School Memories 8

Making some really good friends that I've kept for the last fifteen years. And the teachers were great. I remember Mr Dixon and Mr Tighe particularly fondly. Also the academic standards - it was the platform for what I went on to do afterwards.

Christopher Cotton 1998-2001

Great teaching - especially in science and maths, mixing with the boys school.

Sarah Jagger 1985-1992

I loved school, particularly the sports side, playing hockey in goal and rounders, spending many a happy lunch hour on the Astr turf! Thanks to the support of Mrs Mclaughlin in PE, I played hockey for the County and carried this on into my twenties.

April Butcher 1996-2003

My classmates who quite a few I am still in touch with. Mrs Sanderson was my fav teacher - I still see her occassionally at the golf club. I was rubbish at maths but she never gave up on me.

Tracie Barton 1976-1981

I loved how close knit everyone was and there was a real sense of community. Mike Spinks was also an incredible head master and he really encouraged the school ethos.

Emily Mendeika (Ball) 2007-2009

I attended during the extension being built and the coaches between the two sited. We enjoyed an extended summer holidays as the building work over-ran, 10 weeks I believe! I was always very interested in science and particularly enjoyed opportunities to take an idea or concept and explore it to it's limits. Even at GCSE Level, I was able to conduct experiments more like research, and spent a lot of time in the Physics and Biology labs. This lead to me winning the Shell award for better science in 5th year. I still have the newspaper cuttings somewhere! I have to thank Mrs Athey, Mrs Ruthvern and Mrs Merritt for their support, even though I must have driven them absolutely bonkers by not doing a tap of homework....Hmmmm. I also helped out with the school computers....I.T. was fairly new to the education environment and I learned a lot helping with laptops and devices in the science department. This lead lead to a successful career in I.T.

John Tollitt 1989-1996

Amazing teachers. We were so lucky! I couldn't possibly pick one teacher who had the greatest impact on me, but I do remember Mrs Philamore (formerly Miss Clark) and Mrs Digweed teaching me English and my A Level maths and chemistry teachers, Mrs Parker and Mrs Boydell and Mrs Merritt and Mr Cull respectively.

Natalie De Sousa 1986-1993

Not a lot really! School days were not the happiest for me. My favourite subject was art with Miss Shaw, she was lovely and it turned out to be my best subject.

Pat Leversedge 1959-1964

In the first year we were just and all girls Grammar school, but then mixed with the boys Grammar on Bradfield Road and spent the next couple of years attending lessons between the two sites. I absolutely enjoyed every minute of school. I was not by any means the brightest pupil who attended school, but I got on well with all my teachers, had a good laugh with my friends, chased a few boys and got away with as much as I possibly could including wearing the wrong jumper, sneaking out at lunch. I enjoyed learning and have fond memories of being at school. Mr Dickson (English) - marked me 29 out of 30 in my English oral presentation (highest in the class), for preparation, presentation and content and marked me down on 1 point because I said "erm" once!!! Someone even mentioned this to me at a reunion this year. This has always stayed in my mind when speaking in front of groups - which is even more applicable now that i am a trainer. Mr Holleran (English) for at least believing me when burglars stole my homework (they actually did when they used my school bag to put the jewellery in!!!)

Vickie Chatterton 1987-1992

Hmm, that's a difficult question to answer, simply because I have so many fond memories of my time at UGS and enjoyed almost all of my lessons and teachers. The building at Newton Road (prior to the renovation and extension work) had something mystical, awesome and imposing about it - a kind of Hogwarts for muggles. Maybe that was due to the large number of forbidden, no-go areas (such as "the pond", the balcony in the main hall, beyond the school gates without a "pass" at lunchtime or during school hours), the authority of the teachers, most of whom were able to command respect or instill fear (in a positive, disciplined sense) with a simple glare or the fact that the school was steeped in tradition. My favourite teacher was undoubtedly Mr Nolte and, not surprisingly, my favourite subject German. Looking at my career path and where I am today, I think it's safe to say Mr Nolte was also the most influential of my teachers. I was also very fond of history with Mr Herbert and it was Mr Herbert who organised and led my favourite school holiday to Quiberon, France. That said, I enjoyed each and every one of my school outings, including my first year history trip to Vindolanda (Hadrian's Wall) and Styal Mill. I also remember enjoying Home Economics in the old kitchen at the Newton Road site with Mrs Dutton, and then at the Bradfield Road site I was fascinated by experiments in the physics lab with Mr Pennington and biology with Mrs Cooper and Mrs Athey. I really looked forward to our "own clothes days", when we were even giddier than usual, swanning around in our casuals and otherwise forbidden jewelry and make-up. The last lessons of each term, which usually comprised of some kind of word games, board games, funny role-plays or story telling in the round, were an absolute highlight. Everybody was in wind down mode, including the teachers, and it really helped build up the excitement to Christmas or the summer holidays.

Sarah-Lou Nicholls 1985-1992