Bev Goodwin;Bouquet of the week

15th January 1999 at 00:00
At their best, primary schools are places which bring out creative talent in mums and dads as well as children. By becoming a parent at such a school and meeting imaginative teachers, some adults find their lives changed forever.

Take Bev Godwin, mother of four, who was working as a nurse when her first child began at Foxmoor primary in Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Since childhood Bev has played in a brass band - she was nine when her father brought home a euphonium in a sack and left it at the end of her bed. Soon she joined him in the Chalford Brass Band, founded in 1885, based in a village near Stroud.

She had instrumental lessons at secondary school but her brass playing remained just a hobby. "I'd always wanted to teach brass," she admits, "but I believed I wasn't good enough."

Her ambition began to take shape when her eldest daughter Hannah started at Foxmoor. "Children started knocking on our door when they heard us playing," she says. (Bev plays the tenor horn, having graduated from that old euphonium, while her husband, Andy, plays the cornet.) "They were saying they wanted to learn."

Gradually, but with firm encouragement from Foxmoor's headteacher Nanette Maycock, Bev's involvement grew - first with a small group of children playing in a lunchtime club, then performing in a school concert.

Recognising the talent they had in their midst, Foxmoor asked Bev to become the school's brass teacher. "It snowballed from there," says music co-ordinator Kirsty Carter, who nominated Bev for Bouquet of the Week.

Enthusiasm and expertise are infectious and now four out of every 10 children at Foxmoor are learning assorted instruments in an area that is not well-heeled. They are loaned from the county or from the Chalford Band which children are joining through Bev.

Her ambition now is to qualify as a teacher. "I just slipped into this almost by accident, but it is a great opportunity to do something I really enjoy."

People like Bev Godwin want to join a profession that's highly valued and gives real job satisfaction. Several articles this week focus on what the future holds for teachers - a feature on getting familiar with computers (page 4) and a section on career development (pages 18-25).

Bouquet of the Week is given in association with Marks amp; Spencer. Names, please, on a postcard - and why - to Sarah Bayliss, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY

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