Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

The last word: Jungle fever!

Snake

It sounded like a good idea but first there came the smell, then the rotting foliage, then the business with the rubber plants. And what's this about a python? 

From: Head of art
To: Headteacher
After your comments at the staff meeting re taking professional initiatives, I have an idea for the autumn term. I would like to do some tactile work with children from the junior school. I would do it in art room 1. Sixth-formers would help. I'm calling it 'Jungle Experience'. The head of the junior school likes the idea. May I go ahead?

From: Headteacher
To: Head of art

Splendid idea! Go ahead. I'm glad someone listens at staff meetings.

From: Bursar
To: Headteacher
Lorry has delivered huge pile of scrap foam rubber. Any idea who wants this?

Staff room notice board
From: Headteacher

If anyone knows anything about the two tons of foam rubber blocking the main entrance, please see me ASAP.

From: Head of art
To: Headteacher

It's for my jungle. Remember I told you in June.

From: Headteacher
To: Head of art

Do you mean you are building a jungle in the art room? I thought you were setting up an exhibition or something? PS What have you ordered plastic sheeting for? 

From: Head of art
To: Headteacher

Plastic sheeting is to protect the floor when we dump the leaf mould. PS Can I borrow the rubber plant in the main corridor?

From: Headteacher
To: Head of art

What is all this about leaf mould? You cannot really intend to recreate jungle atmosphere on the top floor of a school. Jungles are hot and steamy etc. PS No, you cannot borrow the rubber plant.

Staff room notice board
From: Catering manager

A 40-litre electric water boiler has disappeared from the kitchens. Has anyone seen it?

From: Headteacher
To: Head caretaker

Please check drains etc in science corridor. There is a nasty smell. PS Please lock up the rubber plant.

From: Head of science
To: Head of art

Sorry. We've done our best to make a manure smell but we admit failure. It keeps coming out too sulphury and it's rather expensive if you can only afford ?5.

From: Bursar
To: Headteacher

Have received unspecific invoice for ?5 from the Jolly Gee-Gee Riding Stables. What is this for? Also, invoices for ten litres of greenhouse glass house paint.

From: Resources
To: Headteacher

Just checking who was paying for the 'jungle sounds' tape?

From: Grounds management plc
To: Headteacher

We have stripped the Virginia creeper and felled dead rowan tree as requested. One of your staff very kindly disposed of it all. Will you thank her for us?

From: Head of sport
To: Headteacher

Some vandal has nicked a whole section of cricket netting!

From: Head of art
To: Headteacher

It's super! You must come and see. It's dark and steamy and smelly and noisy and really soggy-feeling underfoot and we've got things hanging down you crawl under and things you have to squeeze over! I'm going to get the children to wear sports kit and go barefoot as they crawl around and they'll need a shower afterwards. By the way, no one on the staff is free on Monday at 8am so I said you could pick up the python. I've got the address. It's very young and can't crush you but they say it can bite. Roll on next week!

Staff room notice board
From: Headteacher
I regret I shall be away next week on a vitally important conference and shall be totally out of contact.

Andrew MacTavish is a retired headteacher from Buckinghamshire. 


Want to have the last word?

The Last Word always welcomes contributions from members. If you'd like to share your humorous observations of school life, please email Sara Gadzik at leader@ascl.org.uk
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