On Tuesday 16th April, Fazakerley High School welcomed Guardian journalist Polly Toynbee into the school to meet staff and have the opportunity to teach a lesson. This was all part of Teach First’s Every Child Can week, designed to raise awareness about the challenges and rewards of teaching in schools in disadvantaged areas.
The day began with Polly observing assembly and meeting with Mrs Rourke. After break Polly then observed an English lesson before teaching her own to a class of Year 8 students. The lesson was planned with staff from the school and saw Polly teach a lesson on advertising. She used her vast experience to brief students on writing press releases and guided students to create their own for their own customised bottles of water. Having written their press-briefs the students were then asked by Polly to write down their aspirations for the future. Polly was extremely impressed with the variety and overall ambition of the responses, which ranged from attending university to teaching to playing professional rugby league! The students themselves were impressed, many refusing to believe it had been the first lesson ‘Miss’ had ever taught and all thanked Polly at the end with a round of applause.
After having lunch with a range of school staff, Polly left to write her reflections on the day she spent in the school. The visit was, on the whole, extremely successful and all staff and students involved found the day an enjoyable experience.