Take Over Day: Pupils and teachers swap roles at school

Hope Wood Academy pupils take over the running of the school.
Hope Wood Academy pupils take over the running of the school.
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Youngsters took over the running of their school for a day and staff had to be on their best behaviour.

The pupils at Hope Wood Academy in Easington took part in the Take Over Day at the school, which caters for youngsters with special educational needs.

Hope Wood Academy pupil, Sam, aged seven, takes on teaching role.

Hope Wood Academy pupil, Sam, aged seven, takes on teaching role.

Staff at the Crawlaw Road school said they were amazed at how seriously the children took the day and how much effort they put into recreating the roles.

And, it was no skiving for the teachers - who became the students for the day.

Michael Finlay, assistant headteacher at the academy, said eveyone had been proud of the youngsters and the approach they took.

He said: “The day was absolutely brilliant, the students worked very hard and enjoyed doing things they had never done before.

The day was absolutely brilliant

Michael Finlay

“They were so excited about it and one of them said the day before ‘just one more sleep to take over day’.

“Some of them really threw themselves into the roles, including the youngster who was headteacher, who threw our head out of the office and then went round checking up on the staff.

“Another pupil in the role of a teacher was telling students they were not dressed appropriately and to stop chewing.”

Mr Finlay said the day was co-ordinated by Rachel Masters, the academy’s communication assistant, along with the school council and the idea behind the take over was for students to get a taste of work and they even had to apply for the roles they wanted to do and have interviews.

He said: “It was good to find out what some of the children actually think we do, I think they got a shock at having to do lesson planning and paperwork.

“We thought with it being the first time we had held a take over day it might be a bit chaotic. but we were surprised at how seriously the children took it.

“We said as long as they made plans in advance they could run the school how they wanted.”

Mr Finlay said they wondered what the young people would come up with, but in the end it was very much on an ordinary school timetable.

During the day they linked in the themes of rights and respect, including the rights of children to have access to arts and sport, so a lot of the pupil/teachers were running classes such as basketball and art class.

The assistant head said: “We want to give the students here more of a voice as a build up to them having more of a voice in the wider community and further afields.”

He said the school wants to spread the message that people with special needs can do a lot of jobs which are out there, the same as anyone else and they want to go into employment.

He said as part of this the school is hoping to work even more closely with local businesses and employers to get this message across.

Hope Wood caters for two to 19-years-olds with a range of special educational needs.