Saturday, 22 March 2008

Teacher Tribute

Frequent reader and commenter Melaisis would like to present readers with his guest written tribute to a recently-departed (as in, gone to another school, not dead or anything) teacher.

This entire post probably messes with Templar Truths’ policy of ‘no names!’, but it is hardly negative; I had the distinct pleasure to – along with 30 of my history-loving peers – be in Richard Crane’s last class at Temple Moor. I could go into the emotional specifics of how this marks the end of an era and now the school is set for a downward spiral of heartache and an even further decline in discipline. However, that would most likely ruin the point of what I’m attempting to say, especially if I got caught up in a pseudo-political rant into how the school ‘community’ is destined for demise within the next year or so. Instead, this post should be kept as a tribute to one of the finest teachers and leaders to pass through the doors to Temple Moor. It is worth noting that, as a parting gift, many members of the class contributed to a card which looked – to say the least – to be the epitome of campness; certainly a ‘queer’ souvenir of his time here, but certainly unforgettable. Here’s the ‘rap’, entitled ‘Ode to Richard’, I performed in the final five minutes of his lesson:

Dear Sir,
We know you like to think you’re Ben-Hur,
And your views on some things caused a stir,
But we’re sure you possess a sexy grr,
Anyway, to chat about madd thymes,
And to bust a few bare rhymes:
See, I respect you a lot,
Even we might not think you’re pretty hot;
We appreciate the talent you got,

You’re set for fame; we’re sure of that,
Though your jokes were lame; your arguments were phat,
You claim to be able to rock.
Its Sam’s manliness that you mock,
Your fascination with Buckingham* was rude,
Just like Giles and his bad-boy attitude,
Now you have a condom for when you’re in the mood**.

Sometimes we feel you tried too hard,
Now you can remember us through this cheap card,
Still, we thank your balding head,
Which is probably, right now, turning red?
Time to make a verse about the weather, instead!
With you gone it’ll be like rain,

Temple Moor will never be the same,
Sherriff, White, Daily and now Crane,
You should hang you head in shame,
But it’s the Year 9s who can take the blame;
Now you approach the final round of this game.

It’s a shame you had us last today,
But I guess you can get what I’m trying to say,
Although your list of admirers is a big queue,
We sure learned a lot from you,
But I hope you’re educated now,
Especially in the ways of Steven Seagal!

~MC Conny T/Melaisis 2k8, with thanks to Walker.

*A leading member of James I’s Parliament during the 17th Century.
**Yes, we sellotaped a condom to the inside of his card.

Indeed. Not quite as bizarre as this, mind.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Newsletter V Us

It's that time again - the school have printed off a new newsletter. Is it a beacon of intelligent journalism, or thinly-disguised propaganda distributed to the masses? What do you think?

Spring Term
"fantastically successful spring term", "Little Shop of Horrors was an outstanding success", "our passion for Science", "witness to the horrors of genocide", "we [should] regularly check our sons' and daughters' phones", "new building is slowly taking form"
A successful term? At Temple Moor? That's right - an over-budget show (albeit a good one), kids getting caught with drugs, the awful PD Shop, destruction of parking's your average amazing term. Education about genocide, however, is a good thing, one which we can't fault. But the main outcry now is the suggestion that parents should snoop around kids' phones looking for "inappropriate images and video footage" - invasion of privacy, much?

Key Dates
"extra staff development day"
Four magic words right there.

"we pride ourselves on our standards", "it is often commented upon", "new house tie at the cost of £3.50"
No hoodies, patterned tights or too much make up. Seems sensible enough. About these ties, though. If, last year, you got one of the ties, chances are you'll end up paying for one of this year's ties, which look rubbish in comparison.

"a high priority", "a series of Deal Or No Deal assemblies", "£25 being award to one lucky student in each year group", "Deal Or No Deal will return", "research suggests that students with...17 missed days of schooling...will drop one full GCSE grade"
Attendance might be a high priority, but Deal Or No Deal shouldn't. Plus they're bringing those cringe-inducing assemblies back at some point, which should provide laughs all round. And this research - well, what can you say? 17 days off is a grade drop. But then again, you can distort statistics any way you like.

Year 11 Examination Information For Parents
"ensure your child is in full school uniform", "students can bring water into the exam"
Basically, this is a list of stuff you already knew - you must wear uniform, and you can bring in water being just two points.

Aim Higher
"Richard McCann, an established author (Just a Boy) gave a motivational presentation"
I'm confused - did Mr McCann write a book called Just A Boy or is he an author who is just a boy?

Auschwitz Holocaust Visit
"two of our 6th formers", "visit Auschwitz as part of the Lessons Learned from Auschwitz project", "will be featuring in further assemblies and an anti-bullying project"
As we've said, teaching about genocide is a good idea. However, saying "6th" instead of "sixth" looks a bit unprofessional - that's twice it's appeared in this newsletter.

Holocaust Survivor
"Mr Eugene a Holocaust survivor", "just 12...when he was taken to Auschwitz", "a very moving talk"
Again, a good thing.

Passport to University
"some of our Year 7 students will be visiting Leeds Metropolitan University"
Uhm...I can't think of anything to say about this. At all. Go Year 7?

Year 10 Stock Market Challenge
"group of our Year 10 Business Studies students took part in the inter-school stock market challenge", "used quick thinking decision making and enterprise skills", "achieved 2nd place"
We broke this news ages ago. Well done to them, anyway.

National Science & Engineering Week
"a great success", "Marty Jopson amazed us", "we strive to promote a passion for Science in all students"
I wasn't even aware of this special, themed week. But apparently the school's done lots of Sciencey stuff - they probably have to or they'll get their Science College status taken off them. More on Marty Jopson here.

Leeds book awards
"a mixture of fifteen students", "reading six short listed books", "students will vote", "check out the website"
So some kids went somewhere, read some books that might win Leeds Book Award and will vote. Plus you can find more details at - not a bad deal, eh?

"Christine McMahon excited and entranced Year 7", "students were transfixed", "each group...encouraged to make up their own story", "now a competition"
Stories were read, then written. A winner will be chosen by some mysterious selection process, with the possibility of a prize, but don't bet on it!

Year 7 Football Team
"reaching the last sixteen in the English Schools FA Cup", "semi-finals of the Leeds School Cup"
Seems like they're doing quite well, doesn't it? With no mention of any other teams, are they the only ones? Anyway, congratulations for representing your school better than it does itself.

"despite the building works", "Tchoukball Club", "very successful"
"ContinYou" is a pun that, if we're fair, needs to blasted with atomic weapons. Readers - is Tchoukball any good, at all? Email or comment, please.

PE Kit
"part of school uniform", "an increasing number of students who have incomplete PE kit", "they will be issued with a negative comment"
It seems like sensible action - if you're missing some kit, you'll get a comment. Presumably an organisational one. But why, unlike the ties mentioned earlier, can you not buy kit directly from the school?

Lost Property
"you wouldn't believe of the amount of PE kit which is left", "a lot of the kit we find is not named and so it usually ends up in the spare kit box"
So lots of PE kit left, and an increasing number of students with incomplete kit? Surely I'm not the only one to spot some obvious correlation between the two, am I? And lots of spare kit must be a good thing for those with incomplete kit anyway, so what's so bad about it?

Little Shop Of Horrors
"congratulations and very well done", "an outstanding success", "now in the process of planning our musical drama for 2009", "three summer variety shows"
Yes, well done to the actors and singers and back-stage crew. Yet I see no mention of the blown budget anywhere - how odd! Then, slyly, a plug for the upcoming variety shows - clever! Hopefully they'll show case lots of different talent, not just the usual singing and dancing numbers. As for next year's production, it's likely to be We Will Rock You, but make your (non-Disney) opinion "heard" with that sidebar poll. I'm secretly hoping for Spamalot.

Easter School - 2nd-4th April 2008
"once again running Easter School", "an opportunity for Year 11", "important time", "kick start their revision"
Easter's a holiday, right? School is a non-holiday thing. If you haven't spotted the gigantic problem here, please leave. Apparently revision needs to be done in-school, or it won't work.

Btec Fire Service Course
"six of our Year 10 students following the...course took part in a demonstration"
This is brilliant news! When we next have a fire alarm for real (perhaps when the builders discover fire?) we need not call the fire service!

Higher Education Fair
"Year 12 students who intend going to University should attend", "more information will follow"
It costs a fiver and might help you decide your non-TMHS education options. Go for it!

Sixth Form Ball
"reservations are being taken now"
Hurrah! "Sixth" as a word.

Gifted & Talented Activities in Technology
"Year 7 had two hours to design and make Blackpool Tower", "Year 8 had to design a bridge", "Year 9 designed swings", "we didn't win"
Hasn't Blackpool Tower already been made? Also, commiserations for not winning.

While it is the holidays now - until April 7th - keep checking back on the blog (or subscribe to the RSS feed), we might be posting some stuff.

Update: As of 23rd March, the newsletter still isn't available on the official website. Have they lapsed into their old ways of not updating?

Monday, 17 March 2008

Solar Powered Killing Sheep

The current trendy thing for any large establishment to do is go all eco-friendly and pro-environment. As a school with over a thousand pupils, who try to ram their morally righteous ideologies down pupils' throats, shouldn't Temple Moor be jumping on the green bandwagon?

Chances are you've done at least one cut-and-stick activity. What do you do with all the leftover paper that isn't stuck in your exercise book, never to be looked at again? You've thrown it all into the bin. Along with other general waste. There's no decent reason that Temple Moor shouldn't have two bins per classroom, one of which will house waste while the other gets paper to be recycled. It's a simple plan and surely not beyond even this school?

Also, why do teachers insist on leaving their SmartBoards on overnight? It's acceptable if it's between lessons - but overnight? That sucks energy from both the computer, the SmartBoard and the projector. Clever. Even if there's some half-decent reason why this is necessary, why can't the school install solar panels? Then they could generate their own energy supplies, if we're to believe science lessons.

Finally, BSF. The project to rebuild Temple Moor is woefully behind schedule last time we checked - is that a positive environmental influence? Hardly. And is the local climate enriched by chlorine? No, it's not. To combat this, an army of solar powered killing sheep should be set loose upon the building site. If no one dies, it will hopefully boost workers' motivation.

Come on Temple Moor. You've preached to us in Guidance - now show us you know what you're actually blathering on about.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Light, Fire & Illusion

When Temple Moor invites a mad scientist into its building, you might question their sensibility. But Dr Marty Jopson was here to demonstrate "light, fire and illusion". But was it the show worthy of a Science College, or was the whole thing a shambles? Our guest writer tells all.

Doctor Marty Jopson's Light fire and illusion show took place at 7:00pm on thursday night. The audience turned out to be surprisingly large; not that I'm challenging Marty Jopson's 'wealth of experience' or the very reasonable ticket price. Now to me the show was just, Okay. The reasons being that although, excluding the tedious explanations, the show was reasonably entertaining as the leaflet suggested, the show had one large problem; this being the audience. Not that i'm making any personal references toward certain people there, even the strange loud group of adults who laughed in short bursts at practically everything Marty did. I'm simply saying that the show tried to aim itself at a too larger variety of audience with clearly confused 5 year olds and patronised intelligent students and adults. Although Marty clearly knew alot (apart from indicating that light always travelling in straight lines is an indisputable fact, and 'proving' it by shining a dodgy laser pen through smoke) he was restricted by the ... less intellectual audience which meant I personally didn't learn a thing. However, the show was well worth the £1 and I'm sure many people were inspired by Marty while also learning a bit about light and how it is interpreted, even if it did run over 10 minutes.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Review Day Review

In case you didn't get the memo, Parents' Evenings are rubbish - Review Day is where it's at.

The idea of Review Day is a simple one: instead of an hour chatting to ten different people, consolidate all of that information into a fifteen-minute chat with a form tutor. It saves everyone's time, except the form tutors, who have to be in school all day. However, it's not without some flaws.

For example, rooms. If your form tutor usually teaches and works in Languages, you don't expect them to be up in Maths, and you don't expect an English teacher to be sent to one of the huts. If everyone is in their own room, why the need for moving around?

There's also the issue of uniform. Anything involving more than having a tie around your neck is usually deemed a bit too much by many Templars. But when you're in school for about a quarter of an hour (sometimes less, sometimes more), why is uniform such a necessity? Does it really matter if you're wearing normal, casual clothes when you go and visit the school? Or is this someone's idea of punishment because we have the rest of the day off?

Year 11s weren't particularly amused, either. With few weeks left to go at school, and a Parents' Evening (shock horror!) recently gone, is there any need for a "review"? If there isn't, then Year 11s have been dragged in because normal lessons can't be on and no one wants to give them a day off.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

RAG. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Fails.

Being on the RED cohort, as I have been since this ridiculous system was installed in school, I have been to most of the revision sessions there is science, art e.t.c. I appreciate that school are willing to help the ‘underachievers’ and so I attend all of the sessions that they want me to, or should I say the system dictates I must. However when I attend these sessions I find regularly that they are of little or of no use to me for one reason in particular. Multi-ability classes. When I have to sit there watching the hands on the clock move slower than traffic on a Friday listening to the teacher explain to the class things that are not relevant to my education I get slightly ticked off. I’m not slagging the people in the lower ability groups, I myself have many friends who are in the ‘B’ band, I’m just saying that when they’re not even sitting the same paper let alone tier as me it seems a bit pointless to mash us all together. The same applies with my lessons for several of my options. Being told by a teacher that we have to answer a set of questions. Fine. Being told by a teacher that we have to answer a set of a questions and then being forced to listen as she answers every single one. Humiliating. Patronising. Stupid.
I had a meeting the other week with a member of the Upper School Office team, a nice lady, she, like many others before her said the same thing to me. She wasn’t worried about me. Some people would take this as an insult but I fully understood what she meant. Unlike many of the people she had been meeting with my target grades were not below C, they were actually quite high.
Another incident occurred the other day as well. Whilst in a class of some of the brightest students in the year the teacher made the comment that ‘I don’t think that anyone in here would be underachieving in 5 or more subjects’ or something to that affect. Raises Hand.

Let’s break it down:
RED: 6 subjects
Amber: 4 subjects
Green: 1 subject.

To me this means that not only do I have to attend after school, I will not be allowed study leave this year. This apparently worked with excellent results last year. Having never talked to a Sixth Former who this applied to I can’t say whether it did or didn’t work, but it’s a bit late to start worrying about that. To become a member of the Amber cohort I would have to, in total, increase my grades by 9 grades i.e. to go from RED to AMBER in art I would have to move up from a B to an A which classes as an increase of 1 grade. Add it up across the board makes 9 grades like I said. In two months???? Not going to happen.Now even more ridiculous is the increase to go from RED to GREEN which totals up to be 19 grades altogether, I’m not even going to try. Why bother? For me I am pleased with my grades & consequently ignore the RAG system where possible, my parents are pleased with my grades and have told me that they are proud of me and that I shouldn’t let it bother me. I try not to. Everyone knows whether you have or haven’t been in year 11 that it is a time when immense pressure is placed on students. Imagine (or remember that). Now imagine (or remember) that with the fact hanging over your shoulders that you are UNDERACHIEVING and because you are UNDERACHIEVING you shall not receive not study leave, you, because you are UNDERACHIEVING shall attend revision sessions. Also as it has been hinted because you are UNDERACHIEVING you may not be allowed to attend the prom. Hell why not give me a RED armband and make me eat with people of the same cohort.

I'm passive, I don't get angry unless someone really annoys me.

For anyone else who is one RED these might come in handy:

Childline: 0800 11 11

The Market Place: 0113 2461659

If you can't remember then they're in the whit pages of your planner under the heading 'Useful Numbers & Sources Of Support'. I wonder why school felt that we would need these?

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Another Epic Fail

This wednesday, review day, shall waste some more of our precious time and effort for our form teachers to tell our parents how much we suck, but this post is not for the purpose of ranting endlessly in vain about how much of a waste it is, but to call to your attention, faithful readers, the epic fail of the upper school office staff that have organised the coursework catch-up sessions on said day, art coursework catch-up to be precise seen as though the art deadline was on friday...

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

USB Drives

They've got loads of names: USB sticks, memory sticks, flash drives, pen drives and the dodgy (but probably often true) "porn stick". But whatever you call them, Templars may soon be getting some of their very own.

Some IT students today got letters about the USB drives - the plan is to give GCSE students sticks with 1Gb of memory for just £3. This is actually quite impressively cheap, even by the low cost of many similar devices. This will allow students to take their work home with them - IT homework was always tricky to get to your home PC without waiting half the lesson for it to upload as an email attachment.

"Wait! Where has my overly-critical blog gone?" I hear you cry. Well we think this is a step in the right direction by the IT department (especially compared to previous IT woes). As far as we know - feel free to correct us if we're wrong, here - the letters have so far only been given to Year 11 students. Soon they'll be on study leave, and will then have an exam - the need for flash drive suddenly drops considerably. Unless you haven't finished your coursework by then, perhaps.

If this works - and it probably will - why don't Temple Moor give every Templar a pen drive? Actually, it's likely to be very expensive and at £3 each, they can't be making much profit on their porn sticks.

That's what it looks like.

Handily, it's got a strap thing so you can hang it round your neck (if you like to think it's jewellery). It's got no "lid", either, like some USB sticks do - so you don't have to worry about losing that. It's also small and looks like can withstand a reasonable amount of daily wear and tear.

But there's one truly awful thing about it. That logo. Bordering on levels of Olympics logo idiocy, they've ditched any sensible ideas - the school's logo, the Latin motto, Templar Truths sponsorship deals - and gone with a whole new, fugly design. With a rounded font you've got "TMHS" in blue (good idea) and "ICT" in red (not so obvious colour choice) - and it's all set against the backdrop of a turquoise splat. Are they trying to be funky and cool? Because it's really not working. However, apply a bit of nail varnish and it might come off, with a bit of luck.

Monday, 3 March 2008

National Year Of Reading

Whether it's film scripts or manga, sci fi or song lyrics, we want to get everyone reading more.
~Year of Reading website

Temple Moor is helping to boost the nation's passion for reading by partaking in the National Year Of Reading. Basically, throughout the year Temple Moor should encourage lots and lots of reading - unless of course it's this blog, which they'd probably prefer you to not read and deny its existence.

This is likely to be a role passed on to the English department, who already do things like...well...reading. But what can they actually do? Classes are preoccupied enough with Shakespeare, poems from different cultures, writing letters and other stuff - when will they be told to just read a book? I'll tell you - never.

Instead, Temple Moor will probably just say "go and read a book". This week they're giving out book tokens which subtract £1 from the price of any book in any bookshop. Just a pound. But that's got nothing to do with Year of Reading - it happens every year.

We're in March now and I've seen no signs - except today's announcement of book tokens - of any activities designed to boost reading. Grab a book in Guidance tomorrow and start reading. Chances are you'll be shouted at.

As a side-note, why aren't Temple Moor embracing other schemes? It's the International Year Of The Potato, but when were you last given an assembly on the food?

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Monthly Roundup

Only 29 days long is February - and that's only every four years. So has the longest version of the shortest month been any better than the rest? Here's news we haven't posted (and some very important news at the bottom!):
  • Our latest poll's findings are as thus: 69 people say the pigs are red, 25 think they're pink. So it's (un)official: the Pink Pigs just aren't.
  • Many people have been glad to receive Sixth Form acceptance letters. To those who did: well done.
  • Anonymous e-mail time:
    Dear Templar Truths,

    [We've] been doing some work for you on the Sixth From side of things. Two things:

    One, not so important, but the buliders cut the electricity to the sixth form center... idoits.

    And two, the far more interesting piece of news. Basically a couple of weeks ago, we all had to do mock exams in all our lessons. The teachers marked them, handed them in. Job done? Oh No. [One teacher] disreguarded the results and the teachers ahrd work, put the November mock grades (Which are much lower) as the Current Grades. Stupid enough for you? No? Well She then asked the teachers to change the predictive grades to higher to make it more "challenging" for thw pupils... Resulting in nearly half the sixth form having to go on study register. Study Register is instead of doing what you like in your free periods you get locked like animals in the Libary. Basically going againist rule 3(?) that we dont have to be there. The hipocracy is rife every where in the school.

    Good up the good work.
  • The school's encouraging Year 11s to go to Easter School. The only problem here is that it's Easter. And school. Two things which are usually separated by common sense...
  • Fire alarm incidents have gone down considerably recently - perhaps the builders have wrecked the system.
  • Languages rooms have helpful reminders like "have you turned off your PC and whiteboard?" for the teachers.
  • Some notes on the school website:
    i know there has been blogs about the website before but im bored and want to nag.

    • -why does the site need a google search bar?
    • parents info > planner > Please click on the link below to see a copy of the Parents' Year Planner 2007/2008: wheres the link?
    • "the new school reception" isn't exactly new
    • parents info > prospectus > Current prospectus is not available for downloading.
    then why is the page available?

    well, yeah thats all i got but it certainly did keep me occupied for a while. just felt taking the mick out of my favourite hell-whole on earth.
  • Melaisis, who often comments on this blog, has praised Tempo-Online for its denial of anonymous comments, which Templar Truths allows. So should comments from unknown people be allowed or denied by us? Post your the comments, ironically. It may become a poll.
Forgive the bold capitals, please.

Year 11 will, at some not-so-distant point in the future, be going on study leave. This affects pretty much every Templar Truths writer. "Oh no, where will I find my source of Temple Moor-based funny and informative news - that's only slightly biased?"

Well that's where you come in. If you think you're good enough to be a writer, then send us in an article by email. The rules:
  1. No names: pupils, teachers, your hamster. We don't write names at all very often.
  2. Temple Moor-related: that's pretty obvious. Apart from it has to be about TMHS, you've got free reign of topics.
  3. We'll look at every entry. Even ones from Tempo-Online writers.
  4. Deadline: March 31, so we can ready them all before the next monthly roundup, where the winner will be announced.
The best one gets theirs published on this site and a permanent writing gig here. What have you got to lose?

In the immortal words of the Looney Tunes:
That's all, folks!