Steve Arbon-Davis is nostalgic for scooters, Bowie and the Beatles

30th June 2006 at 01:00
Books I like

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. His novels are surreal and this one is inspired by the Beatles song; it involves a flashback to the 1960s to past love affairs, with lots of jazz and pop references. Reading this coincided with my own rediscovery of the Beatles, which I shared with pupils. We had an assembly based on Beatles songs.

Films I like

A great treat on a Saturday afternoon in winter is going to the Showroom independent cinema in Sheffield. One of my most memorable viewings was C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005, French language Canadian) which has a great soundtrack, harking back to Patsy Cline and Bowie; a story about a father's denial of his son's sexuality. Very uplifting.

Best inspiration

I love the paintings of Pete McKee, who was a sports cartoonist for the Sheffield Telegraph and has exhibited in lots of Sheffield galleries. His works are nostalgic, funny and wistful: musings on his working-class upbringing with images of families at the seaside and mates on scooters.

Something to share

I'm an obsessive collector of music. I have 1,000 vinyls and 400 CDs, all in alphabetical order, anything from Otis Redding to soul. I like stuff with raw edges - so much seems to be over-produced - and I hate dance music. I'm far too old, but I still read the NME.

Best resource

My favourite is Romeo and Juliet. The children get so much from studying it. Tough, streetwise kids write the most wonderful love letters. I used to be a sign language tutor and so I also get pupils to sign and sing songs while signing. We've done whole signing performances; it encourages the children to be expressive.

Looking forward to

It would be nice to take pupils to St Lucia, because we've been studying the island and its culture as part of an ICT project. But we'll have to settle for Whitby, where we always go for our school trip. It's a great send-off for Year 6.

Steve Arbon-Davis, 41, is deputy head at Arbourthorne primary, Sheffield, which is taking part in Showcomotion, Sheffield's annual young people's film festival. Between now and July 8 every child in the school, from nursery to Year 6, will see two films linked to literacy work. Interview by Elaine Williams

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