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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 6 January 2002
Being a teacher and having survived the dreaded OFSTED, I was drawn to read about the life of a school inspector in the hope that it would make them seem more human! Gervase Phinn writes with honesty and warmth abouth his experiences whilst working as an inspector in North Yorkshire.
At times I was laughing out loud at his tales. Phinn describes in detail the sort of embarrassing incidents that you believe only happen to yourself! I especially loved his account of when he caught head lice and then passed them on to all his colleagues in the education department!
Phinn details the lessons that he has observed and the words of wisdom that came from the mouths of the children. He shows a genuine interest in the children and is at times moved to tears by their contributions.
This book will be enjoyed by anyone with a sense of humour but especially those in the education sector!
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on 6 November 2001
I'm a school secretary and (although I don't always come across incidents in the same situation as a teacher may do), during my 11 years in this job, I have seen and heard some very, very funny things! Gervaise Phinn just sums them all up!
You don't have to work in a school to appreciate the humour and events contained within this author's books. Everyone can identify with the characters (we all know at least one of them!) and, especially if you are from Yorkshire, you cannot fail to smile at many of the little anecdotes contained within!
A lovely book and a joy to read!
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on 9 January 2003
Gervase Phinn writes in the way you imagine most teachers would - with a wry view of the world supported with anecdotes from the classroom. The result in this case is a tale that I could not put down.
Phinn describes superbly the landscape and attitudes of Yorkshire. If you have lived there and loved it as I have, then so much of this will ring true.
I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who is diconbobulated by the violence and harshness of City living - a true tonic!
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This is the second book in the Dales series (It goes 'The Other Side of the Dale', 'Over Hill and Dale', 'Head Over Heels in the Dale', 'Up and Down in the Dales' and 'The Heart of the Dales'). They tell the story of Gervase Phinn's school inspector days. This book is about his second year.

The book made me chuckle to myself but it wasn't quite as good as the first. This wasn't helped by the fact that I have read 'Twinkle, Twinkle' (which is a collection of tales by Gervase) and many of the tales from this book are in there. I also read it straight after the first and feel it might be an idea to have a break between the books so they don't become too 'samey'.

I will read the rest of the series, just not one after another.
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on 13 May 2001
I've just finished reading this book and am so disappointed that I'm now going to have to wait until October for Mr Phinn's new book to be published. It's warm, gentle humour has had me laughing out load .......and I'm not a teacher !!! If you want a feel good read, buy this book and enjoy!!
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on 11 December 2001
I loved this book. It is full of witty and well observed incidents. The characters are nicely described and the scenery......well it makes you want to go. These books are similar to the Herriot series.
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on 16 June 2010
This is more of the same from Gervase Phinn - the second year of his job as a school inspector in the Yorkshire Dales. Once again, we meet a cast of wonderful characters, including the three other inspectors - Harold, David and Sidney; Connie, the rather draconian caretaker of the Staff Development Centre; and, of course, Miss Christine Bentley, the beautiful young headmistress that Phinn is gradually falling in love with.

The writing is eloquent and at times beautiful, as Phinn describes the awesome sights of the Yorkshire Dales that he encountours in the course of his school inspections. There is also a wonderful sense of his deep and abiding respect for the institution of teaching, and the part that teachers have to pay in the formative years of children.

The children here are the stars of the show - blunt, yet innocent Yorkshire children who are more accustomed to seeing rabbits being shot as pests than as the main characters in stories by Beatrix Potter! There are little anecdotes about each school visit, including some lovely tales of nativity plays.

The other side of the Yorkshire Dales is also explored here - the inner city schools and in some places the dire lack of basic education for children who are not expected to amount to more than factory workers and labourers.

Altogether, a delightful book.
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on 17 January 2014
I just like the way Gervase writes. This should be required reading for anyone in education about to have an Ofsted inspection.
I love his descriptive prose. Good to read modern English by somebody that can still write in English. I thought that art had died with Thomas Hardy!
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on 16 May 2015
Wonderful book.....made me laugh a lot. He really captures Yorkshire not only the glorious countryside but also the characters and their delightful humour and blunt way of speaking. Will definitely read more.
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on 2 October 2013
Well written by a man that loves Yorkshire and its children in particular! Laugh out loud in places, some of his characters are really well drawn! Gervaise doesn't mind sending himself up and I so enjoyed his pursuit of Christine! I took the book on holiday and read and enjoyed it too quickly! Such a good read for anybody.
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