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Home from Home by Bernadette Ridley

As a Lancashire lass from Wigan, I arrived at St Michael’s Academy in 1990 – indeed it was ‘home from home’. I was accepted into the bosom of such a wonderful school community and became an ‘honorary Scot’. I will always cherish my memories of my time spent there, with a staff that truly became ‘family’ - a uniqueness that very few schools have these days. I wish personally to thank everyone who assisted me on life’s journey through those years.

An anecdote – I recall, as a devoted teacher of R.E., with a vision for my subject, being given a ‘please take’ one day in Campbell Cassidy’s English room. In my usual fashion I stormed along there to give this S3 class their instructions. As I arrived at the door I heard Mr Cassidy tell the class to “Just do a poster!!”. This was like a red rag to a bull and I angrily commanded, “I just don’t think so, Mr Cassidy!! I have work for them to do.”, and I took over the situation, handing out my sheets to the S3 class. Mr Cassidy waited patiently for a few minutes before whispering to me: “Bernadette, actually this is my English class – you are next door!” Well . . the floor could have swallowed me up. Whoa – See what happens to you when you’re setting a precedent for the status of Religious Education in schools!!!

Bernadette Ridley (nee Barker), R.E. teacher 1990-2000

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