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Ofsted, bulb-planting and Schrödinger's cat

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 23 Nov 2009 at 05:08 PM


I'm a bit flustered this week.  It's all down to bulb planting combined with the scariest five letters in education.  Oh, hang on, no, I mean six letters.  See - that's what I mean by being flustered.

Yes, this week there are rumours abounding that Ofsted are on their way to our beloved pre-school.  I'm not really sure where I stand on Ofsted.  It's very noble that an organisation is trying to ensure high standards in our school system, but they do seem to have a reputation and fear-inducing quality unequalled since the Spanish Inquisition. In fact, they might be scarier than the Spanish Inquisition as they haven't even had a Monty Python sketch to lighten their image.

So anyway, we're overdue an inspection, and now, on the pre-school grapevine we hear they're in the area. This means that my weekly gardening club may well coincide with their visit.

This shouldn't matter.  The gardening club is going well.  I have an action packed session lined up.  I plan to plant a dual species fruit tree in the garden with some of the children, as well as having them create layered bulb pots with tulips, daffodils and crocus.

But, I am slightly nervous about the Hawthorne effect... or is it the Heisenberg uncertainty principle... or something to do with Schrödinger's cat?  I'm not sure which as I gave up physics in the third year and, hard as I tried to concentrate, Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time episode on quantum theory just gave me an almighty headache. But anyway, it's the one where the act of observing a phenomenon changes it, or as I like to put it, the certainty that someone looking over my shoulder will mean I cock things up - big time.

I'm not really sure how it will go wrong, but when I shut my eyes, I have visions of a Frank Spencer-style escapade which tends to end with a handbag full of compost, skid-inducing bulbs all over the floor and an Ofsted inspector falling head first into the tree planting hole.

Come to think of it, the weather is looking a bit dodgy.  And actually, my throat has been feeling a little scratchy.  In fact, it could be swine flu.  Probably, just to be on the safe side, we maybe, you know, ought to, well... cancel gardening club for a week.  Or two.


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