Students at Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy took over their teacher’s lessons for a day to support World Cancer Day.
Teacher Joe Gent’s form group 7JG was given the task of planning and preparing his lessons and delivering them.
Mr Gent was inspired to support World Cancer Day following his own experience – he was diagnosed with cancer a year ago and is now in remission.
It is a cause extremely close to his own heart as his grandma has also recently been diagnosed with lung cancer.
He said: “Following my own personal experience of cancer I wanted to raise awareness and money. I wanted to do something with my tutor group that was a bit different so I thought they could take over my lessons for the day.
“I’m a Maths teacher so they had to come up with a lesson plan and they were given time to do that. It gave them a little bit of an idea what it’s like to be a teacher. They had to be organised and needed to work well as a team, get their timings right and show leadership skills.
“They had to bid for the class they wanted to teach, the classes with siblings in were the most popular, and they were also issuing fines.
“They responded brilliantly. I think it was an eye-opener and it was great to see them demonstrating traits that I didn’t know they had. One of my students was like a mini teaching assistant, looking to help others, giving advice and answers and showing maturity beyond her years.”
World Cancer Day is run by Cancer Research UK in a bid to raise awareness and funds to accelerate the fight against cancer.
Student Keira Banks, 11, said: “Taking Mr Gent’s lesson was hard but it was a good experience. There was lots of work to do to plan the lesson and it showed us how much work teachers have to do. It’s great though that we’ve been raising money for a good cause as well.”
Student Cecilia Butterfield, 11, said: “I really enjoyed helping to teach the lesson, it was good fun but we also learnt about how much preparation goes into lessons.”

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