Sunday September 2 1997

Dear diary,

I hope it will be good at comprehensive school tomorrow. I hope it's a place where:

- we can have fun

- we can learn all sorts of things like how to swim 16 metres

- we can do art together

- we can do sports like football, basketball, hockey and cross-country

- we can learn how to do hard work and read hard books

- we will be treated like adults

- we can be independent

- we can get more freedom as we grow older

- we can wear the clothes we like

- we can make more friends

- we can listen to music

- we can learn to cook

- we can choose our own dinners

- we can choose the subjects that we like

- we can learn different languages

- we can go on trips abroad

- we can learn about different people

- we can listen to stories about different things

- we can learn to use the computer properly

- we can win competitions and get prizes

- we can get Merit Marks, Good Behaviour cards and Student of the Week awards

- we learn about paying attention

- we can help ourselves to make a better life

- we can prepare for university or a good job

- we can feel safe because bullies are punished

I hope it will be good at comprehensive school tomorrow. I have heard it's a place where:

- there are too many people and you don't know who they are

- you get bullied because you're new

- you get your head flushed down the toilet (that's the wolsingham Welcome)

- you get called horrible names

- you get play-time, dinner-time and after-school detentions

- you get put in isolation in Room 60 if you're bad

- some kids swear at the teachers and threaten to belt them

- some kids push you in the dinner queue

- some kids nick your dinner money

- some kids go shop-lifting in the dinner-break

- some kids smoke in the toilets

- some kids offer you drugs

- some kids mess about on the school bus and the big ones nick your seat

I hope everything will be alright tomorrow.