Eleven Questions (From Bangkok to Bloxwich) - Tom Greenwood (OV2009)
Geography teacher and rugby coach Tom Greenwood (OV2009) shares some of his experiences of his time at Vesey.
1. What is your most lasting memory of your time at BVGS and what are you doing now? Many of my memories are of the extra-curricular activities at the school. From the Y7 residential at Vesey House to the Senior Rugby Tour to the tri-nations countries, the trips provide some fond memories. Indeed my mind also easily recalls a number of rugby matches, such as comebacks against Solihull and Macclesfield in lower years as well as a less glamorous 3rd XV victory at a particularly muddy Nottingham High School in Year 11. As my profile probably shows, I am now back at school as a teacher. Having done my NQT year in Sheffield I am now in my third year of teaching geography at Vesey's and also co-ordinate the Duke of Edinburgh programme as well as being involved in a range of other parts of school life.
2. How did BVGS prepare you for the path you took after leaving? Although teaching wasn't necessarily my initial calling I imagine the fact that I enjoyed school and had positive experiences here gave me some motivation to go into the career. In fact, if it had not been for doing a good few days of work experience at BVGS during the latter part of university then I may not have gone into teaching at all!
3. What was your favourite subject at BVGS and how did it impact you? PE has to be first because I was so sporty and competitive. It definitely meant that I had more of a connection with the school as the passion that comes from playing with your mates in team sports is something that few things other than sport can engender. The opportunity to do some coaching with younger age groups when I was older also helped me in terms of leadership and probably did a great job of improving my UCAS! Geography would of course be a close second with the Miss Jones/Mr Collins combination and also a mention for Maths as a third favourite too.
4. Which of your teachers at BVGS was most influential for you and why? It would be unfair to single teachers out. Nevertheless, Rudi Goetschel has to be the most entertaining. Also towards the end of sixth form I remember losing my folder of all my notes for several days and when all seemed lost Dave Goodwin found it and returned it to me - without that folder or his intervention I am sure I wouldn't have done so well in the summer exams
5. Is your life similar or different than the way you imagined it would be when you left BVGS and how? I'm very short termist in general - I didn't necessarily know what I wanted to do when I left school so it's difficult to say whether or not life is different to what I imagined as I never really knew what I would end up doing!
6. What advice would you give your 18-year old self now? Enjoy yourself and keep your friendship group close, advice that I am pleased to say I have followed.
7. How do you define success and has that changed over time? I've never given it much though - being happy I guess. Some people like having lots of money, others like travelling, others are content with a quiet life. It's for you to decide what success is not for you to be told.
8. What extra-curricular activities did you take part in at BVGS? Rugby and athletics mainly, although I did have fleeting appearances for the tennis, table tennis, indoor rowing and cross-country teams at various points. Unfortunately my career as a musician didn't get any further than achieving Grade 3 with the trumpet.
9. Do you still keep in touch with your BVGS contemporaries? Very much so. There are 9 or 10 of us who meet up pretty regularly, go on lads holidays together and talk all the time despite it being almost 8 years since leaving. They are doing all sorts in various places, from Bangkok to Bloxwich. 10. Which house did you belong to? Gold house. Although red house seem to have a mysterious strangle on the Roberts Cup, I can remember the last time someone else won it - Gold - in 2003 - when I was in Year 7. I'm pleased to say we've made a strong start to this year and we are a very close second in the rankings. I am also now Head of Gold House 11. Is there something you would do differently if you could go back to your time at BVGS? Two things. Get to know people in other houses more quickly as we were very restricted on our timetable to start with. Also, thank all my teachers on results days - now I'm on the other side I appreciate how much a simple thank you can mean.
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