Long ago, in the days when I was naive, innocent and, dare I say, young, I thought that diving was the planet’s main repository of acronyms. SCUBA, BSAC, PADI, NAUI, ABLJ (remember those?), BC, AAS, ITC, PIE, TIE, IFT, NDC, NDO… The list could be very long. And boring. And growing – let’s add in ERD. But then I discovered education. I had of course encountered education before, but only as an end user, one who sat in a classroom and did as she was told. I didn’t realise that that Latin teacher whose life we made such a misery – yes, even in a respectable girls’ grammar school we could make life hell for an innocent – I didn’t realise that she was probably an NQT. I did have to find out what an UCCA form was but really, that was about it.
Now, however, in my present incarnation as an enormously responsible and troublesome parent, I’m having to learn a whole new vocabulary of acronyms and jargon. I regularly used to have to stop the head during School Board meetings: “Excuse me, what does that mean? Could you explain this?” I often feel it’s a secret code designed to keep something of a fence between the professionals on side and the parents on the other. “There, there. Don’t you worry your pretty head about this.” I have been learning, of course, although I haven’t yet been to an Educational Jargon and Acronym Class for the Uninformed and Largely unTrained non-Expert. I’ve sort of figured out NQT, LTS, ACfE amongst others and I’ve explained, as far as I’m able, Standard Grade Credit, General, Foundation, Int 1 and Int 2 to GPD on numerous occasions. I have a glimmering of understanding about CAT and MidYis. But NAAB? What on earth is this and where did it spring from?
I spotted it in GP1’s diary the other day. Physics NAAB. Close Reading NAAB (whispers – I’m still not entirely clear what close reading is. Reading in the smallest room perhaps, my favourite escape route from washing up as an 11yr old.) Anyhow, I posed the question. “I dunno. They’re easy.” “What do you mean easy? Are they a test?” “I dunno.” “General knowledge? Or do you have to revise?” Meanwhile, his younger brother was jumping up and down excitedly. “You have to pass them. I heard someone else talking about them.”
I’ve been trying to figure out what it might mean, without resorting instantly to Google. National Assessment for Archetypal Bores. National Audit and Assessment of Boffins. Normalised Axis of Archaeopteryx Breeders. Anyhow, I’m no wiser. Please someone, what’s a NAAB? Is it important?