Endeavouring to give the children the same experiences I had . . .

Little did I know, as I walked down the drive into the grounds of Fyling Hall School, in April 1998, that this is where my adventure would begin.

I was shown to my classroom by Mrs Pauline Birchall (the head of Fyling Hall Junior school, formally known as White Hall) where a group of friendly faces stared back at me. I can still remember the shock of seeing a classroom with old wooden desks in rows and children writing with fountain pens. I embraced my first day; tackling how to fill up my fountain pen with ink without any spillage and mastering how to re-tie my tie after PE. My first day was a huge success and the first of many.

I continued my Fyling Hall School Junior School journey and have many fond memories. I thoroughly enjoyed beating Endeavour in our swimming galas, I picked up my first ever hockey stick, I won the annual Daisy Hardy competition, entered myself into every possibly Eskdale Festival category and loved performing. One of my favourite memories was reading at the school Christmas Carol Service.

I then made the scary transition to Fyling Hall Senior School, it may only be a road to cross over, but I can still remember the nerves I had when I got of the bus and was left to find tutor group 7P on my own.

The Senior School also filled my years with countless happy memories, which I reflect on regularly. I continued to carry out my annual reading at the Christmas Carol Service; I began to get the hang of hockey and represented the school in countless hockey matches (where on many occasions our bus journeys were more exciting than the game its self!). With the fear of being chased by Mr Allen and Mr Coates in their cars, I completed many cross country runs in PE and on several occasions I was picked to represent the school in cross country events. I attended two skiing trips to Italy, camped in many local farmers’ fields to complete my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh and humiliated myself in far too many school talent shows.

Amongst all the fun that was being had, I also came out with my GCSE qualifications and A-levels. Time really did fly by and before I knew it, it was Speech Day and time to say good bye to what had been the most amazing 9 years of my life.

I then went on to study in Beverley, worked in a summer camp in America, completed a university degree and carried out a research study in Doha. Little did I know at the time but all my extra curricula activities carried out at Fyling Hall gave me the courage and confidence to travel independently, carry out presentations in the Middle East, represent my town in hockey and be the successful candidate in job interviews.

In 2016 I found myself wanting a change in career and what better place to come and get head space and reassurance of my career change than the place I loved the most, Fyling Hall School. After a brief phone call with Mr Allen, it was agreed that I could come and support Amanda Freer in the Junior school. Walking into the Junior School again all these years later brought back my happy memories. I did just what I did on my first day at school, I embraced my opportunity and have never looked back.

Here I am now, almost 21 years after my journey first began, a fully qualified teacher, working in my dream job alongside many teachers who taught and inspired me.

My days at Fyling Hall were some of the happiest of my life and now as a teacher here I endeavour to give the children the same experiences I had, so they can look back and reflect on their school days with as many happy memories as I do.

The days that make us happy make us wise.

Miss Lisette Vincent-Jones