Good luck to the Normandy trip as they leave tomorrow - for updates during the trip, see the blog here: http://gcsefrenchtripucc.blogspot.co.uk/
It’s interview season at UCC as we start thinking about next year’s curriculum and timetable in the light of staff changes and student options in Years 9 and 11. As a consequence, we get to talk about what goes on here and what candidates can expect life to be like if appointed. Not surprisingly, the picture is busy and eclectic. Over the last two weeks we’ve held our annual Senior Citizens’ Tea Party, attended by 150 members of the local community and supported by Year 10 Catering students, the jazz band and other musicians, the gymnastics display team, our dance troupe and many others. Mr McCanny hosts the event, which is much appreciated by our local guests. In addition, just over a week ago I attended our Year 13 A-level Drama production, which was splendidly organised and wonderfully produced and performed. Our musicians, under the direction of Steven Bryant now regularly perform in lunch-time concerts, which I think are superb. We’ve enjoyed a number of these concerts and every time I get to see and hear new talent. Mr Bryant is encouraging teaching staff, students and support staff to enjoy performing with others and the results is wonderfully entertaining. Last week, of course, was Comic Relief. Karen Key organised staff/student netball and a penalty shoot-out, which raised £456. The cheerleaders performed at Sainsbury’s to support their Red Nose Day appeal. Finally, in the Cumbria Mock Trial competition at Kendal Magistrates’ Court, run by the Law Society, the school came third overall with a Year 8 team competing against older students from other schools. Daisy Tallis and Alice Foley were specially commended for their performances; Rebecca Frost’s court artist’s illustration and Henry Jennings’s journalistic piece have been sent to judges for their consideration. Candidates for jobs always do their research online before interviews. No-one needs to be in any doubt that UCC is a vibrant and busy place – all of this on top of revision events, Year 11 tracking and report writing, controlled assessments, etc.
The start of the autumn term saw us welcome back Greg Key, a former student of the College, returning to UCC to join the teaching team within the PE department.
As a student, Greg was always a very popular figure among students and staff. He had a most pleasant and lively personality. He was recognised as a student with lots of potential, both personally and
academically. He had an extremely positive outlook on all aspects of life and this was always demonstrated as a representative of Ullswater Community College through many sporting activities including rugby, football and cricket to name but a few. His involvement in the College Expedition to Peru was exemplary throughout.
Greg left the College in 2003 after the successful completion of his A level courses in Physical Education, Leisure Studies and Geography. He then worked very hard in local employment to raise funds for an exciting gap year, travelling with friends visiting; Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Samoa and Thailand.
Greg then began a degree course at York St John College to study Sports Studies and Physical Education for three years. Following his graduation, he was elected by fellow students to the sabbatical post of Vice President of the Student’s Union. This one year position saw him take responsibility for all competitive and recreational sports activities and societies within the university.
The following two years he spent in the United States of America, coaching football (soccer) within the USA, MLS. Major League Soccer. He worked with teams in New York and New England, particularly Connecticut.
In 2008 Greg returned to England and took up the post of Cover Supervisor at Caldew School in Dalston near Carlisle. Here he supervised and taught classes when a teacher was absent due to sickness or training. It was this experience that cemented his ambition to join the teaching profession. He
was accepted on a Post Graduate Certificate in Education course at Leeds Metropolitan University to train to be a Physical Education Teacher, spending a large part of the year in schools in Halifax.
When I spoke to Greg recently, he explained that his new role as a PE teacher at UCC has fulfilled a dream for him and was always a focus and ambition in his career plans. He explained that, “As a student at UCC I was so happy and used to wake up in the morning excited to come to school. The buzz I felt then, is just the same now as a teacher. The fantastic opportunities I was given as a pupil here, I want to
give to other young people now”.
As Greg’s old Head of Year, I am certain that he will be an enormous asset to the College in his new role and I wish him every success for the future.
Retired Head of Sixth Form and Alumni Coordinator