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"A Day That I'll Remember Forever." - Felix, Year 7

Published by Bethany School on Monday 27th of March 2023

We caught up with Mr Healy and Felix, Year 7, to hear both of their first hand accounts of the 'Headmaster for a day' swap that took place earlier this month.

Indeed, this was all for a great cause and raised £3,970 for the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. The Bethany community has done itself proud once again.

Being Headmaster for a day
By Felix Hardie, Year 7

On Friday morning, I came to School and I went to reception where I met the receptionist Amy and I demanded that she tell Mr Healy to come and collect me to bring me to my office. Then Mr Healy showed me around my building and we went to Mr Sturrock’s office, my PAs office, Mrs Hill’s office, the Bursar Mrs Morey and her staff, HR Department where we met Miss Carter and Danielle. Then we went to the marketing department and met Sam the Communications Officer and I saw the Covid testing machine which cost over £40,000 and was used to test staff and pupils for Covid.

We went to the Art School to meet the Art Technician who was going to put my portrait up on the wall with all of the other Headmasters in the stairwell leading to my office and then we went into my office. I learnt how to use a Dictaphone. This is a machine that you speak into and then you give the tape to the secretary who then types it up. This is how I created this report.

I was asked by my PA what refreshments I would like and I chose apple juice and biscuits. I also allowed Mr Healy to have a cup of tea and my Deputy Michael also had apple juice and biscuits.

The 3 of us then worked on the calendar for the 2024/2025 academic year, which is the year after next. This was more complicated than it seems due to different state school term times as many Bethany parents have children in both state and private schools and the holidays need to overlap.

The marketing team then interviewed me for my views on the School. My picture was put up on the wall leading to my office and various pictures of me where taken in my office and by the portrait on the stairwell by Sam from the Marketing Department.

The next meeting was with the Registrar who organises the entry of pupils to Bethany. She explained about the complicated process of admitting pupils from overseas.

The next thing we did was to walk around the school campus to see what was needed to be done before the next Open Morning which is on the same day as my birthday. I made several suggestions which I expect to be carried out promptly.

Michael and I then spoke to Danielle from Human Resources. She explained in great detail about all that Bethany has to do when it employs a new person.

Then I brought Michael and Mr Healy for an early lunch. After this I decided that I wanted to go off site to continue with normal my rock climbing enrichment activity as I needed a break. I left Mr Healy in temporary charge while I was away.

When I returned, I joined Mr Healy in a meeting with a prospective parent who asked me about my opinions about Bethany.

The final meeting of the day was with the catering department who told me that they order a thousand eggs every 3 days! They explained why they have to offer a balanced diet each meal. I told them that my favourite day was Friday because I love chicken burgers.

I enjoyed my whole day of being a Headteacher at Bethany but it is a lot more than you think.

If I am being honest, I was pleased to hand my job back to Mr Healy and I would like to thank him for being so kind and funny throughout the day. I will remember it forever.

Being a pupil for a day
By Mr Healy, Headmaster (usually)

It was with a small amount of worry that I became a Year 7 pupil at Bethany on Thursday 2nd March 2023, shadowing the raffle winner, Felix Hardie.

I started off the day by going to Mr Hampton’s tutor group at 8.30am in the morning. He was dressed up as a Where’s Wally character in recognition of the day being World Book Day, the irony was not lost on me.

During the tutor group meeting the pupils were asked to write why we liked Bethany, and I thought that if I wrote something about praising the teachers they would gave me a few brownie points. That did not work. Various Where’s Wally characters and items were put up around the campus and we were told that all the tutor group would get merits if all the items were found.

The first lesson of the day was in my favourite subject, Mathematics with Miss Fuller. A Mathematics teacher by trade I was able to answer the questions quickly and wasted no time in showing off to my new classmates. The class exercise in algebra was given to the class and the teacher offered merits to any pupil who equalled or bettered my score. Some pupils wanted me to get some questions wrong on purpose but I was no in mood to hide my brilliance, I proudly showed off my 10 out of 10 score! Some groans were clearly evident in the classroom, but 4 pupils matched my score and got merits for their troubles. Felix who was sitting beside me also got a perfect score and some pupils in the class thought I shared my answers with Felix. Imagine that. As if I would do such a thing!

I decided in the morning that at the end of every lesson I would give every teacher who taught me the choice of having an apple or an orange as a gift, unless they were really mean to me. Miss Fuller selected an apple.

Lesson 2 was Art with Miss Hayward, the purpose of the Art lesson was to create a fish type sculpture using recycled plastics. My group chose to create a turtle and I was given the task of scribing for the group. We designed a turtle and various tasks were divided between the other members. All of us agreed to bring some plastics for the next lesson, and I promised to do my part so that I would not let the side down. I actually brought some plastics into the Art classroom yesterday afternoon. I hated Art at School but I enjoyed my lesson with Miss Hayward and so she got an orange as a gift.

During morning break I went to the tuck shop with my new found Year 7 friends. On the way I was advised by another Year 7 pupil not to give any change to any pupil who may ask for it as I was unlikely to get it returned in the future. I thought that was sensible advice. I bought some of my new Year 7 friends some tuck and they were very appreciative. As I walked throughout the campus for the remainder of the break, I lost count of the number of times pupils looked at me and laughed. The two most common phrases used were: “looking good in the jacket Sir”, or, “I love your school jacket”. They seemed surprised that somebody of my slim appearance would be able to source (and wear) a school uniform!

Once morning break was over I made my way to the Biology lab where the topic was pollination and how this helped generate food. Dr Notley was really nice and kind. I learnt that bees from South West China have become extinct and the plants and fruit are pollinated by local farmers. I also learnt that bionic bees are being created which help pollinate plants artificially. Nice Dr Notley selected an orange at the end of the lesson.

Next stop was the RS classroom where I learnt about synagogues from a teacher who looked like Harry Potter. I was afraid he would cast a spell on me. I was surprised to find out that in addition to being a place of worship, synagogues are also places of study as well as locations to meet people. We then discussed how the appearance of synagogues vary in different countries and compared synagogues in Jerusalem, Moscow and Liverpool. As Mr Allsopp was also nice to me he got an apple.

Lunch then followed and I ate with my Year 7 friends. I had fish and chips and they were lovely. It was a nice relaxing lunch and we then sat and afterwards we chatted outside the Hayward building for the remainder of lunch time. Some older pupils walked by me, reminding me that as a pupil I could not chastise them and they mimicked the actions of people speaking on their phones. I told them they had better watch out on Friday as the new headmaster might take them to task in a serious way! The remainder of the lunchtime continued in a similar good humoured way.

The first lesson after lunch was Computer Science, and Mr Hamilton performed what only can be described as a cabaret act at the start of the lesson. He then introduced us to the joys of the python computer language. Once he explained what we had to do we were then tasked, initially with following instructions and then created our own computer commands. Without wishing to blow my own trumpet, I did extremely very well in those tasks. Mr Hamilton also got some fruit.

The last lesson of the day for me was Period 6. It was also the subject I disliked most at school - English. This lesson took place in the library, the task was to draw a fierce looking dragon. I then had to describe its features using adjectives, verbs and nouns and then explain the rationale behinds its name. I called my Dinosaur Duncan, the drawing was awful (I am even worse at Art than English) but I did try to include as many adjectives, verbs and adverbs as I could muster. Mr Beckham read my contribution to the class and my classmates were very sympathetic to and supportive of my contributions. I was particularly grateful to Francesca Bavin, because when I told her that I was rubbish at drawing she looked at what I had done and said it was very good. Francesca is very kind but my drawing WAS rubbish. Mr Beckham got my last piece of fruit.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day as a Year 7 pupil. I would like to thank my shadow, Felix Hardie, and all the other Year 7 pupils for welcoming me into the year group. There were many pearls of wisdom from the Year 7 pupils throughout the day including one Year 7 pupil who remarked that if I could be a pupil for a day, that meant there wasn’t a headmaster and that made him query whether Bethany needed a headmaster in the first place!

Grace Education