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Showing posts from November, 2015

From caterpillar to headteacher: episode three, another school and I begin to discover school is not fair

I imagine there was quite a party when I left Western Infants School, to move on to Carville Primary. That party was probably led and paid for by the headteacher, who I had got to know quite well, judging by the amount of time I spent in her office. Anyway, 'new beginnings...' as they say.
Carville was situated at the south of the town and involved a walk of about one and a half miles through Wallsend, across the High Street and down to the school. It was strange to me that I had to go there, as only about four hundred yards away from the bottom of Jubilee street, where we lived, was Buddle Primary school. But, it would seem that was not an option. So Carville it was. Carville school was not far from the river, the Tyne, and you could see the cranes and buildings of the shipyards from the school yard. Pupils were pulled in from all around the area. Most of this was what would now be called social housing, but near the school were some streets of private housing and so I was abo…

From caterpillar to headteacher - episode 2 where I continue my primary education and begin to not like school

This is my second post in which I explore my journey from childhood to headship.
At the end of my last post I had begun my early primary education at the Jubilee Infants school, Wallsend, but had few strong memories from the experience. Mind you it was some fifty odd years ago and so I could be excused for not recalling too much. As ever though, the memories I have, and continue to have, about all my schooling, are very much based on emotional ones, rather than cognitive. They are all times when I was very happy, or unhappy, or excited, or interested, or disinterested or bored, and often when I must have been a right pain for those trying to 'educate' me. Most, I suppose, are also connected to people rather than events. School friends, enemies, teachers, good and bad, my parents and my family.
I was a contradiction as a young child, robust and independent in many ways, but also subject to some illness and particularly fitting. No-one actually linked the fits I used to suffer fro…

From caterpillar to Headteacher: where I share my earliest memories in education and life

This post is hopefully the first of a series, and they aim to ask and answer the question of, How did I become the Headteacher I am today?

As I believe we are all a product of our experiences, good and bad, and to consider where I am now, I think we need to go right back in time to where it all began. Wallsend. Not perhaps the most suitably named starting point for any journey, but this is where my life journey began. Wallsend is on Tyneside, and was in Northumberland when I was a child, now I think it's in North Tyneside, though I know it hasn't moved. As it name indicates, Wallsend is at the end of a wall, Hadrian's wall to be precise, and it's Roman name was Segedunum. 
I was born into a working class family, where my father worked in the local coal mine, my mother worked part time for a local grocery chain in their shop on Wallsen High Street and I was the youngest of two children, my sister being two years older than me. We were both born in the early 1950s and s…