Monday, 15 August 2022

Return of ’The Legend’

STEFAN GAWRYSIAK has returned to teaching at Gillotts School in Henley - three years after he

STEFAN GAWRYSIAK has returned to teaching at Gillotts School in Henley - three years after he retired.

He has been working 10 hours a week since January, helping pupils in years 10 and 11 prepare for their GCSE exams.

Stefan, who was nicknamed “The Legend” by students during his previous 29-year stint at the school, had no hesitation in agreeting to a request from headteacher Catharine Darnton to return.

He said: “Before Christmas they were short of a physics teacher so they asked me to come back and teach the exam groups in years 10 and 11 to give continuity and I stepped into the breach. I think I was a very good teacher then and still am. The students are absolutely brilliant and they really want to learn.”

When Stefan, 60, retired in the summer of 2011 he was assistant headteacher and the head of computing but when he started it was as a “bog standard” physics teacher before he became head of physics.

“Physics is actually my first love,” he says. “The last time I taught it was probably about 10 years ago when I stopped and moved on to computing.

“It is a real joy to go back - a delight in fact - and I’m really enjoying it.”

He says the curriculum has been updated, so that it is more relevant and now includes a bit on Stephen Hawking’s black holes theory.

“There were some new bits to do with space which I had never learned and never taught so I had to do a bit of prep for that,” he says. “It is great fun.”

He will remain in post until the end of May when the pupils will take their exams but says he would be happy to stay on if necessary.

“If they call me back for the other bits of teaching next year then so be it,” he said. “Gillotts is a very good school.”

Stefan became a town councillor representing Henley Residents’ Group after leaving Gillotts and is now chairman of the group.

He was Mayor last year and used to joke about how often his photograph used to appear in the Henley  Standard.

Indeed, he suggested the headline for this Diary item, saying: “You might like to title it, ’Legend returns’.” Perhaps he wants my job next!

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