They named their POD after me 😩❤️❤️❤️
My name is Rory Leadbetter and I am a 26-year-old teacher at Summerhill Academy in St George, Bristol. I teach thirty incredibly funny, challenging, inspiring, exhausting and almost every other adjective you can name pupils who have captured my heart this year. Amongst all the horrendous testing and work load 10-11 year olds are now expected to do, they still remain resilient, positive and focused.
There has been one thing which has really surprised me with my class; it‟s that a lot of them seem to not have self-belief. Whether this is due to their upbringing, the media or other factors I don‟t know, but it‟s something I have really tried to target with only eight school weeks left until secondary school.
In order to do this, I set them a task in groups of researching certain people, including yourself (I told them nothing more than your names). It was only after they had researched and discussed together that they realised that you were someone with a connection to Bristol and to their home. The idea that you could be famous or simply have a positive impact on others, and not live in Hollywood, was something a lot of them took a while to grasp. They were utterly inspired by your story and your work, to the extent where they were teaching other classes about you in the playground!
The efforts they went to after this were extraordinary. Not only was their research thorough and accurate, they even presented to our Principal who labelled the afternoon as “outstanding”. In addition to this, your table group (who were asked to research you) have written separate letters to you for you to read. We now sit in these separate „pods‟, one of which has your name on. I have included their published versions of their letters which they spent a whole afternoon completing. Their actually hand-written letters so good I‟ve kept them as we prepare for Writing Moderation in June!
I hope you enjoy reading their letters and looking at the photos. If there was any way you could interact with them – whether it be through a simple letter in response or perhaps even a visit – I know it would make their year!