Eight things you will never forget from your school days – but only if you were lucky enough to go to Chosen Hill School.
Former pupil Lois Beard, who is now studying Italian at Cardiff University, recounts the eight things she remembers best from her time at the school.
1. House music
House wars: four houses, one trophy. Carne, Masefield, Scott and Whittle were the names given to each house. Once arriving at Chosen Hill, you were assigned to a house which would become your coat of arms until you left. House music was a great laugh which involved both teachers and students; a competitive on-going tradition at Chosen Hill School.
2. PE lessons with Mrs Jones and Mr Warren
As a year 7 student you would fear PE lessons with these two teachers. Despite her height, Mrs Jones was one fiery lady who would push you to your best ability. Mr Warren was one man you wouldn’t mess around with. He had such authority over the students, a mutual respect. Rain or shine, you would be forced to go out and do your weekly hour of physical education. As you became older, they became less scary, greeting you around school with a smiley face (unless your top button was undone). These were considered the best times for some, a worst nightmare for others. Either way, we can all say that they were two remarkable teachers that will be missed dearly.
This was a particular highlight of my days at Chosen Hill. The panic the night before, realising that you were expected to bake a lemon drizzle cake the next day…QUICK, A TRIP TO TESCO! Thank god for 24 hour supermarkets. There was always one person who either forgot their ingredients or thought they could substitute sugar with salt. This is where the Great British Bake Off began. Everyone wanted to be the best.
4. The shame of wearing a huge green blazer which you’ll eventually ‘fit into’
Your blazer would always be a little on the larger side. Why? “Because you’re at that age where you are constantly growing, you’ll fit into it”. They aren’t cheap, so the normal thing for parents of sprouting year 7 students to do would be to buy one to last at least 2-3 years. Unfortunately, this meant you would walk to school on your first day drowning in your horrendous green blazer, usually accompanied by a large backpack. The good thing about this – you weren’t alone.
5. Summer term- bye bye shirt and tie!
The time of year which we would all be eagerly awaiting – SUMMERTIME! This meant school uniform became a little more relaxed and you were allowed to wear a polo shirt instead of the oh so formal shirt and tie. There was always that one kid that would forget, and have instant regret as soon as he/she arrived at school to find out it was polo shirt season. Does anyone else remember those times the head teacher Sue Turner would wear a wooden tie? Is that a thing still? I’d love to know.
6. Being a prefect
This was like being the top-dogs of the school. You treated prefects with respect. If they asked you where you were going, you told them politely. If they wanted to skip the lunch queue, you let them. At least this was the way when I was there. You were even given a special tie, so that people knew you were a person to be respected. However, I’d imagine that nowadays things have changed, and most year 7s are goby and disrespectful towards the older years.
7. Ofsted inspections
Be on your best behaviour. Your uniform must be perfect – shirt tucked in, top button done up, appropriate hairstyles, no extreme piercings blah blah blah, so on and so forth. Do you remember these demands? Once upon a time, Chosen Hill actually smashed the Ofsted inspection out of the park, back in 2009 when the school was recognised as Outstanding…oh, and didn’t we know about it! At any given occasion we were reminded of our excellency, shame it went a little downhill after my year left.
8. Middle school assembly
You just knew that every time you walked into one of these assemblies, more than likely you would be doing so along to the soundtrack of Tina Turner’s smash hit – ‘Simply the best’. Yes, another weekly reminder that we were the best, better than all the rest.