Monday, 29 June 2015

School Gives Away Free Phones!

The Trash has received reports today that many students have caught after school in a scram in the Reception to retrieve their various confiscated phones. More cunning students will know that, if they are in need of an upgrade, this is a perfect opportunity to get their hands on Argos' finest. However, because of the sheer amount of students collecting their phones, hoodies and other articles, the receptionist was overwhelmed, incapable of doing whatever it is that they are actually employed for (as it transpired, opening the doors, which, when they couldn't, created a two-way blockage), and SLT on one occasion had to separate out the herds of ill-doers.

This poses a few issues. Firstly, why were there recently so many students collecting phones and hoodies? It's not as if everyone decided to get phones en masse, and wearing a jacket has suddenly come into fashion. As we have said many times before, the school's rigid, frankly-bizarre-in-places, uniform policy, and how it is implemented and upheld takes president over education in the minds of the management is entirely deplorable. It goes to show how little the SLT have to do, and how much time they have to do it in if they have the ability to stand around all lunchtime picking kids up on their dress. The surge in students having their clothes nicked is not because wrongdoing is on the rise; the management just have more time on their hands now it's the summer.

It may be that the summer is also culpable for the rise in phone-jacking by members of staff. The rationale behind the school's no-phones policy is so that students aren't distracted in class. However, the majority of these phones seemed to be pilfered by members of the SLT at lunchtime, when they were out in the open because it was sunny, not in the classroom distracting anyone. This needless enforcement of a rule tends towards the ridiculous, and makes the management look nothing more than vindictive jobsworths (and where have we heard that before!).

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

School Council Fails Again

The first article from a new member of the Trash writing team, P. I. Staker:

The fortnightly convening of the rag-tag bunch of lost Year 7's and the odd not-at-all-in-any-way-high Year 11 has begun. Yes, that's right, in an effort to make School Council more effective, the school have decided everyone who has any connection with it must be drawn together in a secret, after-school meeting, wherein the viability of "more bins" and "Fanta fountains" are decided on, predictably judged to be unfeasible.

This is an apparent well-meaning attempt by the SLT to make "the student voice heard more clearly," but what they seem to have forgotten is the principle that 0 x 0 = 0. The School Council is about as useful as an RE GCSE (or BTEC equivalent) on a job application; a pathetic attempt at fulfilling that specific section of the Rights Respecting School Award. In a system governed by a group of executives, the voice of the majority is rendered insignificant. It may well be that a majority of the school is Muslim, but Caterlink, the external food contractor provided by Camden still refuse to provide Halal meat. Why? Because the clear wishes of a majority of the pupils are insignificant in the face of profit margins.

The idea behind the School Council is that pupils feed back to a Class Representative of which there are two per class. They then feed back to the two year reps who gather and make decisions as one committee. An easy enough system it seems (apart from the one in which the feedback from School Council is written down and given to all students, rather than the four-tier Chinese whispers). The issue is the School Council has no scope for actual enactment of change; they decide on something which, as this publication has said many a time before, is then ignored or denied by the Head, and therein lies the issue.

Friday, 12 June 2015

12 Signs your School is Corrupt

In a desperate clamour for online foot traffic to feed the hegemonic greed for advertising revenue and a thicker wider-reaching audience, the ever-dictatorial Editorship have demanded we follow the #trends of publications such as HampsteadBuzzFeed and the ETC. Sp0rtz secshun and pursue clickbait articles that are less mentally challenging for readers, and involve fewer words, otherwise known as 'listicles' (which also happens to sound like a colloquial name for a disease of the ball bag). So, to appease our crazed overlords, #let's #get #to #it

12 Signs your School is Corrupt (in pictures - of course)

Look, it's a pie chart. It's called a pie chart because it vaguely resembles a pie.
1) Money is spent on the school, not the pupils. The school gets a little bit egotistical and decides for itself it will make itself look good for the press, and will pay for a couple of awards it will win.

 2) The media is regulated by the school. No, there's no way the school would have any influence over reporting to make itself look better, and anything that goes against the school deemed 'defamatory', even if true.

3) The school sell you lies. They aren't a particularly intelligent bunch, and so lies are usually easily spotted.

 4) The numbers don't add up. The school likes to get a little imaginative when it comes to the figures. It doesn't take an accountant to work out a slump in grades does not count towards an upward trend, nor does a badly calculated budget.
 5) The school mascot may or may not be a paedo. There are also assertions that the school mascot may or may not be an Aye-aye, or even a mascot, but merely a man in a rodent suit who likes to hang around school changing rooms.

6) The school resembles Soviet Russia. Speak out of turn and you got to the House for gulag.

7) They leak sensitive documents about their students. And then have the cheek to tell us we're legally obliged to remove our copies of the data they leaked, so as not to commit a leak!

 8) SEGREGATION. Rights. anyone? Need I say more?

9) The numbers don't add up. Or have I already said that?

10) CENSORSHIP. Because Big Brother is Watching You. See also point (1).

11) There is no student voice. Any attempts at democracy are thinly veiled publicity stunts to seem as if the school cares, only aided by student apathy.

DISCLAIMER: There is absolutely no chance that there is the possibility that all governing bodies are corrupt, and we can only attribute this notion to the article's 'mad writings' and 'fruity language'. All remarks are not defamatory, although some are made up.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Morning Briefing - Two Minutes Hate

An undercover report from the Teacher Morning Briefing by our Teaching Editor, Eric Arthur Blair...

It was nearly eleven hundred, and in the Ingrish Department, where Winston worked, they were dragging the chairs out of the classrooms and grouping them in the centre of the hall opposite the big telescreen whiteboard, in preparation for the Two Minutes Hate. Winston was just taking his place in one of the middle rows when two people whom he knew by sight, but had never spoken to, came unexpectedly into the room. One of them was a girl whom he often passed in the corridors. He did not know her name, but he knew that she worked in the School Council Fiction Department. Presumably—since he had sometimes seen her with bloody hands and carrying a stone—she had some mechanical job on one of the press-release machines. She was a bold-looking girl, of about twenty-seven, with thick hair, a freckled face, and swift, athletic movements. A narrow scarlet sash, emblem of the Junior Anti-Bullying League (formerly HABZ), was wound several times round the waist of her overalls, just tightly enough to bring out the shapeliness of her hips. Winston had disliked her from the very first moment of seeing her. He knew the reason. It was because of the atmosphere of astro-fields and cold showers and community mile runs and general clean-mindedness which she managed to carry about with her. It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the Management, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur apathetics and nosers-out of unorthodoxy. But this particular girl gave him the impression of being more dangerous than most. Once when they passed in the corridor she gave him a quick sidelong glance which seemed to pierce right into him and for a moment had filled him with black terror. The idea had even crossed his mind that she might be an agent of the Senior Thought Police. That, it was true, was very unlikely. Still, he continued to feel a peculiar uneasiness, which had fear mixed up in it as well as hostility, whenever she was anywhere near him. 

The other person was a man named O’Brookman, a member of the Inner Management and holder of some post so important and remote that Winston had only a dim idea of its nature (it involved target grades). A momentary hush passed over the group of people round the chairs as they saw the black overalls of an Inner Management member approaching. O’Brookman was a large, burly man with a thick neck and a coarse, humorous, brutal face. In spite of his formidable appearance he had a certain charm of manner. He had a trick of resettling his spectacles on his nose which was curiously disarming—in some indefinable way, curiously civilized. It was a gesture which, if anyone had still thought in such terms, might have recalled an eighteenth-century musician offering his snuffbox. Winston had seen O’Brookman perhaps a dozen times in almost as many years. At this moment O’Brookman glanced at his wrist-watch, saw that it was nearly eleven hundred, and evidently decided to stay in the Ingrish Department until the Two Minutes Hate was over. He took a chair in the same row as Winston, a couple of places away. A small, sandy-haired woman who worked at the next desk to Winston was between them. The girl with dark hair was sitting immediately behind. 

The next moment a hideous, grinding speech, as of some monstrous machine running without oil, burst from the big whiteboard at the end of the room. It was a noise that set one’s teeth on edge and bristled the hair at the back of one’s neck. The Hate had started. As usual, the face of Kinnan Zaloom, the Enemy of the People, had flashed on to the screen. There were hisses here and there among the audience. The little sandy-haired woman gave a squeak of mingled fear and disgust. Zaloom was the renegade and backslider who once, long ago (how long ago, nobody quite remembered), had engaged in counter-revolutionary activities, had been condemned to death, and had mysteriously escaped and disappeared. The programmes of the Two Minutes Hate varied from day to day, but there was none in which Zaloom was not the principal figure. He was the primal traitor, the earliest defiler of the Management’s purity. All subsequent crimes against the Managemeny, all treacheries, acts of sabotage, heresies, deviations, sprang directly out of his teaching. Somewhere or other he was still alive and hatching his conspiracies: perhaps somewhere beyond the city, under the protection of his foreign paymasters, perhaps even—so it was occasionally rumoured—in some hidingplace in Portsmouth itself.

Winston’s diaphragm was constricted. He could never see the face of Zaloom without a painful mixture of emotions. It was a lean Arab face, with a great fuzzy aureole of black hair and a small goatee beard—a clever face, and yet somehow inherently despicable, with a kind of senile silliness in the long thin nose, near the end of which a dragonfly was perched. It resembled the face of a sheep, and the voice, too, had a sheep-like quality. Zaloom was delivering his usual venomous attack upon the doctrines of the Management—an attack so exaggerated and perverse that a child should have been able to see through it, and yet just plausible enough to fill one with an alarmed feeling that other people, less level-headed than oneself, might be taken in by it. He was abusing Big Szemelikowski, he was denouncing the dictatorship of the Management, he was demanding the immediate conclusion of peace with Whitefield, he was advocating freedom of speech, freedom of the Press, freedom of assembly, freedom of thought, he was crying hysterically that the revolution had been betrayed. And all the while, lest one should be in any doubt as to the reality which Zaloom’s specious claptrap covered, behind his head on the telescreen there marched the endless columns of the Whitefield squad—row after row of solid-looking men with expressionless Cricklewoodgrad faces, who swam up to the surface of the screen and vanished, to be replaced by others exactly similar. The dull rhythmic tramp of the soldiers’ boots formed the background to Zaloom’s bleating voice. Before the Hate had proceeded for thirty seconds, uncontrollable exclamations of rage were breaking out from half the people in the room. The self-satisfied sheep-like face on the screen, and the terrifying power of the Whitefield squad behind it, were too much to be borne: besides, the sight or even the thought of Zaloom produced fear and anger automatically. There were also whispered stories of a terrible blog, a compendium of all the heresies, of which Zaloom was the author and which circulated clandestinely here and there. It was a blog with no title in the bounds of the school. People referred to it, if at all, simply as THE BLOG.

In its second minute the Hate rose to a frenzy. People were leaping up and down in their places and shouting at the tops of their voices in an effort to drown the maddening bleating voice that came from the screen. The little sandy-haired woman had turned bright pink, and her mouth was opening and shutting like that of a landed fish. Even O’Brookmans’s heavy face was flushed. He was sitting very straight in his chair, his powerful chest swelling and quivering as though he were standing up to the assault of a wave. The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledgehammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. The voice of Zaloom had become an actual sheep’s bleat, and for an instant the face changed into that of a sheep. Then the sheep-face melted into the figure of a Whitefield soldier who seemed to be advancing, huge and terrible, seeming to spring out of the surface of the screen, so that some of the people in the front row actually flinched backwards in their seats. But in the same moment, drawing a deep sigh of relief from everybody, the hostile figure melted into the face of Big Szemelikowski, grey-haired, full of power and mysterious calm, and so vast that it almost filled up the screen. Nobody heard what Big Szemelikowski was saying. It was merely a few words of 'motivation', the sort of words that are uttered in the din of assembly, not distinguishable individually but restoring confidence by the fact of being spoken. Then the face of Big Szemelikowski faded away again, and instead the three slogans of the Management stood out  in bold capitals:


DISCLAIMER: This is a poor semblance of an excerpt from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, and so any copyrighted material, if there is any, is not our original work.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

App-solutely Mindless

The school, in their infinite wisdom, have once again launched into another hare-brained, budget-guzzling scheme, which will undoubtedly fall the way of the iBehave (remember that?) and the Star of the Week.

Keen-eyed students will have noticed shiny posters going up in classrooms around the school recently about a new online homework system by the name of Show My Homework, which is supposed to be a go-to website for students and parents to know what homework has been set. However, the school already goes to great expense every year to produce their own, analog version of this, the Planner, rendering either one of the two systems superfluous. A certain SLT member is believed to be behind this scheme: shiny, useless, expensive; sound familiar?

This is not the first time the school have tried to bring learning into the 21st century, and done so poorly; last year posters went up about the rules of Hampstead, ironically as apps on a giant smartphone, and item which is banned on school grounds, as per the school rules. The current posters for Show My Homework boast that you can access the school's timetable on a free downloadable app, which is useless if you are completing that work in school, as many do. If they are looking for a rise in the amount of homework handed in, they may have to look elsewhere.

Equally, the system isn't exactly fitting with the school's policy of inclusivity; as a comprehensive, there are students that attend from all backgrounds, and some, for whatever reason, do not have access to a smartphone or even a computer.

It's also not the first time the school has pissed money up the wall. There are many schemes and 'initiatives' the school have thrust upon us, all costing money that could otherwise go towards, oh I don't know, our education? Things such as Achievement for All (as we have documented thoroughly) as well as £55k going on Attendance, whatever that means. Being signed up to Show My Homework costs a school between £600 and £1,500 per year, depending on the size of the school. As our school is a rather large one, we can assume that annual cost is more towards the thick end.

So the school have once again wowed us by buying into something expensive, redundant, excluding and unusable in school. Well done.

DISCLAIMER: We swipe left on defamation, stupid schemes such as this, and homework. We swipe right on satire, and people likely to send nudes.