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Culture vulture

Best book ever

Wuthering Heights is so accurate psychologically and the structure is flawless. It's like King Lear in its move from order to chaos, back to order again, but everything finally diminished. I have taught it to secondary A-level students and adults (I was a secondary English teacher before being drawn to primary education) and I never tire of it.

Best film ever

Anything French. The action in French films develops in a slow, careful manner with the focus on character, so different to frenetic American films. The last film I saw was Claude Sautet's Un Coeur En Hiver, a slow, beautifully crafted story of a love triangle.

Best on stage

Michael Grandage's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (just finished at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield) because the cast worked so brilliantly together, the set was very sparse and it brought out the dark side of the play and let the words speak for themselves. Twenty members of staff and 30 parents from school went to the opening night on pound;1 tickets. It was such a great night out. Last year, we went to see Grandage's The Tempest with Derek Jacobi; the year before it was Richard III with Kenneth Branagh.


The national professional qualification for headship site: I want to be a head and it's a good forum.

Event to share with pupils

I'm taking Year 6s to Hull for the Northern Ballet Theatre's production of Romeo and Juliet. I took Years 5 and 6 to Michael Grandage's Dream (above) and we also took Year 6 to Covent Garden to see Sleeping Beauty; we believe pupils from a poor area like this deserve to see performances of the highest quality.

Treat in store

The Joy Reynolds Theatre production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in Sheffield. My five-year-old daughter, who goes to Saturday theatre classes, is appearing as an Oompa-Loompa and I just can't wait to see her having to get into role and be someone else.

Joe Brian, 46, is deputy head at Arbourthorne community primary school, Sheffield, commended by Ofsted for its work with parents, and awarded the Arts Council's gold Artsmark for dedication to the arts. He was talking to Elaine Williams

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