It’s got to be a good sign when past pupils are happy to kick off their teaching careers by heading back to their former school.
That’s certainly the case at Bilton CofE Junior School, which currently has two teachers who grabbed the chance to return to the place which proved an inspiration to them in their younger days.
The two in question are Beth Gale, a Year 5 class teacher and English co-ordinator, and Jonathan Evans, a Year 4 teacher and PE co-ordinator.
And while they are in an ideal position to inspire the current generation, the school is also looking to track down other past pupils to show the wide range of things people have gone on to do.
Head Alex Norton said: “Our motto is ‘Inspire, Challenge, Achieve’ and we are always looking at ways to inspire our children.
“I have been teaching at the school for 13 years so know the university graduates coming through now and I would love to see what people went off to do after their good grounding at our amazing school.”
Both Beth and Jonathan had no doubt about the decision to come back. In a curious turn of events both started teaching in what had been their own Year 6 classroom, while they also had to adjust to some of their new colleagues having been on the staff when they were pupils.
Beth was at BJS from 1999-2003 and said: “Many of my memories are of the fun stuff. We made Greek pots and because we had a kiln we were able to fire them. We did rounders on the field, there was the Millennium event and the Year 6 play when my twin sister got the lead role and I was gutted!”
By now she had declared she wanted to be a teacher, going on to Bilton High, Warwickshire College and then to York St John University.
Jonathan, two years older than Beth, planned a different career, intending to go into design. He went to Ashlawn and then to Coventry University to study product design but as he finished his degree he realised he wanted more than the office job that seemed to lie ahead.
So after a spell as a volunteer teaching assistant he did a PGCE at Warwick and also headed back to BJS and its many good memories.
“I remember quite a lot of the creative subjects and also, getting picked for the football team in Year 6 was a big thing for me.”
And like so many ex-pupils, one name loomed large as they looked back on those days, the legendary Mr Collins.
If you’re a past pupil of any BJS generation and would like to share your story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org