Exams 


Exams aren’t the be all and end all. What ever that means. It’s a means to an end. But that should never define what you are.

As a teacher I experienced having to set examiners for form classes. These were to determine what the likely results were of a student GCSEs. The exams where undertaken five years before they were due to sit their final exams. It was utterly ridiculous. Bracketing students into certain categories of a likely achievement was utterly wrong.

I was told when I was 14 that I wasn’t bright enough to sit ‘O’ level maths. It made me angry and more determined to do so. How dare someone tell you that you won’t be able to achieve.

I have always said that you are the person to choose your education. You are in charge of it. Not some idiot mathematics teacher.

So if you didn’t get what you wanted in your exams don’t worry the path might have changed but you can still achieve.

I didn’t do well in my GCSEs but I did pass my maths! I went to college and studied for a diploma in Theology. Then I did my BA Hons degree in Religion and Sociology. Finally ending up at Westminster College Oxford completing a PGCE in secondary RE.

I am not saying it’s easy. It’s hard work. But it’s up to you.

Good Friday

I have had an interesting day. I decided that I would have a look down at the service in the market place. This is a christian service of witness which takes place each year on good friday. It is begins with a  walk through the main shopping street and ends in the market place. I used to take part in this which I was a church goer a number of years ago. My abiding memory is getting told off by someone for talking while we set off on the walk.

IMG_7360

The service end but I had something else planned for the afternoon. Most people know that my education is in religion and I have followed an organisation for a number of years called Hope not Hate. This was set up to counter the extremist groups such as the BNP and others and to educate those about their BNP racist agenda.

During my year in Oxford training to be a teacher I visited various places of worship including two of the main mosques in Birmingham. I have always be interested in religion and thought it was about time I spoke to some muslims about their views of various racist groups and their outlook on the continuing attacks on Islam.

I set up a meeting with someone from the Islamic Diversity Centre in Newcastle and spent time discuss my concerns and getting their perspective on life. It was certainly an interesting discussion. It was good to hear that their work is to break down the various misconceptions about Islam. They regularly speak to various groups in the north east and part of their outreach is to provide services for the homeless and elderly; something even I wasn’t familiar with.

image

I was given a small gift which contained various literature about Islam. I hope that I will be able to learn more and get to know a few of the muslim population here in the north east. I attend to visit a mosque and hopefully gain more understanding of this religion.

the barefoot tree

Still grumpy

Gari Wellingham

UK-based musical theatre geek previously living with a brain tumour!