Thursday, 20 March 2008

Newsletter V Us

It's that time again - the school have printed off a new newsletter. Is it a beacon of intelligent journalism, or thinly-disguised propaganda distributed to the masses? What do you think?

Spring Term
"fantastically successful spring term", "Little Shop of Horrors was an outstanding success", "our passion for Science", "witness to the horrors of genocide", "we [should] regularly check our sons' and daughters' phones", "new building is slowly taking form"
A successful term? At Temple Moor? That's right - an over-budget show (albeit a good one), kids getting caught with drugs, the awful PD Shop, destruction of parking's your average amazing term. Education about genocide, however, is a good thing, one which we can't fault. But the main outcry now is the suggestion that parents should snoop around kids' phones looking for "inappropriate images and video footage" - invasion of privacy, much?

Key Dates
"extra staff development day"
Four magic words right there.

"we pride ourselves on our standards", "it is often commented upon", "new house tie at the cost of £3.50"
No hoodies, patterned tights or too much make up. Seems sensible enough. About these ties, though. If, last year, you got one of the ties, chances are you'll end up paying for one of this year's ties, which look rubbish in comparison.

"a high priority", "a series of Deal Or No Deal assemblies", "£25 being award to one lucky student in each year group", "Deal Or No Deal will return", "research suggests that students with...17 missed days of schooling...will drop one full GCSE grade"
Attendance might be a high priority, but Deal Or No Deal shouldn't. Plus they're bringing those cringe-inducing assemblies back at some point, which should provide laughs all round. And this research - well, what can you say? 17 days off is a grade drop. But then again, you can distort statistics any way you like.

Year 11 Examination Information For Parents
"ensure your child is in full school uniform", "students can bring water into the exam"
Basically, this is a list of stuff you already knew - you must wear uniform, and you can bring in water being just two points.

Aim Higher
"Richard McCann, an established author (Just a Boy) gave a motivational presentation"
I'm confused - did Mr McCann write a book called Just A Boy or is he an author who is just a boy?

Auschwitz Holocaust Visit
"two of our 6th formers", "visit Auschwitz as part of the Lessons Learned from Auschwitz project", "will be featuring in further assemblies and an anti-bullying project"
As we've said, teaching about genocide is a good idea. However, saying "6th" instead of "sixth" looks a bit unprofessional - that's twice it's appeared in this newsletter.

Holocaust Survivor
"Mr Eugene a Holocaust survivor", "just 12...when he was taken to Auschwitz", "a very moving talk"
Again, a good thing.

Passport to University
"some of our Year 7 students will be visiting Leeds Metropolitan University"
Uhm...I can't think of anything to say about this. At all. Go Year 7?

Year 10 Stock Market Challenge
"group of our Year 10 Business Studies students took part in the inter-school stock market challenge", "used quick thinking decision making and enterprise skills", "achieved 2nd place"
We broke this news ages ago. Well done to them, anyway.

National Science & Engineering Week
"a great success", "Marty Jopson amazed us", "we strive to promote a passion for Science in all students"
I wasn't even aware of this special, themed week. But apparently the school's done lots of Sciencey stuff - they probably have to or they'll get their Science College status taken off them. More on Marty Jopson here.

Leeds book awards
"a mixture of fifteen students", "reading six short listed books", "students will vote", "check out the website"
So some kids went somewhere, read some books that might win Leeds Book Award and will vote. Plus you can find more details at - not a bad deal, eh?

"Christine McMahon excited and entranced Year 7", "students were transfixed", "each group...encouraged to make up their own story", "now a competition"
Stories were read, then written. A winner will be chosen by some mysterious selection process, with the possibility of a prize, but don't bet on it!

Year 7 Football Team
"reaching the last sixteen in the English Schools FA Cup", "semi-finals of the Leeds School Cup"
Seems like they're doing quite well, doesn't it? With no mention of any other teams, are they the only ones? Anyway, congratulations for representing your school better than it does itself.

"despite the building works", "Tchoukball Club", "very successful"
"ContinYou" is a pun that, if we're fair, needs to blasted with atomic weapons. Readers - is Tchoukball any good, at all? Email or comment, please.

PE Kit
"part of school uniform", "an increasing number of students who have incomplete PE kit", "they will be issued with a negative comment"
It seems like sensible action - if you're missing some kit, you'll get a comment. Presumably an organisational one. But why, unlike the ties mentioned earlier, can you not buy kit directly from the school?

Lost Property
"you wouldn't believe of the amount of PE kit which is left", "a lot of the kit we find is not named and so it usually ends up in the spare kit box"
So lots of PE kit left, and an increasing number of students with incomplete kit? Surely I'm not the only one to spot some obvious correlation between the two, am I? And lots of spare kit must be a good thing for those with incomplete kit anyway, so what's so bad about it?

Little Shop Of Horrors
"congratulations and very well done", "an outstanding success", "now in the process of planning our musical drama for 2009", "three summer variety shows"
Yes, well done to the actors and singers and back-stage crew. Yet I see no mention of the blown budget anywhere - how odd! Then, slyly, a plug for the upcoming variety shows - clever! Hopefully they'll show case lots of different talent, not just the usual singing and dancing numbers. As for next year's production, it's likely to be We Will Rock You, but make your (non-Disney) opinion "heard" with that sidebar poll. I'm secretly hoping for Spamalot.

Easter School - 2nd-4th April 2008
"once again running Easter School", "an opportunity for Year 11", "important time", "kick start their revision"
Easter's a holiday, right? School is a non-holiday thing. If you haven't spotted the gigantic problem here, please leave. Apparently revision needs to be done in-school, or it won't work.

Btec Fire Service Course
"six of our Year 10 students following the...course took part in a demonstration"
This is brilliant news! When we next have a fire alarm for real (perhaps when the builders discover fire?) we need not call the fire service!

Higher Education Fair
"Year 12 students who intend going to University should attend", "more information will follow"
It costs a fiver and might help you decide your non-TMHS education options. Go for it!

Sixth Form Ball
"reservations are being taken now"
Hurrah! "Sixth" as a word.

Gifted & Talented Activities in Technology
"Year 7 had two hours to design and make Blackpool Tower", "Year 8 had to design a bridge", "Year 9 designed swings", "we didn't win"
Hasn't Blackpool Tower already been made? Also, commiserations for not winning.

While it is the holidays now - until April 7th - keep checking back on the blog (or subscribe to the RSS feed), we might be posting some stuff.

Update: As of 23rd March, the newsletter still isn't available on the official website. Have they lapsed into their old ways of not updating?


Melaisis said... Kekeke.

Anyway Thor, I agree with most of the points you raised here. Maybe the article about the Year 7s getting a 'Passport to University' is a bit er... strange, though. 12 year olds having to think a decade ahead? Heck, I'm 17 and I'm still unsure whether I wish to go to university or not.

Spamalot's still on Broadway, I believe, so we can't do it. Although the songs in it are ridiculously good. I vote for Urine Town personally, mind. ;)

Anonymous said...

The school broke even on the Little Shop of Horrors budget. Thats's why there was no need for a mention of it in the Newsletter.