Friday, 17 April 2015

20 Things You Only Remember If You Went To Calthorpe

1. The crap excuses for a day off

Is it me or did the staff at Calthorpe love a day off? Or just an excuse to spice things up? First, the "SLUGG Walk" came along where we basically got a day to chillax in the sun, checking out the various stalls and games on offer after walking round one lap of the school "for charity" or something. Then when the House system came in they gave us "House Day", a day to 'bond with your tutor group' as you go about doing ridiculous tasks like forming a rock band or doing Christmas themed Maths puzzles. And don't get me started on "Olympic Day" and "Media Day"...

2. Always wanting to graduate to that black jumper and show everyone who's in charge.

Yep, there's no mistaking me for a Year Seven anymore, guys. The black jumper's here. That's right. I rule the skool.

3. The unnecessarily long end of term assemblies.

Twice a year we had to lug our OWN chairs to the Hart Leisure Centre and sit with our asses going numb for about three hours whilst we watched people win awards, listened to the token 'great singer' of the year belt out a tune, and cringe as the staff yelled Dad jokes at each other from across the room in an attempt to create 'festive banter'. You know the ones. The ones that usually start with "I say, I say, I say, Mr Ellis..." Stop right there, mate.

4. Mr Brand and his waistcoats.

A purveyor of fine fashion, Mr Brand never went a day without one of his silk waistcoats cos he was, to be quite honest, an absolute legend. Who can forget the cycle safety video he made when he got in a bike accident? Classic.

5. Mr Amos and his deep meaningful assemblies

Let's be honest, Mr Amos was bae. He was the only member of staff that could start an assembly talking about the time he went to Thorpe Park and finish it with "and that's when I learned a great lesson about perseverance."

6. Tech being the ultimate doss.

I'm sorry, you want me to build an electric buzzer? Nah. Unless you took this at GCSE, Tech was the doss of the week. It's where I made my closest friends. It was where you unleashed your rascal side. People who got straight A*s in Science would come to Tech and get sent out. It was a whole other world. Sorry Mr Bidder.

7. Being sent to Pastoral for your serious threats to other people's education.

If you haven't got a tie, if your skirt's too short, if you're wearing (god forbid) nail varnish, well, you're fucked. Your entire education - screwed. Better rush you off to a safe place before you infect other people's learning.

8. Sports Day being an absolute joke

*signs up for 1 event on Sports Day then spends the rest of the day taking group pics and eating ice cream*

9. The black market for House Badges

"Can you sort me out with a Marie Curie? I've lost mine and I can't be going back to Pastoral, I'm on report." And there was always that one kid who thought he was a total hardman cos he could pierce his skin with the badge without even so much as a flinch of pain.

10. Thinking you were at the centre of all things high tech and innovative when the dinner lady stopped saying "card pls" and instead "thumb pls"

I can go into debt on my thumb?! What kind of school of the future is this?!

No money on your thumb? You're a worthless individual

11. The soap opera love affair between *those* 3 members of staff.

I don't even have to name and shame. We all know the ones. The married couple. The ski trip affair. The kids. The pregnancy. It was like Hollyoaks came to Hitches Lane.

12. Feeling a stab of pain when Ms Cho put you on the "bad side" of the whiteboard

And subsequently refusing in protest when she told you to "put the gum... in the bin".

13. Mini fist-pumping if you had Mr Wilbraham for Science

Get in.

14. ...And dreading it if you had Mr Hill.

15. The arch rivalry with Court Moor

Behind enemy lines

Towards the end of school, some made friends with them, but the underlying competition was always there.

16. Scoffing at the school's ridiculous attemps at discipline.

Who remembers the "CaR licenses" we had in our homework diaries? Where if you got 12 points on your license you got a Saturday detention or something? Mad.

17. Being outraged that Year 11s had their own dining room and special door. 

Until you got to Year 11 and had the power, which you abused to the max.

18. Going to the Hart Leisure Centre for PE and terrorising the local clientele

Those poor, innocent Fleet folk going for their pilates classes.

19. The "Smokers Bridge"

Where only the hardest of the hard hung out. The place that was just off site so technically legal to smoke on as soon as you left school. Although still kind of illegal cos everyone was like fourteen.

20. Kind of missing the whole place

It was a bit shit, the uniform was disgusting, and you hated half the people you interacted with on a day to day basis. But you'd still probably give anything to go back to the days where your biggest responsibility was getting your homework diary signed (or forging it). Ah, good old Calthorpe...


Anonymous said...

I have to give that a round of applause.

Tegan said...

Haha who is this? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This is spot on!

Anonymous said...

This takes me right back 6 and a half years. Glad to see nothing's changed... well the thumb print thing is new.

Anonymous said...

My god, this brought back memories!
Also made me realise it's been 7 years since I left Calthorpe!

natasha braddock said...

Omg judt remembered it's been 10 years since I left

Anonymous said...

I left 7 years ago, this has made me laugh so much! Spot on.

Anonymous said...

Six years since I left that god-awful school... But I must admit, I do miss the place and its quirky charms. Kudos to the list too, perfectly said.

Anonymous said...


Dan Ling said...

wow superb writing. however i hate calthorpe, i was blue through and through!! great piece none the less..

Anonymous said...

Having a present link to the school I found your observations very funny and extremely enlightening when school is seen through the eyes of a pupil.

I do believe in the right to free speech, but also for the right of reply. I, and most likely you too are not fully aware of the full facts when it come to point 11,

Your blog is funny, witty and sharp and would be the more sweeter a piece if point 11 was dropped. Could you consider it?


Tegan said...

If it causes offence, I can of course drop it. I did think it would be OK as I didn't mention any names, and it was just how it was seen from the pupils really. Wasn't intended to offend anyone, was just a remark on something that all the kids knew about, and was just how everyone saw it. It wasn't really a big deal, just one of those things from school days.

Anonymous said...

Now ben short runs that shit hole

Anonymous said...

Brilliant and completely true

Roxie Attenborough said...

This is amazing !!! I left 14/15 years ago ! And the mr wilbraham thing so flipping true !!! Best science teacher ever ! ... and as for the holly oakes saga ... would that be the edwards's and the blonde teacher ??? LOL

Caroline King said...

I still think Mr Booth was brill. How many of us remember pottery. Lol. XX

Melanie Sheehan said...

There's also a perspective from the side of a single mum of three delinquent kids that went there!! The amount of 'meetings' I had to sit in with the various head teachers because Mikey had done something stupid like kick a bottle of pop through and oven door, Paddy having possession of something illegal or Nicole being involved with something dodgy on Facebook! That feeling of dread when I walked through the front doors and sat in the waiting area anticipating a lecture on what i should be doing as a responsible parent. The knots in my stomach before and during parents evenings....! I could go on...! Nice post though Tegan, good to see things from the pupil's perspective!! :-D xx