Search results for "ian whitwham"


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At the chalkface: Batter them with kindness

21 March 2018

“No-one ever said I was any good at anything,” Daisy said. This isn’t self-pity, just a statement of fact. No-one has done. Someone should be lynched.

At the chalkface: If you liked school…

14 March 2018

“If you liked school,” goes the caption, “you’ll love work.” Has it really come to this? Is education now merely about getting a job? Nothing else?

At the chalkface: Cheating

6 March 2018

This happened nigh on 30 ages ago, but I’ve sometimes worried that it might have constituted cheating. Did it make a difference to Plum’s final grade?

At the chalkface: A working class hero

28 February 2018

Some prejudices seem effortlessly intact. You just parade your unchecked privilege, flaunt your lack of knowledge and feel somehow permitted to unleash such ill-considered tripe.

At the chalkface: Poetry

7 February 2018

Is Billie Holiday less good than Emily Dickinson? Eh? Is Lightnin’ Hopkins as good as Gerard Manly Hopkins? A close call, but all meaningless comparisons.

At the chalkface: Philosophy

31 January 2018

It might not be allowed these days. It didn’t matter if we didn’t understand. If you’re not going to understand something it may as well be the world’s leading thinkers.

At the chalkface: On the cusp

24 January 2018

Ah, but true love rarely runs smooth. It’s not that simple. Class can ruin everything. Will Charlie feel the pull of his roots? Will he have to betray them?

At the chalkface: Punch and Judy

17 January 2018

Aren’t world leaders meant to conduct themselves with a little more gravitas? Emotional intelligence? Or just intelligence? Not brain dead, misogynist clots. Aren’t they meant to be role-models for ...

At the chalkface: Child poverty

10 January 2018

In 2015 there were 30,000 “excess deaths” in England and Wales, according to research. The reason? Simple. “Cuts”. Nothing else.

At the chalkface: Absinthe friends

3 January 2018

It's new year's eve. Phantasms flicker past my window. Faces from the past, alumni, blizzards of them, fall like snowflakes...

At the chalkface: High expectations

29 November 2017

He bounced a board duster off my bonce, a long-recognised method of improving numeracy. He then suggested I was a “cretin”. He would have been sacked these days. I still can’t add up.

At the chalkface: Tim and Moll

22 November 2017

They’re not quite Romeo and Juliet, more a meeting of like minds, sort of de-schooling sweethearts, extra-curricular chums, partners in crime

At the chalkface: It’ a jungle out there

15 November 2017

It was time for the ugly truth. “The world out there doesn’t take prisoners,” I’d drone grimly. “It’s a jungle out there!” My classes had heard this speech so many times they sometimes joined in...

At the chalkface: The Arts

8 November 2017

Drama teachers are being cut. If you want to see the best lessons in a school go to the drama department, while you still can. Marvel at the school play. Dance is going the same way.

At the chalkface: Personal statements

11 October 2017

"All my life I’ve been passionate/obsessed/crazy about something or other. I’m phenomenally interested in early Russian cinema, medieval baroque music, playing the oboe, QPR and making lots of money."

At the chalkface: In Defence of Milton

3 October 2017

Milton’s poetry should be done much more in our state schools. Not to do so is a criminal dumbing down. Why should the privileged only hear his lyric grace and thunder?

At the chalkface: The secret teacher

27 September 2017

All heads do now is push pupils out into the world “ravaged and lobotomised to be supplicant to The Man. To the soulless Technocracy”.

At the chalkface: The first half-term

20 September 2017

Perfect the 1,000-mile stare. Rehearse it in the mirror. You must be a forcefield of terror like Tom Hardy, Mike Tyson or Medusa – that area.

At the chalkface: Exodus

13 September 2017

For many years we didn’t suffer this league table mania. Sixth forms were mixed ability, the syllabus open and thrilling and the pupils bright, sussed and electric.

At the chalkface: Some good frontier gibberish

4 July 2017

I tether my horse in the bike shed, mosey into the fancy foyer, check my holster, check my gun, lower my Stetson, kick in classroom door and stand alone, like Gary Cooper in High Noon

At the chalkface: Sports Day

28 June 2017

Sports Day: The inevitable dropping of the baton, the mad dash for the first 20 metres of 1,500 metre race and the subsequent knackered perambulation, the long jumps and high jumps of less than two ...

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