What teachers had to say about HRH's summer school

9th June 2006 at 01:00
Dr Bella Wheater, head of English at John Hampden grammar, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire: "There is a real buzz in the air at the moment at being surrounded by so many like-minded people. We've even been given some homework. The story I most enjoy in the classroom is the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, particularly Sir Gawain's fear of getting his head chopped off."

Gareth Davies, English teacher at Sawtry community college, Cambridgeshire:

"I am glad the Prince of Wales is going to make this kind of training available to more teachers. Most training is based on league tables and improving D to C grades not on reconnecting people with what got them into English in the first place. My favourite story is Hamlet because I have read it every year for the past 15 years and taught it for five of them and I still don't know what it is about. I think that it is a touchstone of quality."

Scott Baker, head of history and politics at Robert Clack secondary, Dagenham: "The summer schools renew my passion for history and give me a chance to listen to inspirational speakers. Subject knowledge gets neglected because of the pressure of exam results and league tables.

Opportunities to reconnect with the subject are few and far between, unless you are very pro-active. The story I most like telling children is King John and Magna Carta."

Lesley Bilby, history teacher at Brookfield community secondary, Chesterfield, said: "There was a time when teachers could develop their subject knowledge, but not anymore. It's very difficult to find the time, but these summer schools help. My favourite story in history comes from the Civil War, when Sir Edmund Verney took the Royalist side and died carrying the King's standard, while his son was a Parliamentarian."

Caroline Peet, headteacher of Queen Edith community primary in Cambridge, said: "The summer school has been a lovely opportunity for us to reflect about issues without being dictated to. We have been allowed to be autonomous and reflective, and pick up on new ideas."

Debbie Higham, headteacher at Vine inter-community primary at Cambourne, Cambridgeshire: "I'm so pleased we have been invited to this summer school.

We know that if we can start things at primary, they can be built on at secondary.

"My only regret is that we have to go home tonight, while the secondary teachers are staying on for four days."

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