I'm all partied out!

I'M all party-ed out after a week spent gatecrashing end-of-term farewells and celebrations at north Norfolk schools.Another year of turmoil in the academic world is over and I wouldn't be surprised if a few teachers felt like breaking down, as well as breaking up, when their summer holiday began on Tuesday.

I'M all party-ed out after a week spent gatecrashing end-of-term farewells and celebrations at north Norfolk schools.

Another year of turmoil in the academic world is over and I wouldn't be surprised if a few teachers felt like breaking down, as well as breaking up, when their summer holiday began on Tuesday.

This month sees a national crisis over late, missing and inaccurate SATS results.

In August - results time - no doubt we'll move on to falling standards in GCSE and A-levels, students being marked too high, exams being too easy; take your pick.


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And school's back in September, so brace yourselves for more headlines demanding the abolition of league tables, enforcement of classroom discipline and concerns over school dinners.

I wasn't aware of any such tensions and controversies during the last few days of the academic year as I visited talent shows, picnics and presentations.

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It was all fun and thank-yous after a busy, busy year. The snowballing number of excellent Ofsted results from our north Norfolk schools bears testament to the calibre of work going on in them despite fickle politicians, budget constraints and the odd difficult parent.

Every generation seems to

play guinea pig to prevailing theories about education so that it's a wonder any of us kan togethur a deesent sentense putt.

But at least we haven't reached the horrors of school life in the USA. A few years ago two American nieces were telling me how they had to go through a body scanner every morning as they entered their Texas senior high building. And once inside, a police officer was on the premises throughout the day.

“How wonderful that our schools make time for what matters”, I thought as I watched a succession of very small people take the stage at North Walsham Infants' talent show.

Among the 22 acts was six-year-old Francesco Baggi Sisini, pictured, who amazed and astonished with his artistry. Francesco drew us first a rabbit, then a fish, and then this magnificent dinosaur. And it's not any-old dinosaur. As Franceso told us, it's a triceratops.

“How much more civilised and family-oriented it still is over here,” I thought to myself again as I scanned photos on Colby School's wall while waiting to be taken through to their afternoon of celebrations.

The snaps included one of an unusual competition stall at the school's Christmas fair.

Pupils had been asked to match up staff members with items they had brought from home - but it wasn't the usual baby pictures.

“Guess the teacher's socks” said the banner in front of a display of short, long, patterned and plain hosiery.

Let's hope none of those staff was so fed up with the relentless onslaughts on their chosen profession that they mischievously contributed a particularly cheesy pair.

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