Sunday, 20 July 2014

Courses, goodbyes and young criminals.

I have finished my RE course.  I've not got my results back yet, but, heck, who cares? It's not going to count for anything. We only do RE for half a term a year, and very little of it has anything to do with me. The whole course thing was, I think, a 'ticking-a-box' exercise for the school. I have to admit that I've learnt an awful lot, though - mainly through clicking on links from research I was meant to be doing. For example, I have learnt I am a Pagan with Pantheist leanings (or is it the other way around?), that the worst thing about a website on Satanism is their continual use of the phrase 'very unique', and that actually, religious labelling is pretty much a waste of time as most people do things their own way, anyway. From research for my 'Is there unity in diversity?' essay, it seems there are no two people who believe in the same thing. We may choose a label that defines us the most accurately, but then we pick up extra bits or discard the practices we disagree with. Thus we end up with people saying things like, 'I am a committed Christian/Jew/insert religion here, but I support gay marriage/the Dignity in Dying campaign/the teaching of evolution in schools/another potentially controversial idea....' So that makes me a Pantheist-Pagan with a smattering of Taoism, believing in Karma, quality books and good whisky. I'll name that religion in... um... a while. 

Take a spoonful of each, mix well and 
stop arguing.

We said goodbye to most of our year 6 children last week. Every year, I promise myself that I won't get upset, but yet again I did. We've had a morning in which we welcomed (hmmm... is that the right word? I'm not sure...) our new students. Some were nervous (our reputation precedes us), and some were over-confident know-it-alls (not for long). They had to fill in a question sheet, writing about favourite subjects and best friends. It also gave us a chance to suss out who shouldn't be sitting next to each other, and who had neat writing. 'You're going to get sick of me nagging you,' I told one boy, 'so you may as well sort your handwriting out now,' and he gave a resigned sigh, rubbed out his work and started again. Good lad. I think we've got another 'moving on' morning tomorrow. I bet they're really looking forward to it. 

Earlier this week, a girl and her mother sought me out and gave me a story the girl had written for our school book blog. 'She spent such a long time on it,' said Proud Mother. 'We tried to find you yesterday, but we couldn't, and she was devastated.' (I really hate the over-use of that word. She wasn't devastated, she was probably just a bit put-out because I had seen her coming and was hiding in the stock cupboard.) Anyway, I started typing it out on the school blog this morning and thought how good the punctuation was. Naturally, that made me rather suspicious, so I pasted the first paragraph into Google. It turned out that the whole thing had been lifted from a rather sickly children's book about sisters. Plagiarism at such a young age... and aided and abetted by Proud Mother, too. Hopefully, they will log on to the school blog today (I told them it would be typed up over the weekend) and see my 'by the way' notice instead. I will hand back the child's story tomorrow and do my best not to smirk at Proud Mother. 


  1. I have to ask this, as I have had a similar incident this year... was the plagiarising girl one of your 'soon-to-be's? If so, was it one who is/should be already good enough to write a decent story without the need for copying someone else?

    1. It wasn't, but thank you for the warning - I shall look out for that! I have a feeling that the one you're meaning is going to irritate me hugely.