Back to School…

I wanted my last piece for BBC Kent to be a bit more personal than previous pieces so I decided to go back to my old school, Maidstone Girls Grammar (MGGS) to report on House Arts.

Every year the three house leaders of the six houses have to recruit volunteers from their houses for various events such as sports day. Arguably, House Arts is the most important event on the house calendar with a lot of work going into it during the first 6 weeks of the academic year.
In 2006 when I was house leader of the Vikings, we put on a production of Pygmalion. It was 25 minutes long and featured students between 11 and 18. It was literally my baby, I worked on the script and design ideas over the summer and then directed, produced and had a small last minute role in the final performance. The judge described it as ‘the most professional piece’ of the six. It was literally a seven year long dream come true when we won the event. I think I may even have shed a tear or two!
House Arts works on a three year cycle, with one year drama, the next dance and after that singing, before it comes full circle. The 2008 competition is about singing and I don’t envy the house leaders one bit. For some of them, sheet music will be a completely foreign language, like not being able to read Chinese.
Today I met some old teachers and interviewed them about the competition and deputy head/superstar Mr Harris assembled Head of music Mr Chapman and the 18 house leaders in a room for me! After what felt like an informal press conference with me running around dictaphone in hand, I got to have a more personal chat with the new Vikings House Leaders (they’re awesome!) and realised how, despite many material changes, the school heart that I loved still remains.
Post ‘conference’ I spoke to the Head Teacher, Mrs Smith and deputies Mr Horstrup and Mrs Creaney (also a former english teacher of mine.) I’ve offered my help should they need it concerning work experience etc. I also popped up to have a brief visit with Mr Down, one of the most fabulous teachers ever who was another of my english teachers. Down to personal reasons, I had difficulties last year but Mr Down pushed me and without him I would not have my A grade English A level, (the same with Mrs Harris Tanzer of drama who I also got to have a lovely chat with.)
Tomorrow is my last day at the BBC Kent office as Blast reporter. These last three weeks have flown by and I can’t wait to get back to Birmingham, however I shall miss it a lot. It’s opened so many doors and also my eyes. If I should choose it, a future in the media is within my grasp, I just have to work for it.
Frank. 
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