School Memories 1

Here are a selection of school memories from past Alumni.

What did you enjoy about being at Urmston Grammar?

Looking back it was a fabulous school - enthusiastic teachers, many of whom communicated a real passion for their subject.  On the whole I think the students all worked hard too, so everyone did well.  I made a lot of friends that are still my closest friends today, and developed interests that have shaped the person I am today.  I think my favourite teacher was Mr Parker - English and Drama - he definitely heightened my love of English - and led me down the path of completing my degree.  I also have a very soft spot for Mrs Mclaughlin (PE) who told me in first year that I was good at hockey.  I'd never been sporty, and it was great to find my niche! I captained the school team and still play now!

Becky Shepherd (Dibben) 1994-2001

I enjoyed the whole family feel to the school and how well the teachers could get the best out of you. I felt you could have a laugh with them but also I knew when I needed to knuckle down and get working hence them getting the best out of me academically and as a person. I always felt you could talk to them and the teachers/lessons I didn't like (misbehaved in!) I secretly enjoyed them and was very fond of the teachers! Mr Corrigan and Mr Hines were particular highlights but I enjoyed every teacher I had for different reasons. I'd love to go back to see the behind the scenes, especially now I am in the same profession!

Tom Richardson 2005-2012

It was great there were so many rules to break without getting anywhere near to breaking the law e.g. walking down the street home from school with no hat eating ice cream.  The assumption that girls could do anything and everything.  My favourite lesson was chemistry, especially with Mrs Harris so somehow ended up with physics and maths as well which were not my best. Miss Jobling liked her sciences!

Margaret Kinsella 1963-1970

I enjoyed Art lessons with Mr Kilby; English with Mr Dickson in the first year and Mr Dixon later on. They always brought the subject to life and got my imagination going. I also enjoyed Economics in 6th Form with Mr Lawrence. I liked any teacher that showed their human side and I felt I could relate to in some way or other. I used to like Mme Garrett in French, she was always nice to me, so I was disappointed to be put in top set for French with Mrs Cooley. I did my best to get dropped down in my first two assessments by getting D grades but Mrs Cooley made me have extra lessons and I quickly got up to an A. That will always stay with me as a particularly inspiring bit of teaching. I loved doing the school plays with Mr Dickson - especially playing the music for 'The Spaceman' and I even came back after I'd finished to play in the school band.

Mark Acton 1983-1990

I loved UGSG as it was then and made some life long friends.  There were many wonderful teachers - Miss Ganley and Miss Forrest made their subjects come to life for me. One of my fondest memories was an Archaeology field trip to Dorset which Miss Forrest led, singing songs in the afternoon sunshine whilst walking across fields to look at long barrows.  Not a bad way to spend a few days.

Caroline Lord 1981-1988

I enjoyed the fact that girls could do anything - we didn't have to do traditional girls subjects and no one suggested we couldn't achieve anything we wanted.

Rosalyn Paterson 1984-1991

I loved the people and the atmosphere. All of the teachers I was taught by had an impact not only on me as a professional now, but as a person. They helped me become a gentleman. They taught me manners, how to respond and react to situations I never thought I would be in and develop my own personality. Our school was always seen as the best, and the reason for this was the teachers who worked tirelessly to make it so. I loved the people and friends I made at UGS too. I still have the same friends now as I had when I went to the school. We still see each other when I am home and still spend free tie skyping. I was inspired by Mr Tighe, Mr Weems and Mrs Lyons (the three greatest teachers a student could ask for).

Drew Owen 2002-2010

The friendships I made, which are still strong almost 30 years after leaving.

Andrew Cuthbert 1983-1989

Particular highlights are struggling through A_Level maths mostly through 'teamwork' with James Knight-Gregson and Mr Tighe and his love of clouds, which actually turned out to be beneficial to me as I am now an airline pilot! Other teachers who I can count as a positive influence on me are Mrs Rogers (German) Mr Dickson and Mr Parker (English) and Mrs Day (Physics), all of whom I really enjoyed learning from, however successfully! Also of course Mrs Lyons who was a big help throughout 6th Form in supporting my future plans and ensuring I was prepared for all outcomes.

Brad Astbury 2002-2009

The school had a community feel and caring ethos. The teachers were passionate about their subjects and about us as students. Their love of their subjects was clear and even when we weren't invested in a topic their enthusiasm always came across. I was inspired by my teachers at school and now as a teacher myself I hope I replicate the positive learning experiences I had at UGS with my own students. I frequently refer to my English lessons with Mr Dixon and Geography with Mr Tighe and Mrs Lyons when I'm talking to my classes. They were three of the most amazing teachers I have ever come across, we were so lucky to have them. Having transferred into the school for my GCSEs I cannot begin to describe the difference UGS and the staff there made to me and my future as well as the amazing friendships I still have with my classmates.

Candice Wright 1997-2001 

From day one there was a sense of belonging and pride that you were a pupil at UGS (probably down to the infamous "it's cool to be clever" speech from Mr Spinks!). There was a right amount of tradition upheld to make it feel like a 'real' Grammar School, along with massive changes taking place (a huge extension was built whilst I was there) to make you realise you were a very lucky student.My form was 'U' and my form tutor was Mrs Tancred (maths). Mt favourite subjects were English and Geography (and Mr Tighe probably my favourite teacher!) Something 'll always be grateful for was the opportunity to go to Costa Rica - just incredible!

Katie Scott 2002-2009

I look back on my time at UGS with very fond memories. There are specific stories that I could tell but in general it was the teachers that made it special. Mr Tighe was always my favourite and inspired me to follow my current career path. He had a way of bringing Geography and Geology to life. He really seemed to love his job and that transferred onto his students.It's such a shame that he has retired because there are generations out there that will not get the experiences that we did. No-one will ever replace Mr Tighe. Mrs Lyons, Mr Weems, Miss Stobie and Mr Parker are all teachers that made my time at UGS special.

Rochelle Taylor 1995-2003

I enjoyed the sense of community at UGS. At the time I think there was less than a thousand students. I found that this helped me to be familiar with school life fairly quickly. During my GCSE period my older sister was very poorly and sadly died when I was 15. The school was really supportive of me during this time and afterwards and I rreally appreciated the time that they gave me. They were very understanding and supported me both academically and personally. My maths teacher at the time would often give me time to talk about how I felt which was needed because school was often an escape for me when things were hard at home. I loved sixth form. It was a great time and allowed me to gain more independence and a sense of adulthood. I really enjoyed sociology. Mrs Kinder was, and always will be my most memorable teacher. The way she taught me and everything I learnt from her allowed me to recognise my own perspectives of society and how we function and why. I believe this has allowed me to follow the path I have done.

Hannah Finney 2002-2009

Looking back, I liked how everything was improving all the time especially a brand new school extension at Newton Road, mixing with the boys etc. We were all privileged to attend a school where the emphasis was on learning. I don't think at the time I appreciated it as much as I do now. I made some good friends and the fact I would love to go and look around proves I have good memories. 

Donna Blair (Larkin) 1987-1995

I was one of those pupils who enjoyed going to school. I will say that the standard of teaching there is amazing and I honestly believe I can attribute my current success to all who taught me. I chose the Science route after much deliberation as I was unsure what to do with myself back then, namely because I enjoyed a number of subjects. I had a number of science teachers, but the ones I mainly came into contact with were Mrs Hesford, Mrs Harris and Mr McGeogh. For my other subjects, I was taught mainly by Mr Dickson, Mr Weems, Mrs King (French), Mr Tighe, Mr Struthers and Mrs Hughes. I want to thank them all and any I forgot to mention for my current successes as I wouldn't have been able to do it without them.

Fiona Yip (Stout) 1993-1999