May 1995 … I was in the last two months of my teacher training, in my second placement at, what was then, Kidbrooke School. I had a verbal offer of a teacher role there but also been for interview at another local school – Thomas Tallis. I received the “You have been successful …” phone call and a couple of days later the official letter, the letter that started it all, arrived.
I began my first teaching year in September 1995, as a Newly Qualified Teacher, joining the maths department led by Trish Dooley. The team, as I remember, consisted of Trish, Dave Ellis, Jenny Ward-Ure, Tony Antonioni, Marilyn Clare, Angela Taylor, Cress Senkus and Allen Skuse. A much smaller department in a smaller school then. It was a great place to work and learn how to be a teacher, with really good people around me. They all made teaching look so easy and I couldn’t not learn from them and they were always ready to support the newbie!
I was also a Year 7 tutor and the first 7SF tutor group was formed. Head of Year was the great Stuart Turpie and I can certainly say some of his ways were unique! Come the Spring, I experienced my first school journey to Inverliever in Scotland with a number of 7SF making the trip. A real highlight of the school year for all involved. Horse riding was one of the activities available and I was encouraged to have a go by some of the students. This would be the first, and last, time I got on a horse and spent what seemed like hours quite un-nerved by the experience. So much so that I did not correct the instructor when she continually called me George. Something the students with me found most amusing!
Back then, when I was first starting out on my teaching journey, did I know that Tallis would be the only school I would ever work in? Probably not, but I like to think a part of me hoped so. And here I am, 27 years later, still loving working at Tallis. Over half my life now spent at Tallis. That in itself tells you what a great place Tallis is and has been over the past 25+ years.
-- Steve Fyfe