The end of term is so near I thought I could almost smell it today. It turned out to have been one of the Year 6’s, who’d broken wind. We were on public transport so there was no escape. Our School, along with a handful of others, were invited to watch the films we’d made on the big screen.
It so very nearly didn’t happen for Zak. A playground incident lead to Roisin threatening him with exclusion if he broke one more School rule. My eyes were imploring him to overstep the mark, I laid down the gauntlet, go on break another rule I dare you! It sounds cruel but I wanted a school trip without him.
I thought my moment had arrived at break time. Zak walked away from a child, who appeared to be weeping. When I asked the child if he was ok, he lifted his head from his hands to tell me he was counting to ten, as part of a game of Hide and Seek.
It had been an encouraging start to the day, with the reappearance of Mrs Godsend. She was returning after a bout of sciatica. Every child ran to embrace her, unaware that each hug was a setback in her recovery. Kate had given me a bottle of wine with a message “thought you might need this”. I, in turn, prepared a card for her with the message “Thanks for putting up with me and Zak”. I made it in the Art Room, while Zak fruitlessly searched Google Maps, intent on finding where his love interest was in Iran.
The Cinema Trip was inevitably eventful. The children went hysterical spotting a child star of ‘Tracey Beaker’ on the tube and an over officious member of London Underground insisted on each child passing through the barriers individually; and not letting us through the gate. “Stupid person” I muttered under my breath, only for my comment to be picked up by one of the kids. Thankfully it was one of the more sensible children who conceded I had a point.
The films were a mixed bag. The first was downright trippy. A menacing, surreal piece that was the stuff of nightmares. It featured kids in white coats, papier-mâché masks, cloaked figures and a bloodied semi-conscious child. It was reminiscent of the films of David Lynch, the only thing it lacked was a midget talking backwards. I ticked it off the places I’d one day like to work at.
Another film was by a School in Zak’s new area. I received a running commentary “that kid’s rubbish at football” “I beat that kid up” etc. Zak did get to broaden his horizons by seeing the Houses of Parliament and with my help, overcame a phobia of escalators. It was also a first for him having a fight in the cinema and on public transport.
We finished the day with a game of cricket, the teachers versus the children. “Imagine the ball is a teacher’s face that you hate” I overheard one kid say during their post-match huddle. The kids won convincingly.