“That can’t be right”, I opine to myself, as I notice that I am down for a two-hour lunchtime duty in the playground every Friday.
“That’s what we do here”, my new colleague replies (I had accidentally spoken aloud – a bad habit). “We find that having leadership supervising lunchtimes stops most playground problems affecting the afternoon lessons.”
Well I can’t argue with the logic, so I steel myself for the great unknown. I button up my coat, don a hi-vis and step out.
The first hour is for Reception and KS1 and I stand like a towering neon lighthouse amidst a spiralling sea of noise as the sub-four-footers of Stratford pour out of classrooms and staircases.
A circle of Y2 boys is already huddled conspiratorially in a corner, sorting out their missions and quests for the next hour. Beside me, a Y1 girl attempts valiantly to skip, despite the rope merely bashing the back of her calves each time she tries to jump it. She persists.
I hear a sound like somebody has dropped a bag of chips, and turn to find a Reception boy has tripped over his feet. “Oh dear, oh dear”, I say northernly – realising instantly that I sound like a Chuckle Brother – while I help him up and pat his back. I tell him he’ll be alright because he can put some magic water on his knee. He immediately perks up.