Pen Portrait of Christopher Rollings
Head Teacher

I began life as a baby, the youngest of seven children beloved to George and Betty. Apparently after already giving birth to six children, three girls and three boys, I popped out whilst she was putting the Yorkshire Puddings in the oven!

Never one to complain, my parents had obviously lost interest in charting my life, so the first photograph of me was aged 12, sitting on a Police bike in Stewart’s Park Middlesbrough. So when my class had to take a baby photograph to school, I was given a photo of my oldest brother Peter dressed in the fashions from 10 years earlier in three quarter length shorts and what could only be described as a blouse. Needless to say I was bullied and beaten and have never lived it down!

As ‘Gentleman Jim’ I wanted to be a train driver when I grew-up, but the shortage of coal in the 1970’s miner strike put paid to my ambitions. I laughed my way through school, Sister Mary Stanislaus yanked me off the fence and said, ‘I taught yer mother, I taught yer brothers, I taught yer sisters and you turned out to be a clown!’ A bit brutal but very true.

As a teenager I discovered the Catholic Handicapped Children’s Fellowship, a snappy PC title I’m sure you would agree. However, this was the making of me and from the minute I walked into my first club I was captivated by the children, young people and adults with additional needs that I had never come across before.

My apprenticeship had begun and for the next ten years I volunteered in clubs, residential homes, accompanied members with a range of needs on holidays all year round and decided to take up my initial teacher training specialising in learning disabilities.

So, from the Tees to the Tyne and I’ve never looked back. I began my teaching career in North Seaton, then Morpeth, then Hexham and then to Newcastle and Hadrian School. In between I’ve been a Class Teacher, Deputy Head, Acting Head, and Advisory Teacher before taking up my post as Head after the sad loss of our previous Head Teacher, Liz Turnbull.

I never intended staying so long, too long you shout? But I’m in my element and loving every minute of the challenges and joys working at Hadrian brings.

Outside of school I have a love of walking, especially with my best friend Alfie, socialising with friends and family or watching a good Nordic drama with a glass or two of the old vino. I’m a fair weather cyclist and, with structural support, can still do the ‘odd turn’ on a trampoline.

My ambitions are to grow old disgracefully but never to actually grow-up. Hopefully our paths will cross and if we haven’t met ‘hello’ and if we have met, I’ll be seeing you again soon.

All the very best, Chris