Monday, 24 November 2014

LEAKED: Real Minutes from School Council November 2014

With the coming of the new academical year ushers in a new phase of bureaucracy, and this year has not disappointed. I can't remember who the school councillors are, nor whether or not we voted them in (I certainly signed no ballot), so the cogs of democracy are obviously working in fine motion.

But onto the minutes:

According to the transcript, "Working Parties" have been established to "focus on core school areas", first impressions suggesting the rise of various lefty unionist parties that have to think hard about the areas of the school (for new readers, the school is divided into East Quad, West Quad, Front Cage, Back Cage, Back Cage North and the Democratic People's Republic of House). Some of these "Working Parties" which, by the fact they were out of class for the session, were not actually working, were listed as focusing on the "Student Voice -  what happens at Hampstead school", "Environment and Premises - new school build, toilets, facilities, playground" and "Community and Charity - fundraising events, school reputation". The first makes no sense to us as, if it is only dawning on the School Council now that they need to start thinking about a 'Student Voice', they have rather missed the point of being a school council in the first place, if you could even call it that. Equally, if they wanted to know what happens in school, and all about the student voice, like most of the school, they would come here. The second has no substance and weight as students have yet to be told about the new build, simply because the teachers are in the dark as well. However, that is another article that will be coming very soon. We at the Trash don't see how 'school reputation' has anything to do with charity; charity is about contributing to the cause, rather than being made into a marketing stunt to show how supposedly philanthropic the school are. This shows that the school, through the students, are desperately trying to claw back any strands of good reputation they have after our ongoing 'defamation'.

Another one of the 'Working Parties' is apparently dealing with the "Hampstead School Online Profile - facebook, twitter, pinterest, youtube". Seen as when you type 'Hampstead School' into Google, there is always a link to Trashgate on the first page, and the first image to come up is that of our blog, they are going to have to work very hard. Equally, as a school, and as a totalitarian dictatorship, they are inherently unlikeable, and so its improbable they will get many of the yutes liking their various social medias. Don't try and be down with the kids, stick to the website that you've already shelled out a few grand for [link].

Then it goes into this diatribe about divvying up the various groups and the 'reps' that these entail, because, for some reason, we have become an American high-school that's too lazy to say words in full (See newspeak). One of these points seems peculiar, saying "The sixth form working party contains all four sixth form year reps and may only recruit from year 10 and 11 class reps. This is because the sixth form needs to reflect the views of  the incoming students who are currently in year 10 and year 11." No, no it doesn't. The school's Sixth Form hasn't even reflected the views of the current Sixth Form students; they can't even think about reflecting the views of the future Sixth Form students. They can't even think about thinking about reflecting the views of the future Sixth Form students [link]. At least attempt to fix one problem before you pop open a fresh can of new ones.

Unfortunately, the transcript is rather shorter than the usual ones, and the rest is largely semantics, but if you have the will power to read the original, the link is here

Thursday, 20 November 2014

School Produces Scurrilous Survey

The SLT have issued a survey to all students through the new email system, asking what students think about their school. Surely this must be the dawn of an age of the school holding student opinion in high regard? Well, apart from the obvious reservation that we have, that most of the school's signs of respecting student opinions tend to be false and ignored, the survey has, according to the GCSE Maths syllabus, various flaws that make it biased and untrustworthy (which sounds nothing like the Management).

So, as well as their being a caption competition in there somewhere, let's have a closer look at the survey:

1. No chance 2. Disagree 3. Disagree 4. Depends.
Now, there is a distinct problem with a simple agree/disagree choice question, in that there are certain limiting factors, especially in statements that are large concepts. For instance, number 2: "all students are treated with respect by staff members". Now, by agreeing with the statement, you are saying that all students are treated equally, so defacto if you disagree with the statement you are saying no students are treated equally. But what if you believe that some are, and some aren't? Or you believe that the majority are, but some aren't? There's no option for those so, pushed for an answer, someone that holds one of those beliefs would tend to agree with the statement, creating a bias in the question. This leads on further:

If you look at all the questions, they are all biased in favour of the school. There is an option that you can disagree with these biased questions but, as we have already discovered, the options are limited to a binary state, which is counter-intuitive if the school wanted accurate results. For instance, number 5: "Hampstead school provides me with a challenging curriculum and learning experiences." Ignoring the fact that 'school' is a proper noun and so should have a capital, the statement is biased in favour of the school (as are all but number 1); it doesn't read "Hampstead school doesn't provides me with a challenging curriculum and learning experiences." This is now biased against the school, rather than impartial, so what they ought to have done, as well as widening the boundaries of the answer, posed the survey as a series of questions, rather than biased statements. This, in the case of number 5, should be written:

5. Hampstead school does or does not provide a challenging curriculum and learning experiences?
- Yes, it does.
- Mostly does
- Does/doesn't half of the time
- Sometimes does
- Never does

And even then, it could be argued that the question is actually asking two things, one about curriculum, and the other about learning experiences, which a student may have differing views on between the two, which means the question should probably be split.

Regardless of the bias of the survey, purely the type of statement goes to show how delusional they are, how great they think they have made themselves. At no point do they ask, as we have been asking for ages, about the bad things. No, no, those are too busy being brushed under a heavy carpet.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

"Defamatory materials"

I know we have survived months without some proper investigatory journalism, and subsequent total 'defamation' of the school on this blog (mainly because sod all has happened), and reverted to our classic snide satirical spoofs, but this document (regards, Julie LaSange) needs a good going-through, much like any confiscated phone. The document in question is that of the school's ICT Acceptable Use Policy, catchy title I know; not the poultry one (by which I mean foul) of only one-and-a-half pages on the school's website for students and parents, the three-page mind-bender for teachers to sign when they begin working at school.

Having read a copy of it, I can say that it might as well be renamed the Anti-Trash and Orwellian Activities Policy, as that is pretty much what it is. The main synopsis of the piece, much like the online student version, centres around the ideas that 'If we want to, we can monitor you as much as we feel necessary', because a self-governing systems have no chance of ever being corrupt, and 'If you defame the school, we're calling the cops', because that worked out so well for them last time. What also worked out so well for them is their sense of a "duty of care", which they mention in a grammatically incorrect sentence.

What remains prevalent in both the student and teacher policies is the fact that you "will not create, send or post any material that is likely to cause offence or needless anxiety to other people or bring the school into disrepute". Well that's us screwed. Oh well. Their choice of verb in the student version is quite funny; they could have said 'can not', but they chose 'will not', as if their saying will have some effect on students that will deter them from ever bringing the school into disrepute. The finality of this already broken promise is transferable to the teacher version, as they list almost exactly the same things, but say that users "must not" do them, as well as saying that "This specifically includes defamatory materials".

We iz so shook lyk

Surely, though, as a Rights Respecting School that does have internet in gay abandon, they should openly applaud people voicing their opinions online, and have access to the Mass Media (like that hasn't stopped them before)? Teacher policy dictates that users must "Use appropriate language and materials"; none of that fruity language, though. And, of course, 'appropriate' use is defined and governed by the SLT, so users theoretically have no right to mass media, nor freedom of speech online. What a surprise. What does the school have to say of this? "networked resources is [sic] a privilege, not a right."

So rights respecting.

Then we come to a fantastic contradiction in a legal document, because the school spent all their Legal Advice Budget on an iPad for some knob who hasn't been ill for a while and some banners. In one section they say that users 'MUST' "Accept responsibility for any action taken at a workstation whilst they are logged in, whether they are physically present or not", however later on it states that "Any malicious attempt to harm or destroy any equipment or data belonging either to the school, to another user, or another network connected to the school system will result in loss of access, and, if appropriate, disciplinary action and/or legal referral." So the school will lay the blame for something happening on the victim, but simultaneously lay the blame on the perpetrator. This seems farcical, especially in a binding document that was supposedly proof-read. Victim or perpetrator. Pick one.

It goes on to say users must "Inform the network manager immediately if a security problem is identified and not demonstrate this problem to other users" or, in other words, don't do a Mailmerge.

It then declares that users must not "Gain or attempt to gain unauthorised access to data and resources on the school network system or other systems." No need to, they leave all their sensitive 'secure' data on the shared server.

Finally, we come to a little diktat that shows the Management doesn't quite understand human nature (you have to be one to know it) or how the internet works. It decrees that "Staff or students finding unsuitable websites through the school network should report the web address to the network manager." Someone using the internet, especially a fully-grown adults, tends not to just stumble on an 'unsuitable' website; they actively search them out. And then, if they have actively sought out and wanted to see these 'unsuitable' websites, its not exactly in their best interest to then go and report it to someone who will then block it. Get a little perspective.

As always, the full document is on Szemelileaks here, and the student version you can find here.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014


Continuing the tradition of the school's most forgettable observed religious holiday, next week is Drop Everything And Read week. Despite the body count from the Food Tech and DT departments last time this was tried, His Greatness has instead let students be read to from his little red book.

The book in question, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips seems to be about some sort of cat, and knowing the Michael Morpurgo format, is about some conflict in history, but instead focuses on some village full of weirdos and some animal that people care about way too much (Disclaimer: I have read a total of 2 books by said author).

However, to top this, the Ministry of Propaganda has issued an instructional video to students, explaining how to use a book, as the English Department has evidently not. However, this propaganda film is almost entirely ripped off from an IKEA advert of the same ilk. All of the script, save for a few ad-lib'd in references to our Dear Leader, and the same graphics used in the advert.

You can watch the original IKEA advert here. It is seemingly a parody of iPhone adverts, which the school may or may not have gotten the memo about.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

School Songbook Part I

So, inspired by the revelation the Head was once upon a time a Punk, we've changed the lyrics to a couple of Punk songs to be relevant to Hampstead. Or have we...?

In The Quad, by The Jam Your Hype (written by Paul Weezie)
Original on Youtube - Original Lyrics
In the quad there's a thousand things I want to say to you
But whenever I approach you,
I make you look a fool
I wanna say, I wanna tell you
About the Trash ideas
But you turn them into fears

In the city there's a thousand faces all shining bright
And those golden faces after 3 05
They wanna say, they gonna tell ya
About the Trash idea
You better listen now you've said your bit-a

And I know what you're thinking
You're sick of that kind of crap
But you'd better listen man
Because the kids know where it's at

In the city there's a thousand kids in uniforms
And I've heard they now have the right to shank a man
We wanna say, we gonna tell ya
About the Trash idea
And if it don't work, at least we still tried

In the quad, in the quad
In the quad there's a thousand things I want to say to you

Anarchy In The U.K. by Sex Make Love Pistols (famed for their song 'Never Mind the Bikeshed')
Original on Youtube - Original Lyrics
I am an Antichrist
I am an anarchist
I know what I want
And I know how to get it
I wanna defame Management

'Cause I wanna be anarchy
No dogsbody

Anarchy for the UK
It's coming sometime and maybe
I give a wrong time for a lunchtime
Your future dream is a blogger's scheme

'Cause I wanna be anarchy
In the city

How many ways to get what you want
I use the best
I use the rest
I use the C.N.J.
I use Anarchy

'Cause I wanna be Anarchy
It's the only way to be

Is this the S.M.R.T. or
Is this the P.S.H.E. or
Is this the S.L.T.
I thought it was the UK
Or just another country
Another council tenancy

I wanna be Anarchy
And I wanna be Anarchy
(Oh what a name)
And I wanna be anarchist
I get pissed, defame!

DISCLAIMER: We don't own the rights to these songs; we probably have to clear this up because we've had to change so little, as, for some reason, our message and the ways we generically deride the school somehow align with punk lyrics. We wonder why...