I've led a new after-school gym class today at a school right in the northern part of the Fens. I took assistance along in the form of an Assistant Coach as I had been warned that we had 20 children from KS2 to deal with, and I knew that that was too many for one person. We arrived a little ahead of schedule, which was fine as it gave us time to get the mats on the floor. There aren't enough yet, but the Head has ordered more, which should be there at the end of next week, although probably not in time for our session next Thursday. There were 18 children who actually turned up as two were off sick, apparently. Of those 18, one was a huge challenge, two were handfuls and the rest were great. The huge challenge was a child who obviously had some anger management issues, made a racist remark to another child which I shall have to report to the Head in the morning, and generally annoyed the other children to distraction. This child had no attention span, let alone a short one - I could have managed a short one, but none at all is a problem. So, I am going to have to ask for help with this child - I am hoping that the Head will send in a TA to help the child to "access" the session more appropriately as the behaviour we saw today could be dangerous for the other children in the session. Schools today are keen to be inclusive, but gymnastics is a sport where we need the children to focus and behave as we only have one pair of hands and sometimes children have to wait for a turn! Apart from that, the session was fun, the kids had a laugh but learned some new skills too, and we are keen to teach them plenty of gym - we have four more sessions with these children and then we are going to have some KS1 children after half-term.
Tonight I have been with the YFG to an information evening at the secondary school to learn more about the curriculum she will be following, and to find out about the new review and assessment system that they are going to be using. I am already getting "i-behave" emails from teachers about both of the girls - positive ones - but soon I will be able to go online and look at their attendance percentages, their targets, etc all on a website which is updated daily as far as attendance is concerned but at least half-termly with reports and targets. It should cut down the paperwork and postage for the school, and we will be able to access the information at home. I met a few of her teachers and her form tutor, and they all say how well she has settled in - thank goodness. She is pleased that she knows where all her classes are now, and she has signed up for art club, choir and the Anti-bullying council, so she is keen to get involved.
The EFG is also doing well, although she has some frustrations - the art class isn't exactly what she thought it would be, but she is enjoying the art, even if she thinks that the teacher doesn't like her! She's cross that her old French teacher said that the EFG would have her as her teacher if she did it for GCSE - but she has another teacher instead, and one we are not entirely confident in. He was her Spanish teacher last year and even I found him a little too laid back when I met him at the parents' evenings. I said that I would have to resurrect my GCSE French from way back when and give her a hand - I got an "A" so I ought to be able to remember some of it!! It was only about 22 years ago - the mere blink of an eye....
I have posted my entry to the East of England Autumn show at Peterborough to sell some chickens in the poultry sale. A pair of Silver-laced Wyandotte bantams (Bruce and Betty) are off, as well as the Gold-laced Sebright pair and a trio and a pair of GPOs are up for sale. I have no idea how to price them so I have agreed with the Secretary of the show that I will price them on the day with the help of the Stewards, who know more about this than I do - it depends on how good the birds are, he says, so hopefully mine aren't too bad. We shall see.
The posters for the Macmillan coffee morning on the 24th September finally arrived today, so I shall be going round the village in the morning to put them up everywhere, and then I shall have an hour or two over the weekend browsing through my baking books and looking for inspiration. I often say that, but I am pretty sure that a large lemon sponge and some Twinks hobnobs will definitely be part of the line-up as well as some cupcakes of some kind since I now have two rather splendid wire cupcake towers upon which to display them. We raised about £180-£200 last year, so I am hoping we will get somewhere near that again this year.
I must get around to watching this week's episode of the Great British Bake-off on i-player, but it is a matter of getting access to the laptop at a convenient time as the sound is dire on this desktop machine. I do like to watch it as I seem to learn from Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry all sorts of tips and hints, and I love to see the "signature" bakes from the contestants each week. I have two bananas heading for the brown spotty/mushy stage, so I should be able to make another chocolate and banana loaf this weekend, as long as the FH doesn't decide to eat them. I am trying to control his wheat intake so that he can lose some weight (it is working - 3lbs off last week) but that means that he often eats fruit for breakfast instead of cereal. It is one way of getting some of oour vast stock of frozen fruit eaten - stewed plums for breakfast make a change from the standard fare!
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