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Carole Bell – Bath Spa University

Carole first started at Newton Park in 1966. She and her classmates spent a month in a village school just to check that teaching was something they wanted to do. She has fond memories of country walks with children, collecting natural objects to make into artwork.

"Fifty years later, four of us from college met up in Bath. We revisited all our favourite places, even Sally Lunns, and it was like we'd never been apart."

Carol Bell

Village Surveys, that’s what I remember when I first started at Newton Park in 1966. We spent a month in a village school just to check that teaching was really something we wanted to do. I remember country walks with just me and about 12 children, collecting natural objects to make into artwork.

My first year was at Parkfield Hostel, near the park and an easy walk into Bath. About fifteen of us lived there, mainly in shared rooms. Then years two and three in Sydney Hall on campus. I studied History and Drama. History in a real castle with Mr Wainwright and Mr Waters and Drama with Miss Morris, travelling in coaches all costumed and made up, to put on plays to schools, or having children work with us in college. Also, a performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream, when I remember being painted silver.

Teaching practices in Keynsham, Saltford and Bath (back of the station and over the canal – that was interesting!) and Education Lectures with Miss Sankey. I first taught at Wick, a lovely little village school in Gloustershire, now Avon. Then I went with my husband to Jamaica as he was on a Study and Serve course with the ODA. Using Yellow Pages, I found myself teaching at Mona Prep school in Kingston, where I actually even taught Mr Seagar’s son. He was the Prime Minister. Then I taught in Montego Bay at St James Prep School (apart from the four weeks when I ended up having my appendix removed – by the vet!).

Coming home after backpacking around South America, we still couldn’t settle, so we went to Kenya, where we lived in Mombasa. I taught at Loretto convent until I had my two children. Teaching for me in the early years was really a great vehicle for travel. Camping safaris, amazing animals and at school putting on a nativity play with the most beautiful angels and a donkey.

The Alumni Oral Histories project aimed to gather individual voices and views from the University's teaching alumni community and publish these stories in people's own words. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.

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