Friday, 1 February 2008

What's The Best Policy?

On Temple Moor's often-joked about website, there's a list of the school's "policies". Because we at Templar Truths seriously have nothing better to do, here's some highlights from the policies.

Assemblies should "provide a collective act of worship". Never in my school life at Temple Moor has assembly ever created any atmosphere of religious worship. We've never bowed our heads to thank the almighty God for giving us builders who try to kill us with chlorine. Another point, not mentioned in the policy PDFs is that Temple Moor's assembly themes - pinned on noticeboards in all classrooms - are never adhered to.

"Pupils will be taught ways to validate information before accepting that it is necessarily accurate" says the Internet Access PDF. Here's a case study: Temple Moor's website and this blog. We try to be accurate, while maintaining high levels of satire and comedy. We're not afraid to speak the truth. Also, "pupils will be made aware that the writer of an e-mail or the author of a web page might not be the person claimed". Fair enough. For example, I - Thor - am not really a Norse God.

More from Internet Access: "the security of the whole system will be reviewed with regards to threats to security from Internet access". How about we stop using Internet Explorer 6? Even if Firefox/Opera is deemed a step too far (i.e. sensible), IE7 would be beneficial, surely? "Personal floppy disks may not be brought into school without specific permission and virus check" - this means if you bring in a floppy disk (because you're from the Dark Ages, I assume), it will be checked for viruses before you get to use it. Sensible? Perhaps. Complicated and slowing down education? Most definitely. Also, Temple Moor reserves the right to monitor every file you make, every website you visit and wants you to ask a teacher before you log onto the 'Net.

Does your form tutor "check that all pupils have a planner before they leave morning registration"? Mine doesn't. However, some (apparently) do this. You cannot be in a lesson if you "have a proper planner". I've known people go entire days without their planners - this system needs tightening up, or forgetting about. Ever been in a class where you're all on a verbal warning? "Whole classes must never to given verbal warning" says the policy. Ignore the awful grammar (it's supposed to say "whole classes must never be given a verbal warning") and remember this when your teacher says it.

"Do not leave students outside the classroom for more than two minutes" is one that's often adhered to, but it's not unknown for teachers to leave them longer. "It is essential", reads the policy in bold type, "that teachers read the [detention] notices to the pupils". That is a damn good idea. So why, I can only wonder, have Temple Moor abandoned common sense and gone with the idea of getting pupils to read the detention lists themselves?

If you really want to gain an understanding as to what happens in Temple Moor, and why, some of these policies are essential reading.

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