Portsmouth cinemas have become too expensive for a family trip – Verity Lush

The Odean cinema, North End, Portsmouth, one of Verity's old haunts
The Odean cinema, North End, Portsmouth, one of Verity's old haunts

Perhaps I’m recalling this through the rose-tinted specs of nostalgia, but did the cinema not used to be a cheap day out for kids and adults alike?

I started watching the documentary, School, last week. I tuned in a little later than some of the nation but decided to give it a go after reading reviews. 

Coming from an educational background, I suppose I know more than most regarding the fact that academies do not ‘cure’ failing schools.

Downtrodden teachers need support, not mealy-mouthed ‘feedback’ 

People and parents, students and hard graft, are what help to turn schools around.

The teachers and support staff in this series were downtrodden.

They were working themselves to the core in an effort to make improvements and you couldn’t help but feel extreme pity for some of the poor folk involved.

One gentleman had his lesson observed in a near-military manner by a member of the senior leadership team.

She stood, like a commando, at the back of the room.

This kind of observation went out with the ark. Solo observations where a teacher is alone carrying it out are also rather rare these days.

And when she gave the ‘feedback’, you couldn’t help but think things were doomed to get worse – but not necessarily because of the teaching.

The alleged ‘feedback’ was basically total tosh.

She couldn’t even give advice or strategies, or follow some kind of policy that might involve putting support in place for the poor fellow teaching.

When he asked had it been ‘alright, at least not dreadful’, she replied that it had been okay.

As soon as she was alone with the camera, she expressed grave concerns. Well it’s no good telling us, is it? Tell, and then help, the teacher!

She was also the person who later said that it was right that staff shouldn’t be told that redundancies would be happening.

I’d beg to differ – their livelihoods depend on it and now that it’s been on national telly a year later, they’ll know what you kept slyly hidden up your sleeve anyway.

In all areas of work and life people are downtrodden and things go wrong, but if nobody can then support or help you to at least try to put stuff right, then what right have they to even comment?

It’s not just the turkey and tinsel I’m looking forward to

Only four weeks until festivities get under way and schools break up.

I have already Googled  ‘Christmas TV 2018’ and am looking forward to getting my highlighter out and settling down with a yuletide edition of the Radio Times.

I am especially excited this year because the BBC has returned to tradition and filmed a ‘Ghost Story for Christmas’.

Christmas has, for centuries, been a time for ghost stories. Have a Google and you’ll find plenty of useless but fascinating information as to why this is so.

And the dark evenings, the lure of the fire and a decent blanket, with a spooky tale to boot, is one that I cannot resist.