Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > 35 Years of Co-education > Co-Education Memories from Mrs Bushby

Co-Education Memories from Mrs Bushby

Diana Bushby was Director of Music in the Junior School from 1987

My first association with Hymers was in 1970, when I was appointed as a part time Bassoon teacher in the Senior School. It was a very masculine environment in those days. Coming from a mixed educational setting, I found it quite hard to call my students by their surnames, but it soon became part of my life at the school.

I remember that the boys were very smart in appearance and incredibly polite, always opening doors for me and treating me with great respect. They also seemed to have an underlying sense of humour which I found was very refreshing to work with, during our weekly lessons. I remember thinking at the time that it was certainly the place that I would like to send my two young boys to, when they eventually reached the age to sit the Junior School entrance examination.

I moved on to teach class music in various secondary schools in the area and returned as Director of Music in the Junior School, not long before the first group of girls arrived.

I suppose, as other members of staff have voiced, we were somewhat wary that the girls would ‘take over’, especially in the arts subjects, but this was not the case. 

Social skills were increased, and a healthy feeling of competition developed between the two sexes. Musically, we expanded; we continued with our wonderful boy’s chamber choir and the girls soon requested a separate one of their own. Such groups as the Junior School Orchestra, String Group, Recorder Consort, Brass Group, and Wind Band expanded because of our additional numbers and they represented the school at various combined workshops and music festivals.

The girls did bring colour into our lives, especially in the musical productions which they graced with their beautiful artwork, dancing, gymnastics, and acting skills. At this time, it was possible to have independent choirs in each school year, and the Chamber Concerts were a platform for all the children to perform, especially as a rehearsal before they took their Associated Board examinations. (The occasions could be rather long but were great fun!).

My aim throughout my time at Hymers was to give the students a really wide experience of all types of music before they moved up to the Senior School. With the aid of the descant recorder and tonic solfa, they could all read music at the end of Year 6, and this helped them enormously when they transferred to playing an orchestral instrument or started to have singing lessons. 

Music touched them all, both boys and girls. I am really pleased to say that some of them have moved on to become members of both the theatrical and music professions.

Diana Bushby, OH Staff 1987-2011

Similar stories

Mr King with Mrs Chorlton

Neil King was Director of Sixth Form and Head of English, starting at the school in 1974 More...

To many, she was the 'Mum' of the school; Senior Mistress and English Teacher, Mary Chorlt More...

Forms 1A and 1B, with the first girls to start the Senior School

September 1989 saw a major change in the school's history but the presence of girls at the More...

Peter Bingham took up the post of Head of the Junior School in 1984 and successfully overs More...

Chris Fitzpatrick was Head of Physical Education and started at Hymers College in 1980 More...

Jenny started in the Senior School in Year 8 when the school had become co-educational More...

Dr Geoff Wilson at an OH Lunch with Elizabeth Powell

Dr Wilson, Head of Modern Languages, started at Hymers College just before the first girls More...

Laura, OH 1994-04, joined the Junior School five years after girls were admitted to study More...

Most read

Rob Newton, OH 2000-07 and current Junior School teacher, recorded his personal best in the event More...

Peter Bingham took up the post of Head of the Junior School in 1984 and successfully oversaw the introduction of girls in 1989 More...

Have your say

 
This website is powered by
ToucanTech