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20/05/22

Retweeted From Northmead Junior School

Outdoor Classroom Day 2022 has been wonderful. Thank you sunshine ♡ Ask your child what they learnt whilst enjoying the sun and our beautiful grounds today. https://t.co/wU3oTMRfbc

20/05/22

Retweeted From George Abbot Languages

Sniff sniff! Goodbye and good luck to our lovely Year 13 linguists! https://t.co/dAfSslJDul

19/05/22

Retweeted From Kings College

This week, Y8 had their second day with learning about student life and support at uni. They’re also now experts at Rock Paper Scissors after learning how to win using probability and psychology! Students also had a go at bandaging in the First Aid Society Taster. https://t.co/D4IuCN7Ud3

19/05/22

Retweeted From George Abbot School

Making friends at GA https://t.co/MS3mT4xFoe

19/05/22

Retweeted From SFET Teaching School Hub

Don't forget to sign up to as your Appropriate Body & provider for September 2022. is one of our fantastic regional delivery partners and we are excited to be working with so many schools across Hampshire and Surrey. https://t.co/V6FLnY4fdK https://t.co/cHH7tw9Q1Y

19/05/22

Retweeted From Schools Alliance for Excellence

SAfE is delighted to be working as part of the to pilot new models of locality-based professional accountability; for the benefit of all children and the whole school community. Take a look at the programme website for further information https://t.co/eMjnV7zljs https://t.co/KjnjD1LJTn

19/05/22

Retweeted From George Abbot School

Fascinating hearing about the Y12 Gov+Politics trip to parliament yesterday. Students getting to experience the from the public gallery and tour of the

19/05/22

Retweeted From George Abbot PE Dept

Lovely day for a bit of cricket in PE today! ☀️🏏 https://t.co/PpIfNsFj1k

19/05/22

Retweeted From George Abbot PE Dept

Well done to the yr9 cricket team who got their first win of the season against this afternoon. 🏏👏☀️ https://t.co/c2KlFDThBM

19/05/22

Retweeted From George Abbot Languages

Rounding off the 'Home and Town' topic with Year 7 French with a research project on French-speaking towns and cities! https://t.co/ojBhjmv1QA

19/05/22

Well done to all at Fullbrook. https://t.co/hru0IvROkr

19/05/22

Retweeted From George Abbot School

Starting off the day with House Cricket! 🔴🟠🟢🔵🟣🏏🏏🏏🏏🏏 https://t.co/2oUf7Ewapw

19/05/22

Retweeted From George Abbot PE Dept

Good win for the yr7 boys cricket team as they travelled to this afternoon for a friendly before next week's Surrey plate game with 👍🏏 mom Brandon and Josh G

19/05/22

Retweeted From George Abbot PE Dept

Well done to yr9 Gryphon who were house cricket winners this afternoon 👏 https://t.co/CzUFTmbaGL

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Stiffen the sinews and summon the blood

29th April 2022

My mum had been born a Jones into a family with Welsh steelworker traditions – father, Archie (a “furnaceman”) and grandparents William (also supervising the furnaces) and Florrie (a retired “domestic servant”). Her mother was Elizabeth, a Percy, with a lineage that included strong Irish connections. They were soldiers (her great grandfather had fought at the siege of Savastopol), and dockers and draymen. They lived in the rough end of Newport – at number 11, Vivian Road. There had been ten children (two died tragically young) and their terraced house had just five rooms. At the time of the 1911 census, six children with ages ranging from 2 to 16, shared a single bedroom.

With such a background it is perhaps not surprising that one of my mum’s defining qualities was her toughness. In her 80s she had tripped and fallen. For a few days after that she had found it difficult to walk and my concerned father had driven her to A and E. Part of the diagnosis involved the numeric pain intensity scale - with 0 as “no pain” and 10 as “worst possible”. Mum had given what was later confirmed as a fractured hip a 4. “Well,” she told the doctor. “At least it was only fractured and not broken.”

As a child looking to skive a day off school mum was a hard taskmaster.

It’s a September Monday morning. 7.30. Mum has just flung back the curtains to flood my room with unwelcome autumn sunlight. My head aches. During a fitful sleep I had been feeling alternately clammy and hot, then a shivering cold. “Mum, I don’t feel well.”

“You’re fine. Stiffen the sinews and summon the blood.”

That day I’m sent home from school with chicken pox.

In addition to her legendary toughness, this story also tells me the value my Mum attached to education. It was education and a determination to “stiffen the sinews” that had qualified mum as a legal secretary, that had rescued my father from a childhood spent in Barnardo’s. In a previous bulletin I wrote of how proud my mum had been when I became a teacher.

I finished a bulletin almost a year ago describing a phone call from my mum. She was incapacitated, cognitively frail and living in a care home. Still grieving for my father who had died a couple of years earlier (the pain of mum’s grief was a 10, even on her scale) I had held her hand through latex gloves and tried to explain that I was no longer a teacher but doing the role of “director” for an academy trust. She was not impressed.

The phone call went like this:

“Hi Mum”

“Oh – hello, Graham, are you home yet?”

“No – nearly there. Why?”

“I’m just worried that I kept you so long. Do you have much marking and preparation to do for tomorrow?”

“No Mum. All done.”

Sadly, there will be no more visits. No more phone calls. However, I like to think that to the spirit of mum’s question – that I was still playing a small part in that precious thing mum held so dear - education – then I could confidently say: “Yes, mum, still going strong!”

Graham Tuck, Director of Education, Learning Partners

Latest Tweets

  • May 20, 2022 Outdoor Classroom Day 2022 has been wonderful. Thank you sunshine ♡ Ask your child what they learnt whilst enjoying the sun and our beautiful grounds today. Read more
  • May 20, 2022 Sniff sniff! Goodbye and good luck to our lovely Year 13 linguists! Read more
  • May 19, 2022 This week, Y8 had their second day with learning about student life and support at uni. They’re also now experts at Rock Paper Scissors after learning how to win using probability and psychology! Students also had a go at bandaging in the First Aid Society Taster. Read more
  • May 19, 2022 Making friends at GA Read more
  • May 19, 2022 Don't forget to sign up to as your Appropriate Body & provider for September 2022. is one of our fantastic regional delivery partners and we are excited to be working with so many schools across Hampshire and Surrey. Read more Read more
  • May 19, 2022 SAfE is delighted to be working as part of the to pilot new models of locality-based professional accountability; for the benefit of all children and the whole school community. Take a look at the programme website for further information Read more Read more
  • May 19, 2022 Fascinating hearing about the Y12 Gov+Politics trip to parliament yesterday. Students getting to experience the from the public gallery and tour of the
  • May 19, 2022 👏 Read more