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In the spotlight…Mr Furness

Behind every great teacher, there’s an equally amazing back story.

It may come as a surprise, but did you know Mr Furness hasn’t always been a teacher? You may know him for his quick-witted nature and card tricks, but do you know about the late-night college sessions, his brush as Postman Pat or what really makes him tick in school? Nah, we didn’t think so.

We spent 10-minutes getting to know Mr Furness. Here’s his Belthorn spotlight!

How long have you been at Belthorn Academy?

I joined the school in September 2016 as a newly qualified teacher, and have been here ever since. I always said that I wanted a to do a job that was as rewarding as it was difficult.

Did you have a career before teaching?

Teaching wasn’t my first foray into the world of work. I’ve worked in sales, selling solar panels, I’ve worked in call centres. You may also have seen me dressed in red at 4:30am, following a spell working for the Royal Mail as a postman. I then worked in a warehouse, travelling to college on my bike every night, and that’s where I did my degree in English and Modern History.

I did think about becoming a politician and also becoming a secondary school history teacher, but after volunteering in a primary school, I decided I wanted to become a teacher, and that’s when I decided to undertake my teacher training.

Where did you train?

When I was training I spent time at St Mary’s, Oswaldtwistle, and then also at Belthorn Academy.

Why do you love teaching?

I like being at the front of the class. I never saw myself as being in management – I love being in class with the children. I love that moment I can see them engage with a topic and say “aaah”. Needless to say, I also like making them laugh.

A little bit about your teaching role at Belthorn? Any specialisms?

I teach Year 6, the Otters! …and I am the English subject lead.

Why do you like working at Belthorn?

I have so many friends here. I love the view. I love the snow (when it comes). The people are amazing and it’s a great team to be part of.

What are you passionate about in school and out of school? 

I love writing and take every opportunity to hone my writing skills, from children’s fiction to dabbling in technology and AI. I also love writing and (sometimes) performing stand-up comedy.

Most memorable moment as a teacher?

For me, it’s the moment that someone makes it on their SATs when they didn’t expect to. It’s when you can see that progress and realise what’s possible.