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Friday, 26 November 2010


An exam
All of our students are sitting exams this week.  Our seniors started their NZQA exams last week, and they continue right through (for some of them) to next week as well.  Quite a few have been coming in to do last-minute research or revision, and some have been trying to complete another couple of Internal assessments under our supervision.
Don't believe all those stories about our lost generation of youth.  The vast majority (90%+) want to achieve and excel, and it's a joy to help them do so.  If any are reading this, best of luck folks, you deserve to succeed.

A different type of exam
Peek but don't cheat
Our juniors are also sitting exams in all the core subjects, and this year they're sitting them in the gym. under the usual exam conditions.  This creates a lot of problems, notably for the PE staff, but the boss wants the Year 9s and 10s to become used to the traditional big-hall exam feeling, and he has a point.  None of our pupils have sat an exam in this way before.  All through Intermediate and Primary, all assessment is in their own classrooms, and most of the assessment they get is formative rather than summative, so they were not under as much pressure.  Our pupils have to become accustomed to the feelings of stress and anxiety everyone gets during big exams, otherwise they will be at a major disadvantage when they sit the big NZQA exams in their Year 11.

Stress makes you do strange things
The juniors have been behaving superbly.  No mucking about, no talking, no cellphones.  There are always exceptions however.
Our hyperactive Year 10, who was starting to hyperventilate and trembling in his seat after the first hour of a two hour exam.  I think he's never sat in one place for more than 40 minutes in his life.  He tried, but just couldn't do it.
Then there were a couple of our year 9s who went at it hammer and tongs during tea time.  The usual name-calling got very intense, and the two involved just wouldn't let it go, and were eventually sent home.
Then the piece de resistance.  One of our notorious juniors, who is constantly in trouble, and who has been accused many, many times of tagging (drawing graffiti for any non-NZ reader) walls around the school was caught cheating in his English Exam.  Because we have about 180 students in each of our junior years, and because the gym will only hold 120 at one time, I have allocated some of the students into 3 or 4 extra classrooms, and it was in one of these that the cheating was discovered.  The silly boy had his notebook out and under the desk, resting on his knees.  Every time he turned a page, the supervising teacher could hear the paper rustle.  The best bit was after the notebook had been confiscated, it was found to contain, not just notes for cheating, but many examples of the boy's graffiti style.  Proof at last.  He's for the high jump, and I really hope the board kicks him out.  He's constantly disrupting just about every class he's in.

Parent's Night
Lastly, we had the police in.  As I mentioned in an earlier post our computer systems were hacked a couple of weeks ago, which cost us a lot of time and money to fix, and some of our seniors may have lost a couple of credits, because they couldn't finish some assessments, so whoever did it is not well-loved by us.

The policeman who came in was not one of your average cops, he was from the cyber-crime division of the NZ police in Wellington.  I didn't even know we had one (It is apparently bad manners to call them robocops.  They seem to strongly resent that name.  Wonder why?)  He had come in to process a charge of theft made against another of our pupils who had stolen a flash drive from one of our science teachers, and had then wiped the contents; a complete year's notes, resources and exercises for all of the teacher's classes.  Luckily our great Systems Manager, he of the Red Hair, managed to recover almost all of the data, but the pupil involved did not seem to realise that he had done anything wrong, and the charges were laid in the hope that something might get through to the kid before it's too late.

The policeman, after dealing with the theft, had a long talk to Red Hair about the hack, and we are delighted to find that he has the power to get the ISP to divulge their logs, so we can find the actual physical address of who it was that hacked into our system.  I'm not talking about just an account name, I'm talking about an actual physical trace which will stand up in court.  I didn't realise that all such logs on modern electronic switches could reveal so much.  The hackers "Ass is Grass", and will probably be covered in blood if our angry seniors get hold of him.

Justice is Nice

Revenge is Sweet



  1. I think it is good for them to sit the exams, well, like they are real exams.

    Robocop is/was cool as! Who wouldn't want to be called Robocop. Come on. Jerks.

  2. Why should our young be subjected to the realitiies of life so soon. Many very intelligent teenagers are punished. EG my step son has faultless recall but couldn't complete School C because his OCD made him write everything slowly in perfect hand script.
    Still think the guy who brouke into your under protected computer system should get an honourary UE entrance!


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