Sunday, 14 July 2013

Thank you Richard

It was with great sadness that I learned on Friday of the death of Richard Horn, the Headteacher who employed me at Hetton School in 1996.

Richard was a supporter of the MFL department (he had no choice - his wife was a French teacher with whom I had worked at my previous school!) and endeavoured on many occasions to make things better for us.

Every year he observed every teacher in school and then spent a further hour with each of us giving his feedback and talking to us about how things were going.  We all valued this enormously.  His wit and sense of humour were legendary.  Everyone wanted him to do their leaving/getting-married/having-a-baby speech.  Like me, Richard was a Londoner, and I always cherish the memories of the day we went to our home town together to collect the school's second International School Award.

In 2002, following my work on new methodology, phonics and thinking skills with Sunderland's then-adviser, Phil Drabble, I went to see Richard to say that I wanted to be an Advanced Skills Teacher, and asked if he would support my application and then employ me as an AST if I was successful.  Richard was sceptical about the AST programme; he didn't think that the DfEE had thought the plan through longterm.  But he supported my application, I was successful, and started working as an AST.  He supported all the International Dimension work that I did and the time out of school that it necessitated, and then lent his support further when I began a secondment to the LA for Primary Languages.

Without Richard's help, support and belief I wouldn't have got to where I am today.  I said this to him on the day he retired in July 2006.  And his reply?  "You would have, my girl, you would have."

Thank you Richard.

1 comment:

  1. A shame that it took me finding out about this tragic news to stumble upon your site, Clare, and all the good work you are doing to promote and further MFL teaching. Well done on your success here.

    Can I take this opportunity though, to echo your sentiments about Mr Horn - he truly was the most considerate of men, and supportive of bosses. I'm really saddened to hear that he is no longer with us.