Within an institution the size of Bournemouth School, it is inevitable that there are several departing teachers every year. This year has been no exception.
The following members of staff are leaving us:
- Mr Bishopp (Maths)
- Miss Hamilton (RS)
- Mr Heyes (D&T)
- Dr Jolly (Psychology)
- Miss King (English)
- Mr Linklater (Maths)
- Mr Wootton (Drama)
The Bournemouthian spoke to some of them before their departure.
Mr Bishopp came into teaching after a career in the Royal Air Force. After the RAF, he went to university and became a maths teacher. Although retiring from his part-time teaching role, he will continue to help with the Combined Cadet Force, and has said that he will cover maths classes when teachers are off for a while. He is currently on the annual RAF camp.
Mr Heyes is the current longest serving member of staff, and has written memoirs of his time at the school, published in The Bournemouthian. He was born in St. Helens, Merseyside, and grew up on a farm. After studying to become a teacher at Shoreditch College, he taught in Croydon for several years, before coming to Bournemouth School.
In the future, he plans to combine travel and sport, particularly seeing England play cricket abroad. Nonetheless, he says that there will be plenty of relaxing, gardening, and all things retirement mixed in. He also plans to catch up with former colleagues in the extra time he will have.
Dr Jolly is currently head of psychology and form tutor for T3. She will be sorely missed – as will Freda, her campervan.
“I joined the school in 2008 from Clifton College in Bristol and I have absolutely loved the colleagues that I’ve worked with in my time here. In particular, those who have known me for a long time will know that I particularly enjoyed working with Mrs Looker, Mr Reidy and Mrs Watson. Of course, the most constant person who I’ve had to put up with in the sixth form block ever since the beginning is definitely Mr Beal – and he’s been brilliant – although we have had a constant fight about what’s better: psychology or business studies. I think psychology has won. For me, the most noticeable change has been girls coming in to the sixth form. That’s made a big difference because since they joined I think all of my classes have included girls. It’s made for some interesting moments in classes and I would say it’s definitely made the job more enjoyable overall. In the future, I’m hoping very much that I will still be teaching in some capacity or that I will have some sort of role in education. However, I hope the future also holds a little bit of surfing and a few other interesting things. Finally, I would like to say that the students that I have taught here have been absolutely wonderful and I’ve really enjoyed teaching all the classes that I’ve ever had here.”
Mr Linklater grew up in Kent, attending Cranbrook School, a grammar which counts Harry Hill amongst its former students. He studied Mathematical Sciences at the University of Bath, before gaining a teaching certificate from UWE. After moving to Dorset, he taught at Rossmore Community College (now St. Aldhelm’s Academy), then at Lytchett Minster School. He joined the Bournemouth School three years ago, as 2nd in the maths department hierarchy.
He is leaving us for Twynham School, where he will take up the role as Head of Mathematics, of a much larger department. Dr. Lewis described the move as “a much deserved promotion”.
Mr Wootton: “I came to the school in 2007 and I was working up in Somerset in a town called Crewkerne before that. Inevitably, as a drama teacher, I will say that there is a certain stress but also an immense buzz when there’s a school production. The positive aspect of that, which I do enjoy, is seeing so many people working together and taking a real pride in getting something accomplished by a deadline. I think I hit particularly lucky with Jesus Christ Superstar. I had a very very talented set of students. I’m not saying that I don’t now but they were particularly strong back then. We were blessed with the support of Mark Houston who has subsequently gone on to drama school and hopefully fame and fortune playing Judas in that. It also coincided very nicely with the occupy movement that invaded St Paul’s Cathedral and that of course had some very nice parallels with the Jesus Christ Superstar story so we managed to give it quite a sort of contemporary buzz as well. But what particularly pleased me back then was that we were in a position whereby we could work collaboratively with BSG and Bishop of Winchester as well. That was part of the school’s outlook which was very much to work with other schools to make some very substantial productions. Yes, it had some dicey moments – they always do because people’s commitment tends to sort of clock in a little bit late. But when it does clock in, it does so with a vengeance so yes that was a moment of some pride. Heaven forbid I should say I haven’t enjoyed working with anybody. I’m particularly appreciative to the heads of English that I’ve worked with. Mr Hubbard was a fountain of wisdom, consideration and he was very nurturing and Mr Rixon has definitely sustained that pattern with a bit of extra Welsh wizardry to go with it. There has been wonderful support from Mrs Denson and her predecessor Mrs Claxton in terms of getting the Drama programme as energised and as full as possible. Mrs Claxton did her training here and went on and has made a great success of her teaching career subsequently. As subject leader of Drama, of course I’m prone to say that I’ve seen it grow and shrink – that’s been the most dramatic change for me which has taken some adjusting to shall we say. It has fluctuated very much but I think to some extent that reflects what the political expectations are of education. When I started out, the performing arts were (under the labour government) a lot more encouraged in all schools whereas I think the received wisdom from the likes of Gove, Nicky Morgan and – I’m going now to give away my sheer ignorance because I can’t remember who the new education secretary is. Anyway, the received wisdom has been to push the EBAC and science a bit more and therefore we’ve struggled. I think it’s a sadness because the performing arts has been a big success story across all strata of society and at the moment the tendency is to find that only the private schools can afford to support it as much as it needs to be and therefore the Eton clique are going to increase their stranglehold. So that’s been the big personal change for me. Of course, in terms of the school, I’ve seen my way through a couple of headmasters and I have obviously seen the introduction of girls to the school. Also changes in the school day but I think changes in terms of the subject are the ones that have effected me the most. The future holds a shift to a school that’s going to be more convenient from the point of view of family. I’ll be more closely located to them in Bridport over on the other side of Dorset. I’m also in a school where Drama seems to be a stronger element. That said, I am still going to be very much an English teacher too. All in all, that’s where I’m heading and for both personal and professional reasons it seemed like the right time to go. I have felt a very strong bond to the school. It’s in my blood and it’s going to take a long time to get it out of my blood. It’s brought me on a long way as a teacher and its made me enjoy my job a lot more so the place largely has happy memories for me. I hope that in the future, my pet subject Drama will gain a bit more of a profile but I cherish some happy memories.”
The Bournemouthian was unfortunately unable to speak to Miss King or Miss Hamilton. However, Miss King is moving to Poole Grammar School, while Miss Hamilton will be training to become an Educational Psychologist.
Image courtesy Chris Downer. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en