Keri James and Farida Bobat

Keri James

Keri remembers the Queen's visit.

Farida Bobat

Happy memories of being a pupil - and then a teacher!

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Keri James and Farida Bobat' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Keri James and Farida Bobat' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Keri James and Farida Bobat' page

Widden School 25th Anniversary Event (28th April 2011)

By Adam Fotheringham and Magdalena Medynska

We attended the anniversary event to mark the Queen's opening of the new school buildings in 1986. We asked several people to share their memories of the school with us - here are two!

Transcript for 'Keri James':

Keri James remembers the Queen's visit

Michelle: Right, hello. My name is Michelle, and can you tell us what your name is please?

Keri: Hi, my name’s Keri James.

Michelle: And what’s your association with WiddenSchool?

Keri: Well I first became Deputy Head of the Infants School before it was algamated to become a Juniors School, and I taught in Widden for three years before I moved up to Hatherly Infants School as Head Teacher.

Michelle: I wonder, just thinking about your time here at Widden, what your most vivid memory of the school is?

Keri: Well I loved every minute of being at Widden. I think it’s a very rich area to teach in – lovely children, lovely parents. Umm… I think I was the most happy when I was here. It was a lovely school.

Michelle: And is there one event that really, really sticks out in your mind?

Keri: Well obviously when the Queen opened the school that was very, very special. And it was funny because we were all sitting in our classrooms waiting for the big occasion before we’d moved to our various parts to work, and the Lord Lieutenant came shuffling up the drive, and we thought it was the Queen coming so we jumped up and it wasn’t, it was the Lord Lieutenant come to make sure everything was alright first. Then when the Queen came the children were a bit disappointed because she didn’t have a crown on. She had ordinary clothes on so they were a bit disappointed. The Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen came into my classroom first of all, and one little boy, Shebas Rasvy, had put his fingers around the wrong way, so the Duke of Edinburgh stopped and showed him how to put them correctly. And they were out in the area where they were playing with all the things to do with the palace and Shbadby Ramaran had a Bad Boys t-shirt on, and the Duke of Edinburgh said “Hey, come and have a look at this” to the Queen. And they had to go meet the architect, and we had five minutes to get the whole of the Infants into the hall, seated, before the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh came down, and Razi Parsons said “Ey, that was quick!” He was very, very nice. Very nice.

Michelle: And where you able to have a conversation with the Queen or?

Keri: She didn’t say a word. No, I think she was a bit concerned – I think she was late leaving the Cathedral; she was obviously a bit worried about something. But Pat, Pat Martin who was then a teacher, spoke to her and she walked outside with her, then Pat Martin came back in and said that the Queen was very pleased and loved your singing, and she said you could have a day off from school because she was so good.

Michelle: Fantastic.

Keri: We all did various songs. I think Laurence Cook who was the Deputy Head did ‘Streets of Gloucester’ and we all sang that. And we sang ‘Every Colour Under the Sun’ as an Infants section so it was a memorable day.

Michelle: Sounds as though it was. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about? Special events you can think of?

Keri: Well I think every day was special here. The parents were very supportive. I find it very different, because we started off at the Infants in the old school and that was very different because all we had was a little concrete playground to play on. As soon as we moved here with all of the freedom that they had here, the children just loved it.

Michelle: Okay. Thank you very much.



Transcript for 'Farida Bobat':

Farida discusses being a pupil and becoming a teacher

Michelle: Right, hello, my name is Michelle. Can you tell us what your name is please?

Farida: Yep, my name is Farida Bobat, and I am a year three class teacher here at Widden, but I was also an ex-pupil here… umm… how many years ago… gosh I can’t remember. I left school here when it was 1996 so it was a good fifteen or so years ago.

Michelle: Okay. So I wonder if you could tell us then, what your most vivid memory of the school is… maybe starting with when you were a pupil here?

Farida: Um, I’ve got such happy memories of here, you know, having been here as a child… umm… I remember we used to have Drama Week, where we’d spend a whole week producing a drama, and all of the kids from across the school were involved. They were split into different groups – some people were in charge of doing display work, some people were obviously actors, some people were part of the props making, some people were doing all of the musical song singing, and everybody just had such a good time. Like at the end of the week it was all performed in the Olympus Theatre, so it bought the whole community together – everybody. Honestly, it was such a fantastic time. And as a kid, as a child, I just loved being involved. It was just so nice. It was happy memories. And when we went into year six, obviously you know, top of the school by then, we used to produce… umm… was it weekly or fortnight… I can’t remember… maybe it was once a fortnight, we used to produce some sort of newspaper articles for the whole school called ‘Top Bay Chat’, where we were allowed to interview class teachers across. And we just felt privileged and responsible. And there’s another memory actually I have got. We were allowed to be the secretary, myself and my friend, for a whole day. We were able to answer the phones, and it was just such a fun time. Answer the phones you know, making our little posh voices, and then we were given special paper to do some colouring in our spare time etc. All those little things, but no, I’ve forgotten quite a few things otherwise. Playing rounders all the time. Just, just happy. I've got very, very happy memories there, I don’t remember ever being sad or upset.

Michelle: I wonder if that’s why then, that you were so inspired by all of that, that that’s why you ended up back here then as a teacher?

Farida: It is quite funny, I went to university and we were told which schools you wouldn’t want to go to for whatever reasons, and I had put down first initially Widden because I’d been there as an ex-pupil, but then for some reason it turned out that I was given my third and final placement at Widden, and I thought, oooh do I want to go, do I not want to go? You know, too many attachments to the place, but then I came here and it was the best thing ever. Maybe it was fate, destiny, I don’t know, but I absolutely loved every single minute here. I had great teachers working alongside, and I was working alongside great teachers, great mentors, and I was offered a job here, and I didn’t hesitate to take it up and I’ve loved it ever since then. It’s been five years now.

Michelle: Fabulous. Right, it’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you. Thank you very much.

This page was added by Magdalena Medynska on 06/06/2011.