this was - SNOW!!

Yesterday I said it was a very cold and frosty morning and so it was when I looked out at four o'clock.  Cold, frosty and clear.
At seven o'clock I meandered onto Facebook to see several friends' statuses proclaiming 'snow' in a variety of ways.  What?????   No!!!  Couldn't be.  I rushed to the front door and was nearly submerged in a blizzard.  OK, slight exaggeration maybe, but it was snowing very hard indeed, huge white snowballs that had covered the already icy ground to about 4-5cms..  Where did that come from?  It was just about the biggest shock of the year. 

So I trudged my way to school, deciding to go round the front as I wasn't sure when the doors would open and didn't want to be without shelter (there's shelter at the front).  Just as well too, because another colleague and I waited - and waited - and waited . . .  It turns out the roads were very bad indeed, driving conditions were shocking on ungritted roads and there were jams and accidents all over the place.  It took the caretaker around forty five minutes to do a journey that would usually take about ten minutes and in that time one TA arrived to wait with us and two colleagues were at the back in one of the external classrooms.  That was the sum total of staff.
Once we got in and had made copious numbers of phone calls, it was decided that the school would not open until ten, messages were posted all over the place to inform the parents and we made arrangements for supervising the few that would, inevitably, turn up without parents in tow.
Fortunately, other staff started arriving and by ten there were enough adults to provide legal levels of supervision.  Some never made it and eventually turned tail and went home again, having spent hours in their cars.  Four who were sharing a car left the car in town and walked the rest of the way, arriving very wet and extremely cold.  One arrived at lunchtime - more than four and a half hours in her car.  People showed huge commitment to getting to school.
It was a grand example of everyone working together to make it happen, especially as the secondary schools closed at ten when it was clear that there wouldn't be enough supervision.  I felt for Beth.  She took Alex to school in horrendous driving conditions, was on her way home when she got the news that the school was closing so had to go back again to pick him up.  She was in that car for three hours and it's only across town.  Usually 15 mins max.

Anyway, we made it work eventually but, as my PPA is 8:45 to 10:45, it didn't happen.  Andrea, the other Y1 teacher, never made it in at all.  After playtime (if you have wellies you are allowed on the field in the snow; if not, it's the bottom playground for you!) it took so long to get sorted (wellies, changing socks and tights, wet things on a radiator that is much too small . . . etc, there wasn't enough time for the computer suite - so we did maths instead, poor kids!
The afternoon was my mistake - I forgot we had a dance rehearsal so D&T went by the board.
And staff meeting, of course, was cancelled so that people could get home as soon as the children had gone as it was starting to freeze again and there was a lot of slush on the roads and pavements.  Nasty, especially for those who had longer distance to travel.  I was home by four and I can't remember the last time I got home from school so early.  Probably the last snowy day!!

So - on to today.  In anticipation of a big freeze and nasty driving conditions this morning, the school will open at ten o'clock.  Our second run through of our show will now start as soon as possible after that, we will run through and then have our infant playtime when it's finished and that will be the morning done and dusted.  Time for a bit of phonics and not a lot else.
But we might start making those shakers this afternoon!  Yay!

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