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'Good teachers listen to what you say'

Hayley Phillips, 14, is a Year 10 pupil at The Ridgeway School in Swindon

Hayley Phillips, 14, is a Year 10 pupil at The Ridgeway School in Swindon

Hayley Phillips, 14, is a Year 10 pupil at The Ridgeway School in Swindon

What's your favourite subject and why?

English because you can use your imagination. I love reading too. We've just done An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestly, which was great. I also like the Harry Potter books and Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison.

What makes a good teacher?

A good teacher listens to what you've got to say and plans their lessons well. I don't like the ones that shout all the time or teachers who treat us badly because a few pupils are misbehaving.

What do you most like and dislike about school?

I like drama and English lessons. Drama helps build confidence and, because you're working in a group, you make new friends. I don't like the toilets; they're dirty, cracked and stained. Most of the classrooms in general need a makeover.

What's the best lesson that you've ever had?

It was a geography lesson. We played "Geography at the movies" (, which is a movie game that the teacher put up on the smart board. We ended up having a singalong as we watched the films.

What would you change about your school if you could?

I would make it cleaner and enforce a zero tolerance approach to bullying.

If you were headteacher, what would you introduce at school?

I'd encourage more work on computers and more enrichment activities outside of school. Smaller classes would also give more time with the teacher.

What would you like to be when you are older?

I'd like to be either a journalist or an author because I love writing, especially horror stories.

How do you think society sees young people?

They see us as people without brains who can't think straight. Our society judges everyone the same just because a few teenagers go astray and take drugs, drink alcohol, smoke and all the rest of it.

What's your favourite slang wordphrase at the moment? What does it mean?

Groove or groovy - it speaks for itself.

What's your most treasured possession?

Definitely my wardrobe. I couldn't survive without my sparkly tops and dresses, also my iPod; life without music isn't life.

What celebrity would you most like to be like?

Hayden Panettiere. She's got a great role in a TV show that I love called Heroes. She's smart, she saves the whales and she's got lush hair.

What's your favourite clothes label?

Chanel. I went to Harrods and saw their clothes; they were amazing. All I could afford, though, was a bright pink lipstick for pound;11. For something more affordable, I like Jane Norman.

What's your earliest memory?

I remember being sung to as a baby. My dad is a really bad singer.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?

Power mimicry, that way I could copy other people's powers. If not, then mind reading, it would be so embarrassing to know what other people are thinking.

"If I was prime minister for a day I would ..."

Try to create world peace, and failing that I would send money to people in Africa.

"I wish adults would sometimes ..."

Let us have a life. It's like "you've had your life, let me have mine".


Your weekly guide to those classroom and playground phrases that seem to make no sense:

- Tonk: Well built, muscular. "Look at the size of him. He is tonk."

- Word: Used as a friendly greeting, like "hi". "Word, how's it going?"

- Cankle: A calf merging to an ankle without definition. A blend of the words calf and ankle.

- Hulking-out: Describes an angry reaction to something. Refers to the cartoon The Hulk, when Bruce Banner transforms into his alter ego.

- Schlomping: Describes a relaxing time, talking with friends, watching TV or listening to music.

Source: Teenage Slang glossary, put together by third year students studying BA English at the University of Leicester.

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