After being in Hampstead School for [redacted] years now, I’ve attended many a-form time and it was today, after missing one - to do something much more important (sleeping) - that it suddenly hit me: yes, after the school half-arssedly apologised for dropping the school’s budget on me, I realised that form time has done absolute nought for me. For the whole school, in fact. Those twenty minutes every day are just thrown away for the same reason a lot of things are here in Hampstead School: to look good, not to be good. The Head just can’t keep his lust to see things that emulate what he believes make a ‘good’ school; spending twenty minutes reading your planner and planning what you’re going to spend your £2 on during break - or as he puts it - preparing for the day. You’re damn right I’ve been preparing for my day, I’ve memorised what that guy three seats away from me did exactly a week ago during an anecdote about sherbet dib-dabs. That will surely help me in my BTEC Education and Meaningless Qualification Studies...
So let’s be frank, before I can rip the school a new one, I’ll regurgitate some of the cherry-picked, formally correct drivel that the school says to students on a daily basis, so that it can be a vaguely fair argument.
“We need form time so we have a breather between entering school and first period”
I hate this. So, for those sane people who are not part of Hampstead, I’ll explain what this means. When we enter school, the twenty minutes (actually twenty five now, but don’t get me started on that new five minutes, that’s a completely different barrel of fish-shaped excrement) we have for form are between those two times. Now, this allows us time to apparently settle in before we get all that learning done in period one. Just typing this makes me feel stupid; do you see how idiotic this is? We still have to go to period one, which by the school’s logic of ‘walking = disturbed learning’ will disturb us the same amount. ‘But, anonymous writer, walking to school is longer and thus, creates a lot more distress!' This means nothing; if you really think this, or the crappy logic this is built on, has any merit, then still take away the twenty five minutes of form time, and just add five minutes to period one for that recovering period. If it takes you twenty five minutes to get you in the mood, then you may be a bit old for school, and in need of some little blue pills.
“Uh-uh, anonymous writer, did you forget about announcements?”
No, I did not forget about announcements. How could I have possibly forgot about the announcements? The announcements you are referencing are five minutes at the most, and that’s on a busy week, (which by looking at the school’s reputable news source, The Buzz, is never going to happen, because we’re just an okay secondary school, we’re not the House of Commons). So, these sparse announcements could maybe be told by the teachers they regard in, you know, the weekly assemblies, or hung up in the form room, or literally just spread by word of mouth. If only there were, perhaps, some means of communicating information to all students electronically, like the announcements are communicated to form tutors. Like, Jesus, we don’t need this dedicated time. It can be used for a lot of better causes, like sleeping, or giving us more time to get to school for those who rely on the public transport, instead of the w**k we’re wasting it on now.
Besides my disdain for assemblies, I guess they do have the odd special guest that I don’t think are completely useless. So, begrudgingly, I say they should stay, but I don’t see why we don’t come in earlier that day, or if someone is going to bring up the point that 'uhh, people won’t remember, not everyone remembers everything you know, uhh, urrh, I can’t tie my own shoelaces...' Shut up. That’s a stupid excuse after the first couple of weeks and you know it. If you’re going to patronise Hampstead school students then perhaps assemblies could take place during Self and Society lessons? They’re already where teachers take time to do anything extra-curricular, and although I think those lessons have potential, the stuff we do is basically a more intimate replica of what happens in assemblies anyway, with more admin. Assemblies are actually better, addressing whatever flavour of week we are supposed to be ‘aware’ is happening (speak week, race week, vanilla week, etc.)
So, to conclude my rejected English coursework, I hope I explained my sudden epiphany with you well. This infatuation the Head has with useless rituals that add to nothing but non-existent clauses to CVs is really just getting tiresome. If the Head is reading this, and hasn’t smashed his computer in rage yet, please take this little nugget of student opinion: if it doesn’t have any practical use that can’t be reconstituted elsewhere, then don’t keep it!