Paul Hanmore's #Back2School blog

Paul Hanmore



1. What was your school like?

It was a medium sized 600 pupil capacity mixed school in a small town of the New Forest.

2. What is your favourite memory of school?

Going on a trip to Anduze in France for an adventure holiday when I was in Year 9. It was a whole week out of school with nothing but camping, French food (yum) good friends, kayaking and white water rafting. Awesome. 

3. How did your school experience influence/help your career?

I trained as a Primary School Teacher as I felt I could do a job as good as those who taught me. I also felt that I wanted to educate and support students so they had a positive school experience with me and feel safe whilst at school. Even though I do not teach now, I felt that youth work and supportive roles were the best way for me to support young people and encourage them to find support networks, like I did, to be the best they could be. 

4. Were you bullied at school? If so how did you overcome this?

Yes all the way through Primary and Secondary. Even though I do not remember what happened at Primary school that well, I experienced several types of bullying at secondary school which were isolation, harassment, verbal insults and derogatory comments on my musical tastes and friendship groups. I wouldn’t say I overcame it at school which is something I still wish to this day I had,  as I had many friends and family members who cared for me and would have helped me if I had asked them to. My empowerment came after secondary school when I realised that who I was ok and I should be proud of what makes me amazing. 

5. What was your favourite school subject?

Without a doubt PE. Even though I was intimidated by bullies at times, I got to do a variety of sports, albeit some not too well!

6. What did you look forward to when you went back to school after the holidays? What advice would you give to young people who are going back to school after the holidays?

Even though there were difficulties at school, I always had a lot of people who liked me so it was good to see them; that’s what was important to me.

7. Was there anything you worried about when you went back to school after the holidays? How did you overcome this?

Yes I would say the uncomfortable feeling when I was in the classroom with the bullies; break times were fine as I just avoided them when  could, but it was impossible to avoid it in some classes. 

8. What was your favourite school meal?

I always had packed lunch, but always managed to sneak in a bit of cake form the canteen at breaktimes!

9. If you had to go back to school again what would you change?

I would tackle bullying directly by actually telling EVERYONE what was happening. Most importantly, I would go back with the courage I now have to stand up to the bullies, challenge them constructively and make everyone in the school aware that bullying is never acceptable and educate them on the types so everyone could make a difference.

10. What advice would you give to anyone who is worried about going back to school because of bullying issues?

The best tip I can tell someone is to talk to someone you trust. Gain that support, believe in yourself and celebrate who you are; never let the bullies take it away from you so seek that support to be the person you are.

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