Thursday, 20 July 2017

100% attendance awards

Is it just me or are other parents getting a bit annoyed with these 100% attendance certificates/awards at school?

You see, I have an issue with this for a few reasons.

Firstly, children have a habit of catching things that happily spread around a classroom.  This can range from head lice to stomach bugs.  Whilst the former is no reason to be off school, the latter involves a minimum of 48 hours away.  This means that attendance drops below 100% but hey, what can you do about that?

Secondly, sometimes schools have to close for a reason.  This year, our school shut completely one Friday afternoon due to over 50% of KS1 children being off with a vomiting bug.  They were literally vomiting in corridors!  Therefore, although this is marked on the attendance report as a school closure, it has affected attendance. How can that even be the case?

Thirdly, to hear my little children worry that they won't get their 100% attendance certificate due to illness frustrates me no end.  I am fortunate in that my girls are basically very healthy and one has got 100% attendance (bar my 2nd point) and one had 48 hours off school with a sickness bug this academic year. So, in effect, they've done brilliantly. However, there are parents at the school with children coping with a range of severe illnesses.  How do these poor children feel when they are presented with bits of paper to say their attendance hasn't met the standards?

We all know that parents who make the effort to get their children to school will always do so, through coughs and colds and those that are always late or take their children out for any old excuse will also always do so.  I understand that attendance awards are supposed to keep everyone motivated but let's face it, those of us who are motivated are so naturally and a piece of paper saying our child had 100% attendance for a month isn't having any impact on us at all, as I'm sure it's not when other parents get a piece saying that their child's attendance is low.

Perhaps schools could think about scrapping attendance awards as I wonder what real benefit they have?

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Turandot at the Royal Opera House

It's been on my 'bucket list' to go to an opera at the Royal Opera House and now that's been achieved.  Hubby and I had a fabulous time today at Turandot.  The staging, singing and production were just stunning!




The ROH are offering everyone to see Turandot live at a screening on 14th July at 7.30pm.  It's worth it!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Graduation Day - Trust me, I'm a Doctor

Yesterday was my graduation.  A bit worrying as the weather had folded somewhat and as we all arrived at university, it literally tipped down. Oh well, not much you can do about that.  Headed in to collect my tickets and get 'robed' and as I came out from there, the rain stopped and we got to take some photos outside.




Had I have known just how far I needed to walk, I wouldn't have worn high heels.  We processed through the picture gallery and chapel, after walking around the quad, then did it all again as we were formally presented to the Principal.  My aching feet!  If I'd been wearing my FitBit, I'm sure it would have buzzed to say my 10,000 steps were done.





Cheesiest grin ever!
After the event, we had drinks and a lovely catch up with my sister-in-law and nephew, along with some official photographs of the whole School of Management graduands for 2017.




Graduation was a wonderful, fun day and I loved every minute of it.  You can spot us PhDs in the red/burgundy robes (wonder what their real colour name is?) along with staff at the bottom of the steps.

Guess what?  The rain held off until the moment we were halfway back to the car park.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Warner Bros Studio Tour - Harry Potter

Now that my two youngest have seen all the Harry Potter films (maybe somewhat controversially as the later ones are age 12 but hey, I know my children), I decided to take them to Leavesden Studios for the Harry Potter Studio Tour.  



They had no idea at all that they were going so it was a big surprise when we turned off the motorway and headed to the studios. They thought they were going to have a look around a studio (as we have family and friends who work in that business) so as we turned in and they saw the signs for Harry Potter, they were beyond excited.




















The tour was fantastic. I've been before when it first opened (see this blog piece) but now they also have the Forbidden Forest area, you and 'leviosa' a broomstick, and you can sit in the Weasley's flying car any time you like in the back lot.




There's also the chance to go into Harry's house in Privet Drive and, of course, butterbeer is on sale (we didn't try this).










You can also get to Platform 9 3/4 and board the Hogwarts Express.  There is a carriage dedicated to every Harry Potter film with some props in it.  







It was a wonderful day out. My only minor criticism would be that whilst all the broomstick flying against green screens was going on - and each section was being used - where you purchased the photographs and DVDs wasn't fully manned, which meant a bit of a wait with children who were starting to get impatient.




Of course we popped to the shop afterwards and cuddly toys were purchased.  Definitely worth a second visit if you had gone before the new attractions as we had.