Priory Post 50 – A Day In the Life…

Posted: 21st August 2015


…of Mrs McDermott

Mrs McDermott’s  ‘A Day in the Life…’ tells us how our Head of Religious Education and Faith Life spent her day on Tuesday 11th November, Armistice Day.


‘My day begins at 6.15am when the alarm clock buzzes but I can’t quite manage to get up so I hit snooze for 5 minutes…once my husband has handed me a coffee and I’ve jumped in the shower I’m awake and ready for the hectic morning rush getting myself and my two girls ready.

As we arrive at school, the three of us head to the Chapel to get the poppy wreaths ready for the two minutes silence at 11.00am.


Once I drop the girls at their classrooms I’m no longer Mummy and become Mrs McDermott.

I have arranged with Miss Grundon, my co-tutor with Form III Alpha, to take their morning register so that I can go round to every Senior Form Room to remind them about our two minutes silence to commemorate Armistice Day. I also need to arrange a lunchtime meeting with the Liturgy Prefects to sort out our World Gifts charity collection in preparation for Christmas.

Lesson one is Upper VA. They are studying issues of life and death and this morning they are discussing thought provoking questions, ‘When does life begin?’ and ‘Is it ever right to kill?’. The girls impress me with their maturity and thoughtful discussion in this lesson.

My next lesson is with Lower VI. We discuss a variety of Biblical passages regarding equality. The girls decide they are all glad that they aren’t in the early community in Corinth as we don’t think women should be silent in church!

My break is spent getting the projector and laptop ready in the Chapel, so my PowerPoint is ready for 10.55am when the Senior girls and staff arrive for 11.00 am. Everyone arrives in silence and quietly sits and watches the images of poppies, the display at the Tower of London and reads the prayers and poems that form the slideshow. As the bell rings at 11.00am silence descends and we join with the rest of the nation to mark the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month.


Lesson three is with Lower V. As part of their study of Mark’s Gospel the girls study passages showing the conflict that Jesus got in to with the Jewish authorities. Today we are looking at how the arguments concerning the Sabbath affect current tensions regarding community cohesion. This really stretches the girls and they have great group debates.

Although I’m not teaching next lesson I’m busy with Faculty Leader paperwork and preparing cover work for Thursday as I will be at the Diocese of Westminster for a Heads of Religious Education meeting.

I quickly eat lunch and head to the RE room with CAFOD’s World Gifts booklets for the Liturgy Prefects. We have a great meeting with lots of ideas about how we can raise money to build a virtual village through this campaign.

The bell rings for registration and Amelia, the Form III Alpha Liturgy Prefect, explains to the rest of her class what World Gifts are as I take the register.

Lesson five is up in Parnassus with Upper VI. We begin the next topic, ‘Body, Soul, Personal Identity?’ and consider what the soul is and how we retain our personal identity after death… so a delightful, light discussion post lunch ensues! We watch a four minute panel discussion with the philosopher Richard Swinburne and spend twice as long interpreting his ‘philosopher’ talk into plain English.

Lesson six is another non-teaching lesson where I respond to emails, check the RE department Twitter account, read the latest press release concerning GCSE and A Level reform for RE, plan cover lessons and photocopy some extra reading for my Upper VI.

At the end of the day I collect my girls but we have to quickly pop to the IT room as I need to get a few more bits of work done on the computer. We leave at 5.30pm and head for home. It all proves too much for my youngest and she falls asleep in the car!

As I get in the door I head straight to the kitchen, it’s my turn to do dinner as my husband has rugby training. After we eat I put a load into the washing machine whist testing my eldest on her weekly spellings. I then sit down with her as she recites her Brownie Promise ready for tomorrow evening when she becomes a Brownie!

Bedtime story and prayers over, I head downstairs to prepare packed lunches, empty the dishwasher and the washing machine. My husband arrives back covered in mud from rugby so he loads the washing machine again!

At about 9.30pm I settle down to mark my Upper VI tests and finally read an article in The Tablet about female theologians that I’ve been meaning to read since Friday but haven’t had the time to.

After Newsnight, I do a quick tidy of the kitchen and I’m definitely ready for bed.’


Categories: Priory Post