Mr Lodge celebrates 30 years at chalk-face

NOW: Alistair Lodge celebrates 30 years of teaching at St Pauls School in Alverthorpe with some of the children.
NOW: Alistair Lodge celebrates 30 years of teaching at St Pauls School in Alverthorpe with some of the children.

A teacher has been honoured for teaching at the same school for 30 years.

Alistair Lodge, 54, has seen many changes since he started at St Paul’s School in Alverthorpe back in 1987.

THEN: Teacher Mr Lodge is the big kid on the front row in 1987.

THEN: Teacher Mr Lodge is the big kid on the front row in 1987.

He said: “When I first started it was blackboard and chalk dust. Then we had boards with white strips on that you could wipe off, which was magical. Then there was the over head projector and white boards.

“Computers came in and the head teacher aimed to have one between two classes. Now each child has a computer when they need it. That’s a massive change.”

Other differences are the class sizes, Mr Lodge started with 27 pupils in a class in 1987 but now he has 37 children to teach and ten more books to mark.

While the catchment area has remained largely unchanged, there are a few foreign voices around the school as there are children from overseas areas too.

Education chiefs from Wakefield Council sent Mr Lodge a thank you card and a note to mark his 30-year milestone.

He posed with the letter for a photograph with some of the schoolchildren. He doesn’t look too different from his 1987 ‘school starter’ picture, left.

Mr Lodge joked: “I’m the ‘Peter Pan’ of St Paul’s. My own sons rib me when they see that photo and say ‘who’s the big kid in middle’.”

He also remembers his mentor Jim Finnegan who gave the new teacher lots of help. Mr Lodge added: “He was great to chat to and he taught me quite a lot in my first few years. He showed me the ropes and was a role model. He became the deputy head at Kirkhamgate. I remember him starting me off and I thank him for that.”