Rock on to respect in class

9th September 2005 at 01:00
Class trips to gigs by Motorhead and Green Day are helping pupils relate to their teachers, reports Arabella Lane

A Dorset science teacher has an unusual way of getting children to listen to him in class - he takes them to rock concerts.

Graham Fogarty came up with the idea last year after he bought tickets to a concert by Motorhead, the heavy-metal band.

The 39-year-old said: "I thought, 'Why not take some of the youngsters - it would be a new environment for them.' It's good for them to chat to us rather than just talking about the syllabus."

Since then, he and other teachers have taken a group of 52 students from Rossmore community college in Poole, Dorset - dubbed the Rossmore Rockers - to see the rock band Green Day, in Milton Keynes.

Teenagers, who pay for their tickets, are taken by coach and minibus to the rock concerts to help them bond with teachers.

One of the pupils who went to the gig, Alex Loe, 15, said: "You never really talk to your teachers. I spoke to a maths teacher on the coach and found out we liked the same music. Now I think some teachers are pretty cool, and have more respect for them."

Joe Kelly, 15, another Rossmore Rocker, said: "Green Day were fantastic. It was the first time I'd been to a concert. I learnt that teachers have a fun side and can be relaxed. They don't just tell kids off - they like to have a good time, too."

Mr Fogarty, who sings in his own local band called The Deltics, has now left Rossmore to become head of science at Carter community school, in Poole. But he has promised to go with teachers and students from Rossmore to a Motorhead concert in November and hopes to start up a Carter Rockers group at his new school.

He said: "Teaching is about children and teacher relationships more than anything else. This makes the relationship better. Even if it only gets through to one student, that can permeate through the whole class."


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