top of page

Why I Left



Restrictive curriculum


I’ve always been innovative in my teaching. I remember in my high school teaching days having children literally jumping off the chairs during an ofsted inspection. I mean how else do you teach them ‘une grande maison’ (big house) in French. Luckily the inspector loved it and embraced my wacky ways, but looking back it could have gone the other way.


But then turning in the handbook to reveal that next term I had to teach them about the region of Normandy. Petits Pois not only allows me to teach my own tried and tested curriculum, but also allows me to constantly change, keep current and ultimately stay fun. Likewise I don’t need to wait until the children are 13 to teach body parts in French, we do this from 4 months.

Although I was innovative, I was still bound by the school curriculum. I remember revamping the clothes topic with my quite challenging year 9 class who I actually managed to engage by bringing in fashion and sports brands. 


Teachers are not left to teach


If teachers were just left to teach, the quality of what we would deliver and the results would be so much better. Instead we are constantly bombarded with data to analyse, hoops to jump through, a new coloured pen to colour code in our marking, a new style of teaching to embed by next week, new unrealistic targets for students to reach by next term, staff meetings for the sake of hitting our meeting hours…the list goes on. All of the above takes us away from the job we trained to do, and are so passionate about and in time can take us away from the classroom completely, as it did me. I remember one night telling my then 3 and 1 year old that mummy couldn’t read a story tonight at bedtime as I had work to do.

In reality, I had to go and remark a box of books I had already marked that week to implement a new ‘marking scheme’ before a book scrutiny the next day. It still breaks my heart now that I let that job steal these precious moments. Now don’t get me wrong, petits pois takes up a LOT of my time and being a business owner isn’t easy, but I get to self manage my tasks and time much better, and the tasks I do are all purposeful and add value.


Languages are undervalued


In high school, in that one hour a week saved for language learning, language teachers strive to engage the learners in this often new subject to hopefully keep them onboard. As y7 is filled with lots of vocabulary lists, these topics lend themselves to games and fun activities. However, very quickly in y8, the learning has to turn serious… tenses, sentences, paragraphs and suddenly this once ‘extra-curricular’ type lesson just cannot hold its own against the other established subjects science, maths, English, etc and very quickly the children start to turn against language learning. This can result in issues with behaviour in language lessons as they rebel against a subject because the challenge doesn’t match up to the credibility of the subject. The amount of parents that have told me over the years “Everyone messed about in our French class!” Imagine planning fun, engaging activities but there is no interest to learn.

Now imagine if the word level learning happened much earlier as babies/toddlers at a language class like mine and then continued in primary school with more serious (but still fun) French sessions, increasing their vocab and working on chatting and writing in sentences. That way, continuing in high school at the next level would not be such a big deal, and would also give languages a valued place on the timetable, as it has been embedded from a younger age. There’d be less nervous teenagers dreading having to answer up in a French class that’s for sure. So yeh that’s my dream, my goal, my reason for franchising. Let’s open these little minds to create a lifelong love of languages! Want to be a part of it?


What would you like to do now?

bottom of page