The ORRiginal playstation?


Just been involved in a few tweets about letting kids learn by risk taking and it reminded me of this!

Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint.
We slept without flame retardant pyjamas, without air conditioning, with doors and windows open.
There was nothing to stop us from sticking a fork in an electrical outlet.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.)
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors!
We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.
We raced around town without adults on Halloween collecting treats and eating them as we went along without having them x-rayed first.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from it.
Our dogs did not have rabies shots, distemper shots, parvo shots, and we didn’t pour chemicals on them or on us to repel fleas and ticks and mosquitoes.
We followed along in the big white clouds sprayed out by the city trucks to kill mosquitoes breathing in the wonderful smell of DDT.
We waded barefoot through muddy water in ditches catching tadpoles and crawdads.
We cut the grass with push mowers, climbed trees, and walked along the top of fences like they were tight ropes.
We petted stray dogs and cats and took them home to see if we could keep them.
We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day.
No cell phones. Unthinkable!
We played with cap pistols and toy rifles and rubber knives.
We took snakes or frogs or lizards to school, but never guns.
We had video games, no 99 channels on cable, videotape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms.
We had friends! If we didn’t, we went outside and found them.
We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt.
We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents?
We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it, or punch harder next time.
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and mud pies, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.
Some students chose not to be as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat it.
Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that!


May 2015 highlights


It’s May time!

First weekend in May is always great as it’s a bank holiday.

Lovely meal with my Mum and Dad – scallops and roasted veggies.



First week of May ended with a concert. Great family friend turned 80 and held a concert inviting all the people who had influenced his musical life to perform.

The evening was a sellout and performers were a pianist, contralto, tenor, trumpeter, cellist, choral groups, church choir and myself as soprano soloist.

The dress was sequinned and the heels sparkly!

Artist friend who painted my shed with camellias is also working on a piece of stained glass for a window in my home. I used my rug as the inspiration Orr the colours of the stained glass.

This is a little taster …….



GORRgeous flowers too….. Followed by a flute of pink fizz!



Always love the preparation for summer – means pedicure time!

The stained glass window is complete. Love it!

As SATs week came to an end and we headed towards the half term holiday, I received a very thORRtful card from the Y6 pupils.




Half term started sorting the garden and putting in the bedding plants.




Another school holiday also brought fORRth comments on Twitter about head teacher’s raking on RI/SM schools and comments from the Queen’s speech when opening parliament. Sometimes we fORRget to reflect and celebrate the good we do.

If you haven’t heard of the nutribullet yet, it’s an amazing gadget that can pulverise most things within an inch of its life to make ‘smoothies’ packed with nutrients.

Beetroot, kiwi, porridge oats and white flesh nectarine….



Spinach is great for the high packed green smoothies. Add coconut water, almond milk, yogurt or simply water to thin them a little.



Half term cooking with lentils, mixed beans, salmon, scallops and spiraliser too!



The end of May is also the end of half term.

A little pamper time…..


Having also returned to a fiery copper redhead state I was introduced to a new gin courtesy of Twitter. The only stockist in my area happened to be spitting distance from the salon. What luck!

What a gin! Love it.


And that’s it!

God willing tomorrow, Dad will be 90! Love him to bits.

ORRsome blogposts May 2015


ORRsome blogposts hitting timelines during May.

It has been quite a month and very politically topical too!

Bill Lord

Vic Goddard

Michael Tidd

Chris Hildrew

Dan Brinton

Simon Johnson

Ros McMullen

Tom Sherrington

Zoe Elder

Mike Cameron

Martin Robinson

Andy Tharby

Hey Miss Smith

Stephen Tierney

James Theobald

Teacher Toolkit

Alex Quigley

David Didau

Choco Tzar

Amjad Ali

Tom Starkey

Tim Taylor

Nina Jackson

John Tomsett

Sue Cowley

Old primary head

Jordy Jax


Time to kick up your heels! Celebrate the good!


It’s interesting or perhaps pure coincidence that holiday times for teacher include another pop at the profession or indeed tweets that spark questions, fears and hopes.

This half term has not been any different. We’ve had the opening of parliament, the Queen’s speech, ShORRn HarfORRd asking what would it take to accept a post in a RI/SM school and also Nicky MORRgan’s comments.

It’s very easy for all of this to overtake what we do and to consume our energies negatively.

Too often we can fORRget the good that has happened and is currently happening. We fORRget to reflect and celebrate because we can be put in the position of not being good enough. Sometimes less can be mORR when it comes to keeping the main thing the main things and not being caught up with every change thrown at us.


As I was sitting waiting for my car to have its first service, I began collating my head teacher’s repORRt to governors. It’s the 21st one I have put together. My last deputy headship was with the most amazing and inspirational HT I had ever worked with. She inspired me to invite, include and involved everyone in everything where possible and appropriate. The repORRt is called ‘The head teacher’s repORRt to governORRs’ but it isn’t mine. Every member of staff is involved in writing it from teachers to admin and premises staff. Staff are invited to celebrate their subject/aspect in words, photos, data and a bit of themselves too.

Two years ago when we shared the first HT repORRt with the governing body, it did come as white a shock and they commented they hadn’t realised how much happened every term because they had not had that level of infORRmation shared with them.

The entire repORRt contains all the statutORRy bumph, of course, but also is a working, living celebration of our journey as a school community. We will always have things we need to improve but not to the detriment of making continuous change without celebrating what we do well and doing mORR of it.


We often talk about ensuring we have a work life balance and focus on staff well-being. Celebrating the good is part of our well-being. I know if I’m knucking fackered, then it has to be a lost wORRse for my staff. We look for those signs and give staff time to write repORRts, prepare for events etc… Map this in right at the start of the year so staff know they are being given quality time for key matters. We have an INSET day on Monday and it is for exactly that – quality time to do a quality job.

Coming towards the end of a half term where Twitter has been rife with the notion of leading and managing RI/SM schools and the future of headship, we can either let ourselves be kicked in the teeth or we can kick up our heels and celebrate!


The government and media aren’t doing a very good job in promoting our teaching profession, so it’s up to us to do it.


We have amazing staff who do an ORRsome job.

Kick up your heels. Kick against it. Celebrate what you do well. Keep that at the fORRfront.


Life is a celebration!