Carmina Ripolles

ENGLISH

I have been teaching now for 30 years – although these days I am only part-time. I studied English Literature ( BA Hons 2:1 ) at Cardiff University. I loved literature at school and although I’d never been to Wales and we didn’t have the internet in those days, I knew it was a Russell Group institution with its own theatre ( I also loved drama ) and was a long, long way from home. Coming from a small Yorkshire town, I was more than ready to make my escape.

I’m not too sure how I decided to become a teacher but I think I just wanted to continue my love affair with books and to share some of my enthusiasm with others. So, from Cardiff, I moved to London and was accepted on a Post Graduate teaching course at UCL Institute of Education – right in the heart of Bloomsbury. London in my 20s was fabulous and I got my first teaching job in a secondary school in Hackney. I remember, that first year the students bought me two goldfish and a bowl for a birthday present because they knew I missed having a pet at home! They were very happy and formative years. I loved the city and working as an English teacher in the East End in the 1990s was particularly vibrant and exciting. I stayed there for almost 10 years before I moved back up to Yorkshire and worked for a time at Bridlington Secondary school; exchanging the gruelling daily commute by train, tube and bus for the sea, fish and chips and a dog.

I have worked at Wilberforce since 2002 and have seen many changes over the years- especially to the building. It’s a great place and although I work part-time now because of family commitments, it’s always a pleasure to come in and see the students and staff.

Carmina Ripolles