Who Am I?

Who am I?

This weeks social studies TDT looks at identity and asks us to read a chapter of Woodward (2004) and look at the role it plays in our world today. So reading this, you might wonder who I am? Well I’m a university student, a Girlguide leader, a Manchester City fan, a blogger, British, a lover of all things chocolate and an avid baker. Already, just putting these identities out there puts me as being the same as some people and different from others, and this isn’t a bad thing. Furthermore, as a person I have changed over time. For example, I wasn’t always a university student and I won’t be one forever, at some point I’ll be able to add qualified teacher to my identities and this will put me in a whole other category. Identities change constantly, which adds to who we are as people.

I think it is important to be part of these categories because they identify my similarities in me, my friends, my family and my boyfriend. I love who I am and think more people should be confident about who they are. I have had to go through tough experiences, the death of my father and the bullying at school but these have formed who I am as a person and I can’t escape this. This doesn’t mean that I always think of myself in this way though. George Herbert Mead (Woodward, 2004, pg 11) suggests that we are who we are because of how others see us and I can certainly relate to this. Although I am quite a confident person in who I am, I will still stand at my wardrobe in the morning wondering what the most appropriate thing to wear that day will be so people don’t judge me. This is completely normal, and I know for a fact that I am not the only person to do this. I also hold my hand up and say that I started wearing make up because of what the girls at school used to say. I didn’t want to be the odd one out or to be judged for being different. Although now I wear make up for completely different reasons, I can look back now and think “oh how ridiculous”, but it just proves that Mead is correct by saying that I see myself by how others see me.

Identities change over history too. Although we have no idea what we would be like 100 years ago, we know that we would be a lot different because of the difference in society. If I think of myself, I might still be a Girlguide leader, but I most likely wouldn’t be a university student and certainly wouldn’t be a Manchester City fan. Technologies change constantly, look at the iphone, they bring out a new one every 5 minutes (so it feels) but they are always adding to it and that’s how I like to think of identities over history. As technologies grow so do identities and what people identify themselves as, change to move with the times.

 

So I hope reading this has made you learn a little about me and think about who you are as a person.  No two identities are the same but this is a great thing. Different identities are what makes the human race so incredible.  Just think how boring we would be if we were all the same..! As a teacher this is something I would always want to teach my children and not only can it relate to geography as a curricular area but also health and wellbeing. My job in Guiding as a peer educator is all about teaching girls to love themselves for who they are through the free being me resourse and I love going out to show the girls just how incredible they all are individually so I am sure as a teacher I will be passionate about this in the classroom too.

 

References

Woodward, K. (2004), Questioning Identity: Gender, Class, EthnicityCh.1 Questions of Identity in London: Routledge [Online] Accessed on 4.5.17 

Effective “Egyptians” Education

Today’s first input for my Developing Effectiveness in Learning and Teaching module gave me a lot to think about and reflect on. I have to say that interdisciplinary learning is not something that I myself thought about when I was in school, however I remember my school days quite clearly. Now I think back to my days in school I can point out subject content which linked together, but at the time it really didn’t cross my mind in the slightest that we were doing maths and ICT at the same time or science and literacy for example.

I’m always very honest about the experiences that I had in school – good and bad – but in this post I want to focus on one of the P4 projects that really made me motivated to learn at the time. It was the still popular today topic, Egyptians and I loved every second of it! My grampy did his national service in Egypt so has always told me loads of stories about his role out there at the time and the kind of things he had to do (mostly getting up to mischief and into trouble by the sounds of it – but that’s my grampy for you!). Maybe it was this connection to home that helped me really engage with these interesting lessons which says a lot to me about the idea of making sure you can connect subjects to a child’s life at that time. I was able to learn in school and then go home every week to phone my Grampy and tell him about what we had been up to, which I thought made me very clever at the time.

However, I think the teacher had a hand in making this a memorable topic too by making the activities that we did in class time engaging. The most memorable activity for me was making papyrus. I loved (and I mean loved to the point where I did it at home too) the messy side to making the papyrus, the waiting for it to dry and then carefully planning what we were going to write on our papyrus when it was ready to use. As a class (only 6 of us but still) we all made a decision to draw our names in hyrogliphics on the papyrus and I can clearly remember us all trotting along to the local library to research hyrogliphics so we could write our names out when our papyrus was ready. I was quite small in P4 and I believe there was an argument over who was getting to use the photocopier which I lost because of my height and the fact I wouldn’t say boo to a goose – so this topic wasn’t all the sweetness and light I make it out to be…

It’s probably down to the fact that we took time out of the classroom and it was the first time I had taken proper ownership of my work by researching what I wanted to do on my papyrus that led this to being one of my fondest memories of primary school. Moreover, it has also led me to believe that children taking full ownership of their work is something really important in a classroom and this experience has moulded the type of practitioner I have seen in action in the nursery and I’m sure I will see as a fully qualified teacher.

Me riding a camel in Egypt. A once in a lifetime experience I will never forget.

On a final note, the Egyptians topic really left a lasting impact throughout my schooling as 8 years later in S5, I was off to Egypt myself to see the pyramids, hyrogliphs and mummies on a school trip with my favourite teacher. It was an experience I will never forget and I’m so proud that the shy little girl from P4 managed to go out on a 12 day school trip to a continent she had never been to just to see some of the amazing things she’d learned about at just 8 years old. It just shows really what a lasting impact the topics we choose as teachers, can have on the children and as I continue this module, I hope to learn more about how I can make the right decisions in order to give the children in my classroom the same lasting impact I have experienced.

The History in Castles

This week I have been lucky enough to have visited not one but TWO castles, have been learning about history teaching in lectures and have frankly loved every second of it. I went to visit family for the weekend in Northumberland and with them knowing how much I love history, going round the castles seemed the best activities to undertake. The first was Bamburgh Castle – the ‘King of the castles’ which looks over the sea, was built in the medieval period and is now home to the Armstrong family. Sunday’s stunning castle was Alnwick castle – home to the Duke of Northumberland, has some magnificent state rooms and is some of the inspiration to the outside of Hogwarts, including where the broomstick lesson scene was filmed in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (absolutely not the reason I went *ahem).

However, my week of history started on Thursday with my first social studies lecture based around history. As I aspire to someday become a history teacher in a prep school, I was eager to get started and learn what I can. But, I am very aware that history can be one of the more challenging and emotive subjects to be teaching in a primary classroom and some teachers will keep as far away as possible from the subject and for as long as they can. Furthermore, one of our first tasks has been to ensure that we fully understand the constraints when teaching history and what good practices we can keep to help ourselves as professional practitioners.

We have been asked to look at the The Historical Association (2007) TEACH booklet which has some very useful tips to teachers who need some guidance when it comes to teaching history and also what the constraints are that teachers find the most trying. Moreover, one of the more regular constraints I saw popping up was that there is not enough time given to the subject. But I honestly cannot blame some teachers! The amount some teachers have to do is incredible and then the government have the cheek to pile more on. It’s quite ridiculous. But at the end of the day, none of this would be the problem that it is if teachers had the training in history they needed because they would be more willing to find the time. We all know how good history is at falling into the themes that teachers know (and usually love to teach), but teachers have inadequate subject knowledge.

Bamburgh castle was simply gorgeous!

Moreover, although self study would help this quite considerably, teachers do not have the time to simply buy books to teach themselves what happened here and watch lengthy documentaries about what this person did there and it is unfair to ask teachers to give up their time to do this! If schools and councils were able to give suitable training and information sessions on certain history topics, I am without a doubt that teaching history would not be quite as much of a chore to some professionals as it seems.

Resources are my bug bare in schools, I love creating them and the laminator is my ultimate best friend, however as before I constantly find there is just not enough time to be cutting and laminating a whole topics worth of resources (and I applaud those who do) every couple of weeks. Some teachers will read this gritting their teeth and minds screaming “but its your job!”. However, I am not the only trainee on a placement to be hunting around the school’s resources to see what I can borrow for my “mini project” and know from speaking to other professionals that it is all to easy to slip into the routine of grabbing that box off the top shelf, dusting it off and rifling through the same resources used in the eighties for something to teach the children with. I hold my hands up and say I am a hypocrite because I have done it, but am very aware this is one of the worst things that you can do! All of these old resources will have some value yes, and I’m not in anyway saying we should bin them, all I’m saying is we should be not relying on them but mixing them with newer ideas. The Historical Association (2007, p.21) TEACH booklet suggests using puppets, music, films and cartoons that will appeal to today’s children and can also encourage personal engagement with the topic.

I would teach children about cooking in different times and the challenges big banquets would have brought!

Walking around both castles, I also saw many different ways in which you could link different periods of history with other curriculum subjects. Both castles had libraries which I would take as an opportunity to explore some of the books that were written years ago but are still read and thoroughly enjoyed today. Health and wellbeing could be explored through how people would prepare meals and which foods they would eat. I might even attempt to get my class to prepare their own meal from this era to see if they would like eating/prepping foods from these times – if taught the right way, it would certainly relate to their lives today! Finally, I might take a look at some of the scientific findings that have been discovered – for example Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb in 1879 – and do some experiments, involving light, of our own. It would all take a little more thought than little old me typing away at my keyboard for 5 minutes, but you all get the idea that it can all be linked together if you try..

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my weekend, and I would go to both castles with classes of children to give them a close up view of how people used to live. Moreover, I feel that getting the children out there to see these castles on school trips is a vital part to learning, something which is concured by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (2004, pp. 4). I see the value in teaching history greatly, and cannot see my opinion changing but only becoming stronger on my social studies course which I am really happy about and excited for. The upcoming weeks will hopefully provide me with many more good practices and recommendations to help me with the constraints that teaching social studies can prove. I might even force myself to visit a few more castles…

References

Department for Culture, Media and Sport (2004) Inspiration, Identity, Learning: The Value of Museums, Leicester: RCMG.

The Historical Association (2007) T.E.A.C.H: Teaching Emotive and Controversial History 3-19, London: The Historical Association.

Powerful Knowledge in the Social Studies Classroom

So, after a wonderful summer of work, work, Paris, work, its back to third year and within my first day I have been subjected to TDT’s! Nothing quite like getting into the swing of things, is there? My elective module this year is Scottish Studies (unlike me I know, but when I signed up to it, it was called social studies and it sounds like this is what it will be) and will have main focuses on geography, history and politics – just has social studies does in a primary school. It looks as though I will be updating this blog on a more regular basis again (yay) because we have to create a portfolio which will have pieces of writing which reflect on what I am reading, thinking and learning. So lets start as we mean to go on!

I am starting off by comparing two very different articles which are referenced at the end, on a knowledge based approach in the classroom setting. Young (2013, p.115) throughout the article, has argued that a knowledge based curriculum is not a workable solution to any problems arising in our curriculum, but would highlight the issues in our modern society. Roberts (2014) on the other hand has written positively about knowledge in the curriculum, feeling that the knowledge children bring in to the classroom from past experiences can be an asset to the classroom for pupils. Now I’m going to be honest here. I found the article Young wrote quite a tricky read, putting it down and thinking “what does knowledge even mean anymore”? It could have been the fact it was the evening and I just needed some sleep and it could have been the language he has used, but I decided to find out exactly what is meant by  a knowledge based curriculum. The Great Education Debate (2013) has stated that a knowledge based curriculum is based primarily on knowledge as opposed to the skills a child will need for going out in adult life to work. Currently, our curriculum’s are based on the skills needed and not the knowledge, but some people feel that knowledge in the classroom is far more important.

Now we know what a knowledge based curriculum is, what are my thoughts on what I have read? I personally think there is absolutely a case for knowledge in the classroom. At the end of the day knowledge is already a huge part of the curriculum, we are teaching knowledge everyday – I am slightly confused as to why we are believed NOT to be teaching knowledge already, but rather skills. Roberts (2014, p.192) discussed Vygostky throughout the article and points out how Vygotsky values knowledge learned at home and supports children’s everyday experiences. On the other hand, Young (2013, p.111) disagrees with Vygotsky, claiming that a child’s experiences growing up can limit their education. Personally, I feel a child’s previous experiences can benefit the child’s learning in the classroom because I have seen first hand how enthusiastic some children can be about sharing personal stories from home and the joy on their faces when they realize they already knew something. The children can feel smart and accomplished with is really positive for those pupils with low self esteem.

Don’t we find out what children already know as teachers everyday from their old books?

My argument is also that, do we not as teachers get taught to understand our children when they join our classroom, which I have always believed to mean, understand how much knowledge they already have AND the skills they already have. Furthermore, the first thing most teachers will do is grab the child’s old books and see what they have learned previously or talk to the child to gain an understanding. Young (2013, p.111) reports that students don’t come to school to learn what they already know from experiences and frankly I completely agree. It seems stupid in my head to teach children something they have already learned, but at the end of the day, as a teacher if you do not explore what knowledge children have already learned then how will you know what it is you need to teach them in the first place. Therefore, previous knowledge can benefit the teacher in the classroom as well. 

I think when it comes to social studies, we need to draw on these experiences. Children will have a wide range of ideas of what, for example, geography means and this includes from direct and indirect experiences Moreover, as Roberts (2014, p.193) suggests, a schools curriculum should not exclude a child’s everyday knowledge, it should be utilized. The problem with this is that every pupil is different and with that, every child’s experience will be different, so how can you possibly design a curriculum which can include the millions of different experiences a child will have. This argument against a knowledge based curriculum continues with, Young (2013, p.112) believing, this curriculum will not be practical for all students, leaving the proportion of students failing left to increase. Although, this is a rather bold statement to make, I see that Young believes the knowledge based curriculum is not a solution for the faults in the current curriculum and may add to them.

To conclude, with the many arguments for and against from Young and Roberts’s articles, I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to class sharing activities, it is vital for a child to have knowledge in the classroom. I don’t feel it is right for the current governments to suggest that we only prepare students with skills for the working adult world either, because on a daily basis teachers are using the experiences that children have brought into the classroom with them positively. Children are leaving our education system into a modern society very different from the societies we have seen before, with knowledge at our finger tips from just one click of a button. We need a curriculum that will take both skills and knowledge into account to equip our young for the working adult world of today.

 

References

Roberts, M. (2014), ‘Powerful knowledge and geographical education’, The Curriculum Journal, Vol.25, No. 2, pp.187-209

The Great Education Debate. (2013) ‘The Curriculum’, [Online] Available at: http://www.greateducationdebate.org.uk/debate/debate.the-curriculum.html (Accessed on 13th September 2017)

Young, M. (2013), ‘Overcoming the crisis in curriculum theory: a knowledge-based approach’, Journal of Curriculum Studies, Vol.45, No.2, pp.101-118

Week 6 – Reflection

My last week here at Moulsford was going to be hard because I have loved it so so much. I will have no doubt at all that at some point in the future I will be back. But before I write about the painful goodbyes I must go through the week and reflect on what I have learned.

Image taken from Google – A short joke at the expense of ofstead which gave me a giggle

So my week started with a lovely assembly from the headmaster on strength, and although it is for the boys, even gave me something to think about. I thought about how my weeks here have given me the strength to be confident in my teaching abilities and that one day, I will be (hopefully) a great teacher. Moreover, after this I went to an English lesson. Now, I’ve said before that this teacher is excellent but I REALLY MEAN IT! I learn so many games and resources from him (most of which he invents himself) and ways of dealing with children who are just not interested in being at a prep school anymore and ready for a higher level. Moreover, By joking with the children and creating fun and active resources this really seems to keep them engaged. Medwell and Simpson (2008, chapter 3) concur, saying that with any activity, providing the children are interested and engaged they are generally said to be easier to manage. Unfortunately, my lovely calm morning was brought to a halt by the headmaster announcing that there will be an inspection this week on top of the open day on Friday which sent most of the teachers into panic mode. I was a bit worried that the inspectors would come into my lessons, but at the end of the day it is good practice for me and to be honest I am used to having to be observed anyway on placement, so it should make no difference. I “should” be fine. My last lesson of the day though was my own science lesson with Year 4, which went really well and was at the best time possible because the teacher was able to do things within the classroom getting ready for the inspection. I had some slight problems when it came to the boys chattering but used techniques which meant that they were quiet. You can read all about it here…

Tuesday was just as hectic as Monday with the fact that the inspectors were due in only 24 hours. Its quite good actually for me to see in practice what it is like in a school for the inspections. I had been briefed on what I may be asked and prepared extremely well by the whole staff team at Moulsford. For example, I now know that school inspections take place more frequently in private schools than in state schools, but that there is not Ofsted etc in private schools. The way this particular inspection will go is that the staff upload a list of policies onto a system and then the inspectors around 48 hours before an inspection will announce they are coming and which policies they will be looking to see in action. Now, I’ve already said about Moulsford not being a particularly culturally diverse school through no fault of their own, however they do have to prove that they are teaching British values and different cultures. So, this morning I was helping to create a Magna Carta display in the history classroom as I went to see it in Salisbury at the weekend previous in Salisbury church. My idea was to print out an English version of the Magna Carta and to highlight the parts that we still have in place today for example, no slavery and fair trials. The history teacher liked this idea so through a team effort of photocopying and resource hunting we created this. Disappointingly, I only managed to grab a photo as we were taking the display down to make room for something more educational, but you get the idea.

Unfortunately, Tuesday also brought sorrow as this was my last EVER forest school with the Moulsford boys. I have spoken about it in every single weekly reflection I have written and just hope I have put across how much I completely loved my time. The staff were amazing with the boys, and I was so happy to have learned so much about outdoor play from them. Some reading of my own made me realize just how much learning outside the classroom can build vital and engaging experiences in learning for the Early Years (Cremin and Arthur, 2014, p.231). Furthermore, I have learned that where children can have the freedom to just play and have no activities set for them it is valued more by the children and the constraints on learning for teachers out of the classroom effectively taken away as they do not have to plan a lesson. I will miss forest school but will engage with social media and the school and staff themselves to see what the boys get up to and to learn new techniques in outdoor learning.

Wednesday was another set of lasts for me, my last chance to work with the boy I have been supporting with English and also my last lesson with Year 3N. You can read up my lesson and how it went here… It was interesting having the inspectors around because everyone looked far smarter than I had ever seen them before (and they looked pretty smart to start off with anyway) and all the teachers had lesson plans. I am used to writing up lesson plans myself but I am sensible enough to realise that although lesson plans are a vital part ensuring your lesson runs smoothly, as you grow as a teacher and start to repeat lessons you have taught before, you do not depend on them as much. Furthermore, Hayes (2010, p.38) states how useful lesson plans can be to remembering your resources, keeping your lesson organised and being clear about the purpose of the lesson including the outcomes the children should gain.

Image taken from Google – I was lucky enough to go on yet ANOTHER amazing school trip on Thursday

Thursday was FANTASTIC because I went to see STOMP! with the Year 5’s and as predicted it was AMAZING. I completely loved it as you can imagine, even if I got loads of stick from the rest of the staff for being the student who goes on all the good school trips. What can I say? I am very persuasive.. Once again though, this trip got me thinking about culture. I have never driven into London, I’ve never even been on a bus into London, I always get the train. It took a lot longer but would have been cheaper for the school but we passed so many houses and sky rise flats which looked unloved and as though they needed some sprucing up. London was filled with people who were different nationalities too and my thought was how lucky these boys are to be exposed to so many cultures. I didn’t go anywhere like that until I was at least 8 or 9 and even then, where I am from originally, I can’t say I was exposed to many cultures then either. I do think it was the inspectors being in that triggered these thoughts, but I am glad that the boys have the amazing experiences that they do as it will really aid their learning and development.

Now, I don’t really want to write about today because it has been an emotional rollercoaster ride of saying goodbye to pupils and staff who I would like to now call friends. I was teaching this morning and as it was an open day parents were walking in and out of my maths lesson, asking me questions and to my delight not batting an eyelid when I said I was only a student. I felt a real sense of being a part of Moulsford when the parents themselves accepted that I was a part of the Moulsford community because I think it was then that I realised that I had made an impact here on my placement. Break followed with loads of hugs goodbye and the MASSIVE chocolate cake that I bought, becuase I have always been taught that you can’t say goodbye without a decent chocolate cake. I even bought some crossword books for the staff room so the teachers never get bored as crosswords are a huge break passtime in the Moulsford staff room and some pens because I am sure there are pen pixies living in there stealing all the pens you take in and never come out with! After the rest of my lessons and lunch I have been spending some time ensuring everything is set for my blog and presentation on Monday. I’ve loved it here, truly and I really dont want to leave. Driving out of Moulsford this evening (after the goodbye visit to the local public house *ahem*) I will certainly be fighting back the tears.. Goodbye, Moulsford….

Image taken from Google…

References

Cremin, T, and Arthur J (2014) Learning to Teach in the Primary School. Routledge

Hayes, D (2010) Learning and Teaching in Primary Schools. Exeter: Learning Matters

Medwell, J and Simpson, F (2008) Successful Teaching Placement in Scotland: Primary and Early Years. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Culture Walk Around Moulsford

  • How is space allocated? Who has space

All staff have a space whether that be a classroom or a desk to themselves or a room to do work in. It depends on the job of course and how much space they will need but each member of staff in the school has their own space to do work. Outdoors space is vast with the school owning a lot of property within Moulsford and land in Moulsford itself. The land is mainly used for activities/games/outdoor learning, as is the river.

  • What is displayed on the walls?

There are lots of coulourful bright displays like the one oppostite, whether it be of the childrens work, pointers to help the children remember facts or about growth mindset which the school (and I) think is really important. As well as this, there are lots of things about British culture, as this is not a very diverse school due to the catchment area, it considerably helps to teach the children when the staff can display posters and boards expressing British culture in modern life. Many teachers choose to have a small display of posters or pictures about them so that the pupils know them a bit better. For example which football teams they support, photos of goals they are proud to have acheived, their favourite theatre production or a book they enjoyed as a child. Furthermore, in the dining room there is a huge display of every single school photo ever taken since the 60’s along with the house trophies which I think is really nice because it means a lot to the children as many of their own fathers may have gone to Moulsford and it shows just how long the school has been around for. Additionally, as you walk into the schools entrace there is a huge (and I mean huge) cabinet of awards that the school have won through sports, academics and music. This shows just how proud of its pupils Moulsford is.

  • Bulletin boards with positive messages, general information, promotional contests, expired information

Bulliten boards and messages for the teachers are just outside the staff room as this is where everyone congrigates at break and lunch times. Inside the staff room there is a huge whiteboard where the teachers write on a calendar of events over the coming weeks and can add to it as things crop up and trips/matches get booked. After looking, there is no expired information on the boards. If something has happened it is either wiped off or taken down, the school are really good with this.

  • What is displayed on desks? Lockers, other areas

Desks in the classrooms vary from room to room. For example some classrooms have ordinary tables and chairs, in music the are chairs with a small flat peice of wood that comes up for the boys to put work on, in Year 3 they are “old fashioned” desks where the lid lifts up for the boys to store their work and in design technology there are some stools (like in the art classroom) and their desks which have equiptment built in to help the boys in lessons. When it come to games, the boys store their things in the home changing rooms in lockers. If there are lots of games or like when it comes to cricket season there is a lot to carry around and store, the school may also suggest use of the away changing rooms if there is not a match on. Moreover, in the dining hall, there are tables and long stools going along the width of the hall for easier access for teachers to be at the head of the table when it comes to family service.

  • How are common areas used

The staff use the staff room on a daily basis, it is very rare that a member of staff wouldn’t go to the staff room at least once in a day. Another common area is the lunch hall which, again all members of staff will use in a day, especially the boarding staff and boys who will have breakfast, lunch and dinner there. The outside areas (astro turf, fields, river etc) are used daily for playing at break and lunch and then in the afternoons for games, p.e. and then junior/senior after school activities. The boarding boys and staff often use the outdside area as well after school. The boarding area has two seperate common areas on with a tv and sofa and another area with a small kichen and table games, which they are welcome to use at any point after 5.30 when boarding begins.

  • What is the norm for communications?

Communications are usually done via email or via conversation in the staff room. As everyone congrigates there, it is really easy for staff to discuss any concerns or to praise a pupil to one of two members of staff, however if there are lots of members of staff needing to be told something this would be done via email or staff meeting. There are regular staff meetings where information may be shared where the headmaster will attend and there will also be an admisitrative staff member taking notes. Communitcation for the boys is generally done in assembly 3 times a week or during registration where it is vital the boys know where they are to go at the end of the day (games, bus, prep or home etc). Furthermore, at the end of each assembly there is time given to all members of staff who need it to just quickly say anything they need to to a whole year group, house or school.

  • Conversation vs. email – tone of messages

Everything in email is done very professionally. Everyone is polite, however some of the members of staff are married or related and therefore I would imagine that it would become a more realxed tone. Everyone at Moulsford is really friendly and conversation is really informal unless discussing a pupil. Although, I am saying everyone is friendly and relaxed, nobody ever crosses the line when disucssing pupils or situations within the school, everything remains really respectful. Aditionally, I would however say the staff are a lot more relaxed and informal than you might find in other state schools, but this is just because of that family feel, friendly tone the whole of the school gives off and I think it is really nice to be somewhere that feels so warm and welcoming. All staff members converse throughout the day in the staff room at breaks and lunches so it is very easy to communicate with members of staff throughout the day. Every member of staff also has their own email as well, most of which are hooked up to their phones so if they get an email from a parent they can answer straight away.