• Headteacher Talk Educate Magazine St John Bosco Arts College

Darren Gidman from St John Bosco Arts College

One thing I wished I had learned at school:
Is Mandarin. I took a group of Year 9 students during February half term to China. Having the ability to speak Mandarin would have allowed me to speak, without the need of a translator to our hosts. We visited Number 2 Foreign Language School in Wenghou China. It was a fabulous cultural opportunity for the students at St John Bosco and the students and staff learned a great deal. We have incorporated Mandarin into the curriculum which has helped the students develop strong friendships with their Chinese counterparts.

The book I haven’t read that I must:
I know I must read the Harry Potter series.  At St John Bosco developing students’ literacy skills is a real focus which allows our students to make better progress in all their subject areas. Each year we have a Harry Potter evening where the staff and students dress up as key characters from the series of books. It really is a pleasure to see our students discussing their favourite characters and scenes from the book, the joy our students get from the books is infectious and the evening has a magical quality; however I haven’t dressed up myself …yet!

The education story that has caught my eye:
Television presenter Chris Packham praises two inspiring, passionate teachers who helped him become a successful naturalist. I read this article in the Guardian newspaper and it reminded me of how great teaching can inspire and motivate all students to achieve. Chris talks about his biology teacher being so enthusiastic and this has inspired him to achieve in this subject area. We truly are in a great profession and are in a position to shape the future and provide lasting opportunities for the students in our care.

What I am most proud of about our school:
The students! Our students come to school eager to learn and are a pleasure to teach. They are open, honest and ready to take on the challenges of the 21st Century with both hands. The students this week have blown me away by their supportive nature, certainly supporting the new Year 7’s settling into life at St John Bosco. Our students are never afraid to speak their minds; whether that’s through the Student Council or the Liverpool School Parliament.
I am also proud of our staff who work hard to provide the best opportunities for the students. This includes a whole range of extra- curricular activities after school at weekends and during the holiday period. St John Bosco truly is a fabulous place to learn and work!

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About Author: Alan Birkett