Headteacher put to the test as he becomes a school pupil for the day

One of the pupils. Throston primary school headteacher Mark Atkinson taking part in a storytelling performance.
One of the pupils. Throston primary school headteacher Mark Atkinson taking part in a storytelling performance.

HE took part in a mental maths test, spent breaktime playing with the kids on the playground and sat with his legs crossed in assembly - and he’s the headteacher.

Easy-going Mark Atkinson, the headteacher of Throston Primary School, Hartlepool, even swapped his usual attire of a suit and tie for the school uniform as he spent the day as a pupil.

Instead of taking the assembly, he sat on the floor with the other youngsters and his literacy skills were put to the test when he had to read to one of the teachers.

It wasn’t the usual school day, but Mr Atkinson revealed he quite enjoyed it, and explained how the activity was organised by the school council as part of the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day, a national initiative to give young people the chance to work with adults for the day and be involved in decision making.

The youngsters who make up the school council at Throston Primary School put their heads together on how they can take part and came up with the idea of Mr Atkinson joining them as a pupil for the day.

“It wasn’t a typical day, but I really enjoyed it,” laughed Mr Atkinson.

“And it was actually really interesting to see things from a pupil’s point of view.”

Mr Atkinson took part in a class with every year group in the school from craft making with the nursery children to a Zumba session with the Year 5 girls and playing football with the Year 6 boys, but it was an art class which the headteacher said he enjoyed the most.

Emma Robins, acting deputy headteacher at the school, in Flint Walk, said: “The children all thought it was absolutely fantastic.

“It’s not everyday the children have their school dinner with the headteacher sat next to them in a school uniform.”

The school council will now set up a meeting with Mr Atkinson and quiz him on how enjoyed the day and complete an evaluation.