What are your school memories? Q&A with the Future Conditional company

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As Future Conditional focuses on the conundrum of British schooling, we asked members of the company to answer questions about their school days. Below are some of the responses

Did you have a teacher that inspired you?

Louisa Beadel: Mr Dereza and Mrs Ashe. They taught me that being a little bit naughty is no bad thing, and that rules should sometimes be broken.
Eleanor Sutton: I had an English teacher called Mr Davies who introduced me to so many things – poetry, philosophy, politics…and, most importantly, The Thick of It! It sounds pretty ridiculous, but I literally don’t think I’d be the same person had I not had him as a teacher.
Sam Jenkins-Shaw: My English teacher Mrs Walker. She got me into acting and has a lot to answer for!

What song reminds you of school?

Ben Lloyd-Hughes: Steal My Sunshine by LEN. I heard that the other day and got a real pang of summer term as a teenager. That or Hit Me Baby One More Time by Britney Spears.
LB: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. It reminds me of stupid dancing in the common room.
ES: If we’re talking primary school it has to be Whole Again by Atomic Kitten. We used to pretend we were them – we did the moves and everything! And when we felt like we had perfected it, we charged the other kids 20p to come and watch a rendition. Worth every penny, I reckon.
Peta Cornish: Liquid Dreams by O-Town…I don’t think we knew what it meant! It reminds me of school dance competitions. Also Backstreets Back by the Backstreet Boys and Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega.

What was your favourite subject in school?

Natalie Klamar: P.E. was my favourite. I loved being in a team, braving the cold and rain but feeling the satisfaction of having gone through it together.
Carla Langley: R.E. was probably my favourite subject because I find religion fascinating and it was so interesting to learn about different faiths.
ES: English Literature, for sure. I bloody loved the transporting quality of it. And I also loved the debates (/occasional arguments) which were sparked through analysing the texts. I have to say though, the primary reason that I loved was probably because there was no such thing as a ‘wrong’ answer. Nobody likes being wrong, do they?

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your student self?

Amy Dawson: Don’t be so hard on yourself.
PC: Enjoy every moment. Worry less.
CL: I would have told myself to speak up more and not to be so shy!
LB: Don’t try to fit in. ‘Uncool is the new cool.’ Don’t hold yourself back because there is someone sniggering in the background. It is likely they are jealous and want to join in.
NK: I would say enjoy this time, try to get your head out of the clouds a bit and maybe try to listen a little more…

What one thing would you suggest the Government changes to benefit the education system in the UK?

SJ-S: Implement Alia’s idea from the play. Do away with any kind of selection – be it financial or intellectual selection – and just have comprehensive, mixed, free education for all.
AD: Schools need to have a greater focus on spiritual well being and inspire children to be individuals and to find their own paths. We need to transform schools into exciting learning centres and teach meditation and allow children to make mistakes.
CL: More practical lessons! Academic lessons are important too but I think kids also need to be taught in different ways as well. Make school more stimulating and exciting for the kids.
BL-H: I think they could change the way exams are and the way subjects are taught. In general, results are about people who were best at remembering the right answers and ‘core phrases’ etc in the right order. But those people aren’t necessarily the people who have the best true understanding of the subject. I certainly didn’t think the system promoted creativity or original thought enough.

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