Friday, 7 September 2007

Newsletter V Us

Our motto is: we say what the newsletters don't. But do we? Let's take a look at the "latest" school newsletter from the website and analyse what Templar Truths would say. School quotes in italics, headlines bold, Templar text normal.

Examination Success: "another very good year", "delighted with outcomes for the students", "kept our reputation" Students, again, worked damned hard under extreme pressure to get good results, which the school are delighted about because it makes them look good.

New Titles For Staff: "have many more support staff", "Learning Managers, Learning Mentors, Pastoral Officers", "move away from headteacher to Principal", "because these senior roles may not be carried out by teachers" Giving everyone a fancy job title to make them feel important, coupled with Americanization and the destruction of tradition.

Principal Appointment: "Mr Sherriff will be leaving", "interviews will take place in October", "results in a highly competent person" Old headteacher leaving (not Principal, OK?) and we don't know who's going to replace him.

The Houses Arrive: "re-introduced House system", "Rigel, Capella, Vega or Sirius", "top buttons...must be fastened", "no excuse" Outdated house system revived with science edge to prove school is worthy of "science college" status, and then a lot of talk about how uniform needs to be correct.

Year 7 Induction Week: "a range of team building activities", "number of competitions and prizes" Effort to make everyone get along and not become troublemakers. Nice kids get chocolates, too.

Parental Survey Results: "value the excellent partnership", "very pleased with the information", "78%...felt was very good", " had lived up to expectations", "school discipline and...bullying as top priorities" "We've got statistics that make us look good! It's like evidence! But parents don't think we're good at stopping bullies." is what they mean.

An Introduction From Our New Deputy Principal: "really excited", "really impressed", "we can really build on the excellent results" New guy doesn't know what he's let himself in for, poor man. Really.

Key Dates: "Review evening", "celebrations", "school concert" Days to remember when the school wants to say it's brilliant. And charge you a quid or seven.

Parents' Voice: "everyone is welcome to attend", "allowing parents to comment", "opportunity to ask questions" They don't listen to kids, but parents might get a say in things.

Vacancy For Parent Governor: "vacancy", "term of office...having expired" Last governor's time is up and they don't want to return. Do you?

Success Maker: "some parents and carers may be informed that their child is being placed on Success Maker", "used by students experiencing some difficulties", "proved very successful in the past" "We've got a system where anyone who isn't doing as well as we want them to gets extra classes, whether they like it or not." they say, with added stupid euphemisim

Problem Phoning Home: "experiencing difficulties", "home number does not accept calls where the number is withheld" Your phones are rubbish and the school want to tell you stuff! Oh, and isn't their pop culture reference cool? Yeah, the school can reference a thirty-year-old film - they definitely are "down wid da kids".

Open Evening Early Closure: "we will be closing early", " in full school uniform" Students rejoice at one less school hour, except those involved in open evening, and they must wear uniform or they'll be shot.

Holidays In Term Time: "young people...having their chances undermined", "can only authorise up to 10 days", "any periods over 10 days...recorded as 'parentally controlled truancy' " School wants everyone to stop going on holiday because they won't get good grades and that makes the school look bad.

Bright Light Warning: "member of staff reported...suffered damage to their eye", "bright light...from a very small key-ring 'LED' torch", "can cause serious damage", "don't let your child bring anything to school that they don't need for learning" Some idiot is damaging teachers' eyes, but never mind the threat to kids. Also, don't let kids bring in anything not for learning. Like packed lunches? Or uniform?

Catering Update: "new in-house catering", "adhering to new government nutritional guidelines" All the food is now healthy or tastes like cardboard. Or both.

Temple Moor High School - 50th Anniversary Celebrations: "a balloon race", "1950s style lessons", "memorabilia...on display" There will be a balloon race costing £1 per balloon which will be a shambles, the '50s style lessons won't involve the canes which they definitely should and there will be old relics to look at (but enough about the teachers...)

And Finally... "delighted with the positive start" No-one's been expelled yet, but it's only a matter of time.

Now, which is more informative and which hides behind praise and hyperbole? Which is a better read? Hmm...

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