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It seems like ages since I’ve been here!! So, what’s been happening?

Well OFSTED have been – and gone – PHEW! Most of the teaching and support within the college received a grade 2 (Good) although the management and other systems in place received a grade 3 – which is what we were awarded overall.  In their new graded scheme, 3 equals satisfactory! A word I hate, as it’s a non descript word that doesn’t necessarily mean either good or bad! This grade is fine, considering that based on some of our available data, the principal was concerned that we would receive a grade 4 (un-satisfactory!) We didn’t but the college, overall, needs to improve somewhat.

We are apparently below national benchmarks for retention and success although considerably higher than other school and colleges in the area. I was lucky – I wasn’t observed this time by the inspectors. However, for all of the time, effort, blood, sweat and tears I put into my lesson plans, schemes of work, resources, folders and other paperwork I was disappointed that none of it was seen! Oh well – that’s it for another 4 years for the ‘official’ inspection! We have internal observations that create similar feelings of stress – but we’re normally forewarned about these at least!

Sadly I found out that I had referred on my latest MA assignment so I have to re-write and re-submit various sections – which I’m quite unhappy about. However, it is the first time that this has happened within the whole MA so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. I spoke to one of the tutors who informed me that it was almost there – but I needed to re-visit a few areas and tweak them so that it fully fits the assignment guidelines. Hopefully it will only be a couple of days work ;-(

I went home this weekend too – and had a lovely time helping my parents clean the house and sort the garden. I completely stripped and cleaned the whole pond filter system and put it away for the winter – which took hours, but a job that my parents can’t do themselves anymore, so time well spent. I also dusted the whole house, took my Mum food shopping as well as to see one of her friends for a couple of hours in the afternoon.  I also spent a huge amount of time with Ben the puppy, although he wasn’t very good at posing for his photograph this time – so I don’t have any really great ones to share with you! 

On the other hand, my cat Merlin was particularly happy to pose for snapshots yesterday, so I’ll include a few beautiful ones of her instead. Isn’t she gorgeous?!! 

I’ve also been taking pictures of new stock this last week, which is ready and waiting to be listed within my Houdini House Etsy shop. These include an old wooden fold out ruler, some Harry Potter antique specs, a 140 year old daguerreotype and a vintage metal cigarette tin – amongst many many others. What do you think? Watch this space for more news on their listing.

Am looking forward to going to London this weekend to teach ‘The Last Cuckoo’ actor my song – whilst taking in a dance show and a spot of bargain hunting at local markets. I will fill you in all of this on my return! Til then, I promise to have a catch-up on some of your blogs…I’ve been missing you all x