Pete Sixsmith is no stranger – it’s oft said – to Ofsted inspections. Here are the findings of one of his own, which he conducted after making an impossible demand for nine points from the last three home games
A few weeks ago I said that we needed nine points out of the next three home games.
Colin said he thought seven was a more realistic target and I was eventually inclined to agree with him – three wins was surely hoping for a bit too much.
As a teacher, I know that targets have to be realistic and achievable. I don’t expect my students in the Learning Support Unit to achieve As, but I do know that they can achieve decent and worthwhile GCSE grades.
We are not going to win any As in the Premier League this year, but I am convinced that we will achieve grades that are commensurate with the efforts we put in.
Poor old Derby are certainly heading for a clutch of unclassifieds while Fulham remind me of the rich kid who hangs around with the hard lads and tries to buy their support only for them to cut him off, leaving him to flunk all his exams.
Wigan are like the kids who come in to school faithfully and listen to what is said but don’t always make the wisest choices – how can Mrs Doubtfire possibly leave Jason Koumas on the bench for 45 minutes? And Birmingham are the scruffy, snotty urchin who nobody really likes but they are a bit hard at times and have an “I can do this attitude” which might just get them through the exam if they are prepared to concentrate.
And us? Well, we are slow but willing learners who are driven by a headteacher who mixes encouragement with a desire to achieve, a hint of steel and a fearsome temper that, once experienced, students never want to see repeated.
Sometimes learning is painful experience and we get things wrong (a bit like a difficult Maths lesson,) but we come back week after week and eventually the penny begins to drop. If we concentrate we can succeed. It may be difficult, but by working with others and listening to teachers we can improve our own learning.
Eventually, we begin to realise that we are as good as the flashy private school up the road with their once charismatic but now badly out of touch headteacher, their hideous black and white uniform and their arrogant students and parents who see the school sliding down the league tables but have no idea of what to do about it.
Our win on Saturday was a fine example of a lesson well learned. The teachers have told the defenders that if they concentrate they will be able to achieve the relatively modest targets they have been set.
Concentration is the key to success and Phil, Nyron, Jonny and Danny all passed this latest modular test well, while the new Scottish boy in the class has begun to establish himself and is beginning to show us that the Scottish system does produce real talent.
The midfield are living testimony to the old maxim that “genius is 99 per cent perspiration and one per cent inspiration”. The one per cent inspiration came from Reid, who opened up the Wigan defence as comfortably as a Year 11 opens up his mobile phone to text a message to his girlfriend.
Kenwyne had a bit of an off day finding the routes to success closing in on him in twos and threes while we still search for a boy who can keep up with his prodigious learning curve and begin to extend him.
So, the Ofsted report on the Academy of Light would be “an improving school with many satisfactory lessons, some good ones and the odd outstanding one. Leadership is good and is improving and the new assistant head from Manchester, Mr Sbragia, is starting to make his influence felt. We look forward to a solid set of exam results in May and continued improvement in the future. An American or Asiatic exchange trip is on the horizon if the governors can maintain this progress”.