Tuesday, 12 November 2013

A review of a day not worth reviewing - Work Review Day.

So, this Friday just gone (8/11) was that wonderful day called Work Review day. That most useful of days, where one has to come in for a 10 minute appointment, then can go home an spend the rest of your day as you please; be it playing video games, going to Brent Cross, or doing things not suitable to be read by a 50-something Comprehensive school Headteacher.

Yet you must come in. And in full school uniform. For 10 minutes of the day. A day where we will spend the rest of the day perhaps considering which pair of Air Max to shoplift from JD, or which house to play Knock Down Ginger on, or more likely going to Redpitch and playing football; things that school uniform aren't practical for. But because the school's ego and image is more important that practicality, your blazer must be donned at all times.

You are recommended to bring a parent. Yet most people's parents work, and cannot get the day off. If they don't work, they are most likely otherwise engaged throughout the day. So why have what is meant to be a vital meeting midway through a weekday morning when so few parents, who care so much about their children's education, can attend? Another point, is that even if some parents could have booked time off, they can't because of the school's brilliant logistics; telling parents about this at the last second possible (despite having enough time to forewarn parent about uniform during the half term, a good week in advance, through three separate time and money consuming means of communication; text, email and individual letters), and making it inflexible. So you better pray your child is first in the register so you can have the meeting at 8:30, then dash to work on an oh-so-reliable C11.

So, once you've been kept waiting for the extra half hour because someone over-slept past their time, you finally get to talk to your tutor. Your tutor is more likely than not going to teach you. If you're a Sixth Form student who does all essay-based subjects, and your tutor is a Maths or Science teacher, the advice isn't going to be very helpful. This is another reason why the day is pointless, and why even the chaos we all call Parents' Evening is more useful than this day.

So, you and your under-qualified tutor (although it isn't their fault) are sat awkwardly in your year-room, chatting about some random letters thrown onto a sheet of paper and called "target grades". Especially when many people have only just started a 2 year course, these days so early make no sense, as you have still got so much to learn. So these students are all working at Es because all they have learnt so far would get them an E if they took the exam now, which thanks to our Mail-reading hipster-glasses-wearing friend Michael Gove, is soon to be impossible. Why judge those on whether they can run before they can walk?

You then have to jot down some goals for you to achieve with your tutor. While this may seem a good idea, these are lost in your memory after your third Ultimate Team match on FIFA, or fifth kill on L.O.L, or whatever floats your procrastinating boat. And of course in the overwhelming bureaucracy the school has become, these sheets are misplaced, and these vital targets that have been set are chucked in a recycling bin somewhere or other.

So, overall, just don't bother with Work Review Day. Seriously. Do as the SLT say time and time again in assemblies, and "take your education into your own hands." Just stay at home and do your homework.

DISCLAIMER: This Hampstead Trash article has been written to critique the actions of the governing bodies of the school. This is so student readers can hear both sides of the argument, and formulate their own opinions on matters pertaining to their education.

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