John Retires…………

October 29th, 2014

John Hotchkiss, Assistant Headteacher at Ysgol Rhiwabon, finally retired from his post after forty years teaching in the same school. 

John came to Ysgol Rhiwabon as a trainee teacher in 1974 and was recruited to the staff by then Headteacher Mr Elwyn Roberts.

Mr Roberts was at the ceremony on October 25th to present John with a leaving present from the school and remind John of his initial days as young teacher in front of a large audience of friends and colleagues. 

John Hotchkiss was presented with an original artwork of the old boy’s grammar school and current buildings, painted by local artist and former colleague of John, Bill Beckett.

Mr Alun Harding, current Headteacher, thanked John for his many years’ service and spoke of dedication to the development of young people over the many years at Ysgol Rhiwabon and how he would be missed by all staff and students. 

John Hotchkiss said ‘I have many happy memories of my time here and will always think of Ysgol Rhiwabon as part of my home’.




October 29th, 2014
An award-winning Derbyshire playwright drama teacher will have her work showcased at two prestigious London arts events next week.
Tina Jay, who lives in West Hallam and teaches the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) syllabus at Trent College in Long Eaton, will see her new play ‘Back’, written for Vertical Line Theatre’s ‘Lineup’ evening, performed at the Greenwich Theatre on Saturday (1 November).
Her critically acclaimed play ‘Walking’, winner of the Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama Writing three years ago, will then be performed from the 3-9 November, produced by the actress/director Sarah Berger who runs the So and So Arts Club.
Tina, who first started writing poems and short stories as a child, has penned no fewer than eight full-length plays and a large number of short plays, enjoying seeing them performed regularly in London and around the rest of the UK. With two new productions looming she admits you can’ beat the opening night buzz.
Tina said: “For a lot of writers the actual performance night is quite tense and often quite difficult to enjoy, wondering how an audience is going to react to the piece, so I probably feel the most relaxed on seeing a play developed in rehearsal. However there is nothing like the thrill of actually seeing your work performed, even with the tension!
“A lot of theatre companies are really keen for writers to be involved in the production process which is great, and I find it really interesting and helpful to listen to feelings and input from actors, and to see the characters from their viewpoints.
“Likewise actors will often find it helpful to be able to ask the writer further questions about the piece in developing their character, and writers can equally learn from how an actor perceives the character and displays their characteristics.”
Tina wrote her first full-length play, ‘Rotten Apples’, in her final year at university and won the International Student Playscript Award judged by Sir Alan Ayckbourn. The play was then performed at The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.
The prolific writer is now working on a number of new works including a play of ‘Against the Law’ about the life of the journalist Peter Wildbloode, with Kibo Productions. She has also been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Commissions for a new play at London’s famous Old Vic theatre.
On top of her own writing, Tina teaches students in preparation for LAMDA examinations, at Trent College, specialising in a variety of areas including Acting, Devised Performance, and Speaking of Verse and Prose.
She believes both she and the students gain from her experience of having her plays performed in the heartland of British theatre.
Tina added: “I find writing plays very helpful in my LAMDA work, particularly in the way I look at helping a student in their approach to understanding the main objectives of the character, how the playwright has constructed the subtext, and each characters’ reactions to fit within the framework of the play.”
For more information about drama opportunities at Trent College visit