Tim Green (Apr 2015)
A life in the week of Tim Green, PE and games teacher at Leighton Park School in Reading, Berkshire
As the deputy housemaster for the year 7 and 8 boarding house Fryer, I begin the week at 7am welcoming day students into school. They chat enthusiastically about their weekends and their plans for the week ahead. Leighton Park is a Quaker school and assembly is known as Collect. Almost 500 people gather in the round of our circular main hall and students and staff share useful information with the rest of the community. Sometimes we have a presentation on a topic of particular interest. After this, I look at methods of training with my year 10 PE GCSE group. Monday afternoon is games afternoon for me, first with year 7 and 8 and then with the senior teams after lunch. I am coaching the 1st XI football team this term and this is our first training session as a group. I seize the opportunity to work on team shape ahead of our first match on Wednesday. After school I am on duty in Fryer. The majority of students participate in our extensive activity programme which offers a huge number of hobbies and clubs on site. It’s my job to ensure they get there quickly! Students tend to stay at Leighton Park for breakfast, lunch and tea and the catering is delicious.
Tuesday begins with a Collect by some of the sixth form on their plans for a new American Football Club. I am delighted that those running the hobby are so keen to engage the rest of the school, doubly pleased in this case because I have recently purchased season tickets for the American Football matches at Wembley later this year. As well as teaching PE and games, I also teach beliefs and values, which is similar to an RE curriculum, but which aims to help students develop their awareness of religion, morality and ethics whilst upholding the Quaker attitudes of respect and tolerance. After lunch I focus on re-building confidence within my year 10 football team. We lost our last match at the weekend so I am keen to concentrate on key skills ahead of our cup match later in the week and nurture a positive attitude.
I have a few moments on Wednesday morning to chase up orders for kit and plan the football tour to Spain, taking place in the Easter holidays. I also prepare for the afternoon’s fixtures. With the head of boys’ games away there is some organising to do, including the dreaded phone call to the groundsman. There is some bad news. With two of our three pitches unplayable there are last minute changes to fixtures. I ring around to let the other schools know, cancel the referees and tweet about the cancellation to @SportLP. Luckily the 1st XI match can still go ahead which is the first opportunity to see my new team in action. We take the lead in the first half but are pegged back and eventually draw 1-1. A satisfactory start to the term with some learning points to take away. Then I’m off to football training with my team Woodley Town, a chance to prepare for my match on Saturday against the second in the league. The session is mainly fitness based as many of us are still trying to work off our Christmas indulgence.
Thursday begins with the weekly meeting for worship. Feeling refreshed, I join my year 7 community, action and service (CAS) group to look at how we can make Leighton Park even more environmentally friendly. I then dash off to the PE department to teach a circuit training to year 8 and swimming to year 7 before another delicious lunch. My afternoon is dedicated to the support of the year 10 football team who are playing in the Berkshire county cup, where we reached the final last year. Unfortunately we go down 1-0 and the dream is over although it was a tough battle and I am proud of the boys’ efforts. We arrive back at Leighton Park just in time for my second evening duty of the week, this time in one of the senior houses.
Following a Collect on Johnny Cash, I enjoy a double food technology lesson with year 9. After break I have back-to-back year 10 swimming lessons followed by a year 10 PE GCSE practical. I love the variety in my day and the range of students I get to teach. After lessons, I run the advanced performer programme for our gifted and talented sports performers. Today they are creating performer profiles to raise awareness of their talents within school. At present we have students from a range of different sports including football, rugby, hockey and tennis performing at elite and national levels.
No morning fixture at school means a lie-in and a chance to catch up with marking before heading off for my football match with Woodley. I am playing left midfield and we draw 1-1 which is a decent result against a team higher than us in the league. I go home to collapse for the rest of the day and watch a DVD in the evening to relax.
For once I am not playing football so I catch up with Match of the Day from the night before followed by the two live games, Spanish football and a bit of NLF just for good measure. I can never be away from sport for long. In the evening I go for a run, in spite of the drizzle, as I am competing in the London Marathon on behalf of the NSPCC this year. I manage twelve miles, the longest I have run so far in training which is a very satisfying way to end the week.
A LIFE IN THE WEEK OF