Welcome to the Warzone

It was a creative writing exercise.

We'd been working on how to describe a place using all of the senses. Students wrote a description then I had to guess the place.

There had been a shopping centre, a beach and a park when a particularly vivid description came up. Raucous noise, a splattering of debris and violence all around.

I guessed a warzone. The student told me it was the playground.

Even allowing for a touch of poetic licence, the description was shocking. How students perceive their school is of huge importance. If they see professional place of learning, they are more likely to decide to learn. But if they see it as a place of total chaos then bad behaviour is the natural response.

It also reminded me that, however well I and other teachers think we know a school, there's a side of it that the students only ever really see.