Bouquet of the week
This week's flowers go to Ged Forster, head of middle school (Years 9, 10 and 11) at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Horncastle, Lincolnshire. "Going the extra mile couldn't be more appropriate in his case," says headteacher Tim Peacock. "He's one of those strange people who runs a lot."
Philippa Cooper, head of the school's PE department, nominated Ged because "he's original, he's brilliant and, for the benefit of the students, he's always there". She adds: "He never says 'No' when I ask for yet more of his time."
This is a school with a huge rural catchment area and a wide social mix - from doctor's children to the children of farm labourers. Many of them have no opportunity to socialise outside school, so great value is placed on extra activities.
First, there's the running club on Tuesday lunchtimes, when Philippa, Ged and half-a-dozen other teachers accompany 50 children on a one, two or three-mile run. "The streets of Horncastle clear as we charge through the town," says Ged. Sometimes they charge up Thimbleby Hill ("Yes, we do have hills in Lincolnshire") and on a clear day they can see Lincoln cathedral. Some children run a marathon in a term (two miles a week).
On Fridays another 50 pupils go swimming at the local pool, and Ged is one of the teacher helpers, supervising children across the busy Lincoln to Skegness trunk road.
And every September there's Year 7 camp. It's a self-sufficiency weekend when the school's new pupils pitch tents on the playing field and get to know each other with team-building games. It all needs staff to help and, again, Ged Forster is there. "I seem to get roped into things," he says, "but it's a great way to get to know the children."
For his day job, Ged heads the middle school and teaches economics and business studies. He also oversees the Young Enterprise scheme - companies run by sixth-formers - and the Duke of Edinburgh awards. Yet another example of a teacher working his socks off and enjoying it. Please send me more names - I know they are out there.
Bouquet of the Week is given in association with Marks Spencer. Names, please, on a postcard - and why - to Sarah Bayliss, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY