She Has Set Heights in Her Heart: Rugby High-Lights

Crowning our teachers King and Queen of the English Department! | Image courtesy of Becky Hemsley
Crowning our teachers King and Queen of the English Department!
Image courtesy of Becky Hemsley
Not Bolshies, Hepworthians! RHS house colours on a sunny Sports Day. | Image courtesy of Becky Hemsley
Not Bolshies, Hepworthians! RHS house colours on a sunny Sports Day.
Image courtesy of Becky Hemsley
Snowfights on the field in front of our beloved Acorn Block (home to English and History) | Image courtesy of Becky Hemsley
Snowfights on the field in front of our beloved Acorn Block (home to English and History)
Image courtesy of Becky Hemsley
Don't make us leave! A poor pirate beweeps her outcast state... | Image courtesy of Becky Hemsley
Don't make us leave! A poor pirate beweeps her outcast state...
Image courtesy of Becky Hemsley

Reading Ruth’s article on the Rugby High School anthem has reminded me of a lot of old Rugby High traditions that we knew and loved!

Fundraisers galore!

For example, there was the ‘Decorated Classroom’ competition at Christmas, which had to include a theme. Our dear Hepworth form generally lost (boo hiss), until we did a zombie theme and emerged from cupboards dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. There was also the ‘Decorated Stall’ competition for the Christmas fair, which our class was significantly better at! We won most years, following weeks of keen crafting sessions in the form room at lunch. We always voted on a charity for our class to raise money for, which was actually a really good opportunity to think about causes we cared for and advocate for them.

Of course, we also loved a good old fancy dress day. My form tutor one year was a lovely chap who once said that if we all donated £2 to cancer research he would spend the day in a pink tutu and feather boa. He was true to his word and I have to say looked fabulous!

Book character fancy dress

A dearly loved day was always Book Character Fancy Dress Day, in which the English Department always outshone the rest of us. The female teachers traditionally dressed as male characters and vice versa – it was a splendid sight!

My most dedicated outfit was a character called Door from the Neil Gaiman book Neverwhere. That morning my family had caught a live mouse in the kitchen and since my character was a bit of a vagabond we decided it was an excellent addition to my get-up! I took it on the bus in a hole-punched box in my pocket and amazed by classmates. I think maybe the school cooks wouldn’t be impressed to hear that I released it at the bus stop!

Other memories and highlights included:

  • Our maths teacher who managed to intersperse every sentence with such regular ‘shush’s that we once counted 87 in half an hour.
  • Mr. Stanley’s Acronyms! Who could forget WRATRAC and the like? They became so famous they earned him a ‘Mr Stanley’s Acronym Appreciation Society’ as well as a special place in my heart.
  • The Leavers’ Assemblies, and all the silly things we’d make the teachers do.
  • Vast amounts of red face paint for the sports day.
  • Some of the happiest times of all spent lazing on the fields in the summer sun.
  • The music room keyboard – all I can say is… DJ! DJ!
  • All day art exams, which were quite profound experiences in a way – spending hours absorbed in painting, occasionally emerging to be amazed by each others’ work.
  • Crowning our English teacher ‘King of the English Department’ with full pomp and ceremony.
  • I’ve recently been reliably informed that the crickets for feeding the biology reptiles would frequently escape and find their way behind the staffroom fridge, causing quite a shock I can imagine…
  • My sister once climbed out of the window during a Latin lesson, ran all the way round the school and came back in through the classroom door, much to the surprise of her otherwise oblivious teacher!
  • Eating so much leftover sugar after Food Technology classes that we’d be hyperactive for hours afterwards – I once found myself sprawled across the back of the classroom, having fallen because my legs were tied to my chair with ribbons whilst me and a friend played hockey with a sugar pot… I will never forget the response of the teacher – ‘quieten down at the back there gels!’
  • Truly too many inspirational teachers to count.
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