Books – what they say about you!

Books – what they say about you!

A house without books is the home of a person without a soul.

There is nothing more mind expanding than a book; nothing can transport you, move you, educate you, develop your empathy, understanding and widen your scope as a book.

I loved books from the moment my mother read to me. I loved reading and devoured everything Enid Blyton and W E Johns had written before I was ten.

It wasn’t until I reached the age of eighteen that my girlfriend got me off the Alistair Maclean and Hammond Innes into reading real writers. It was as if a floodgate had been opened and I devoured them. I love science fiction because of the worlds of possibility it opens up. There are no barriers.

I read books for different reasons. Some are merely entertaining, some educational, some intriguing and some expanding. It depends on my mood.

The books you own and treasure tell the story of who you are. When you go in a person’s house you only need to browse their book shelves and record collection to know everything about them.

Books reflect your personality and also help form it.

Crap in – crap out.

Diamonds in – improvement out.

Beware – your books are who you are! They tell the story.

The books I’ve written are insights into my inner world; they are mirrors.


Opher’s Art and Outpourings – an extract from one of my many books.

I thought it was time I gave you a little extract from one of my books. I am a writer and am trying to make a meagre living out of my creativity. When that fails I do it for fun.

I like my books and have great response from people that have read them. Not many of you leave reviews though.

So please give me some encouragement by buying a book and leaving a review. It’d make my day.

Here’s an extract from my Art book – Opher’s Art and Outpourings. I hope you like it. If you do please leave a like and a comment. If you hate it then let me know.


Alien Vision in red – 1972


This is collaboration with Pete Smith. He did the drawing. I did the painting.

Pete was brilliant at doing these cartoons and drawings. He could encapsulate so much into them. I was impressed by his genius.

I had always been keen on Science Fiction. I do not like Fantasy. My penchant was for stories based on real science about life in the future. Science Fiction may be the work of imagination but it presents a lot of scope for looking into the depths of the future at what might happen. There’s a lot to be learnt from studying the future.

All the religious fanatics believe that we are the only intelligent beings in the universe. That we were placed here and the universe was created by God for us.

I find that not only naive and simplistic but completely laughable.

I wish the Neanderthal’s had not become extinct. If there were two separate species of intelligent humans it would have been much harder for the fanatics to represent us as the chosen ones made in God’s image.

I do not believe in any god. I do not believe we have evolved. I certainly do not believe in the incredibly narcissistic view that the whole infinite universe was created for our benefit.

One day we will (if we manage to survive long enough) discover other intelligent life in this galaxy. When that day happens, and I doubt (due to the immense distances involved) that it will be a face to face contact, it will shake the religious fanatics to the core.

I love the way Pete created the mirror-image of NASA, the reflection of the alien and tears.

Education – A Passion for Education – The Story of a Headteacher

Education – A Passion for Education – The Story of a Headteacher


Education is in a mess. The whole programme of knowledge-based rote learning, teaching by numbers and tick-box over-analysis is driving good, inspirational teachers out, making our children statistics and taking us back to the 1950s.

I was responsible for three Outstanding Ofsted’s in a row, without selling out, while keeping my students at the centre of everything, producing a caring, friendly school and generating a positive, happy community.

I didn’t do that by kowtowing to Ofsted. I didn’t do that by following the standard path. I did it with a clear philosophy in which each and every one of my students were equally important.

This book tells you how, why and what that philosophy was. It is sprinkled with anecdotes that illustrate the philosophy.

I think that A Passion For Education is a good read for everyone, whether you are in education or not, and a book any teacher would find thought provoking.


Foreword                                                                                5

Chapter 1 – Headship – beginning the perfect storm and

other disasters                                                     13

Chapter 2 – More about the catastrophe at the beginning      23

Chapter 3 – Second time of asking                                         31

Chapter 4 – Relationship, ethos and philosophy                    37

Chapter 5 – The purpose of education                                    52

Chapter 6 – PSHE and drugs                                                 57

Chapter 7 – Managing people                                                 72

Chapter 8 – Relationships                                                       80

Chapter 9 – The curriculum                                                    93

Chapter 10 – Inspections                                                        100

Chapter 11 – The pastoral system                                           108

Chapter 12 – The whole child unwrapped from ‘red tape’    113

Chapter 13 – Great lessons – great teaching                           123

Chapter 14 – Knowing your students                                     133

Chapter 15 – Open doors and open minds                             141

Chapter 16 – Managing change                                              145

Chapter 17 – Work ethic and effort                                       148

Chapter 18 – Those that can’t do!                                          153

Chapter 19 – The government and politics and worst

experiences                                                      155

Chapter 20 – The tick-box culture                                          161

Chapter 21 – Assemblies                                                        165

Chapter 22 – Time management                                             167

Chapter 23 – Banding, streaming and comprehensive

education                                                        171

Chapter 24 – My early years                                                   175

Chapter 25 – Outside interests                                               178

Chapter 26 – Dealing with bullying                                        179

Chapter 27 – Grammar schools and selection             182

Chapter 28 – Restorative practice                                           186

Chapter 29 – Academies, free schools and religious

schools                                                            189

Chapter 30 – Inspirational teachers                                        192

Chapter 31 – Safeguarding and health & safety                    197

Chapter 32 – Assessment and marking                                   203

Chapter 33 – It’s the little things that count                           207

Chapter 34 – Starting school sets the tone                             211

Chapter 35 – Individuality or uniforms?                                215

Chapter 36 – Parents!!!                                                           218

Chapter 37 – Private education                                              227

Chapter 38 – Training and politicians                                     231

Chapter 39 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Head                                           238

Chapter 40 – Finance                                                              240

Chapter 41 – Publicity                                                            242

Chapter 42 – Back your staff                                                 245

Chapter 43 – Attendance                                                        247

Chapter 44 – Student Voice                                                   249

Chapter 45 – Governors                                                          250

Chapter 46 – Specialisms                                                        251

Chapter 47 – Politics and education and austerity                 253

Chapter 48 – My own classroom Ofsted inspections             256

Chapter 49 – Appointments and promotions                          257

Chapter 50 – Leadership and management                            260

Chapter 51 – The precariousness of Headship and the

tyranny Ofsted has become                            262

Chapter 52 –   How to pass an Ofsted Inspection                 266

Chapter 53 –   The future of education                                  267

Chapter 54 –   Retirement                                                      269

Appendix 1 – What qualities a Headteacher requires             271

Appendix 2 – What really works in the realm of education   273

Appendix 3 – What is neither effective nor desirable                        280

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My writing. Thank you to all those people who have purchased my books.

My writing. Thank you to all those people who have purchased my books.

Thank you to all purchasers of my books. And thank you for your great responses. It is very heart-warming to hear in this desolate age.

My writing has purpose, intent and gravity. I do not write trivia. I do not write for profit. Yet I believe my work is readable, fun and thought provoking.

It is different. You do not get the corporate easy-read book. You get something more fulfilling. I have many completely different styles and genres.

You may like to check them out on my Author’s Page on Amazon:

I’d really appreciate you taking a look and giving me a view of what you think?

Thank you!

PS – Thanks for buying my books and feeding back such great feedback. It is very heartening – but please leave reviews so that other people can hear what you have to say!

Please go to and not tygpress!

My dear Indian friends,

It appears that is putting out the entire output of my, and other peoples blogs.

Unfortunately they have not actually asked permission to do this.

However, I am pleased that my material is finding an audience out there in India, though I would prefer that you get the content direct from my blog:

You can do this by clicking this link:

If you like my writing you might be interested in purchasing one of my books. They are available on Amazon under either Opher Goodwin or Ron Forsythe.

Ron Forsythe is my pen name for my best Sci-fi novels:

Opher Goodwin is the name I use for a wide range of different books:


I think you will like what you find!


Thank you for your support.

New Poetry Book Fana Ticks, Fantas Ticks, Miss Ticks & Polly Ticks now available in paperback!

New Poetry Book Fana Ticks, Fantas Ticks, Miss Ticks & Polly Ticks now available in paperback!

If you’ve been digging the poems I’ve been putting out on my blog you might like to own some!

Available on the dreaded Amazon!

In the UK

In India

Unfortunately seems to be taking longer to come out in India! Hopefully it will be there soon! At the moment the digital version is available!

In the USA

Thank you for supporting me!

My Ten favourite books (Not as easy as you might think!)


Opher's World Books

Choosing ten favourite books is almost impossible. I love books and must have read thousands. A while ago I started to realise that some of my favourite books I had not read for forty years. So I went back and reread them. Sadly a number of them did not stand up to the scrutiny.

This list will change daily but it is fun to do (They are not in any particular order):

a. On the Road – Jack Kerouac

It is a book of its time but I love reading it. The flow of the words as they tumble along in that stream of consciousness. I am aware of the sexist irresponsibility of the beast but it is so full of life. It was the first book that dared to say there was an alternative to the machine of the establishment. I love its vitality and daring.

b. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s nest – Ken Kesey

The film was good but, as is often the case, the book is so much better. In the book Murphy is a side character. The action takes place in Chief Broom’s head. It is a book about freedom.

c. The Magus – John Fowles

I adored this book. It played with your head so that you did not know what to believe. It was so well written that it drew you in. The trouble is that you cannot reread it once you know what happens and I was a bit disappointed with the ending.

d. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

This was an Indian Sci-Fi book for me. It was so funny, textured and fast moving. I’ve just realised that I want to reread it again.

e. The Tin Drum – Gunter Grass

I often have two books on the go and I read this one at the same time as the Rushdie. They both had a similar feel for me. I loved the humour, Sci-Fi element and pace. I also loved the message in it.

f. Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami

All Murakami’s books have a surreal quality to them. They feel other-wordly. I lose myself in them. It was a toss up between this one and most of the others. IQ84 is probably just as good.

g. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

The story of the dust bowl refugees so strongly put you could feel the injustice and persecution. I used to prefer East of Eden as a story but having reread that I’m back to this one as his best.

h. Whit – Iain Banks

I loved all Iain Bank’s books and especially his culture series. The Wasp Factory was exceptional but Whit blew me away.

I. 1984 – George Orwell

I used to prefer Keep the Asphidistra Flying but I’ve come back to this one. It is still chilling. Our society is controlling. Big Brother really does live.

j. Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D. H. Lawrence

Women in Love, The Rainbow and Son’s and Lovers all do it for me but I think Lady Chatterly’s was the one that captured his philosophy.

k. The Tropic of Capricorn – Henry Miller

He started modern writing for me. The bohemian dream in New York and Paris. This book encapsulated it.

l. Journey Beyond Tomorrow – Robert Sheckley

Sci-Fi is one of my passions. I don’t like Fantasy but something that makes you think. Sc-Fi, when it’s good, is about the possible.

m. For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway

A story of love and betrayal in the hopeless morass of the Spanish civil war. The fight against fascism undermined by intrigue. A great book.

n. 2001 A Space Odyssey – Arthur C Clarke

I could put a whole lot of Sci-Fi in here but Arthur really painted a picture here and the film, for once, captured it.

o. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess

How the imagination runs riot. A great book.

p. A Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

A horrifying story of how religious fanaticism can destroy people. I think I preferred Oryx and Crake as a story but this really told a chilling story.

q. The Book of Dave – Will Self

Will Self surpassed himself on this one. I loved the apocalyptic story.

r. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

The way he captured the time and feel of society in Britain back in the 1930s was spectacular. The aristocracy looking to appease Hitler – brilliant.

Well that must be ten by now (and I’ve just got in my stride). I’ll have a think. There’s some I know I’ve missed out of my top ten that definitely should be there!

New Poetry Book – Fana Ticks, Fantast Ticks, Miss Ticks & Poly Ticks

My latest poetry book is now available in digital form from Amazon:

In the UK

In India

In the USA

It is an anthology of political, social, love and Nature poems!

I hope you enjoy it!

Book Recommendations – Education – Christopher Goodwin

I worked as a teacher for thirty six years and was the Headteacher of a highly successful Comprehensive Secondary School in the UK.

I had a very clear philosophy which was the driving force behind that success. This book is part memoir, part anecdote and tells the real behind the scenes story. You don’t need to be a teacher to appreciate it.

If you are interested in education or just want a behind the scenes look then why not give it a read?

In the UK:

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Thank you for supporting me and my writing.

Recommendations – Antitheism and religion – Opher Goodwin

I am not only an atheist but also an antitheist. I believe that religion does more harm than good.

While I am tolerant of all religions (as long as religious people do not indoctrinate children or try to force their views on others) I would prefer to see all religion die away and be replaced with a better set of beliefs.

This is a sacrilegious, humorous attempt at sending up religion. If you fancy a laugh why not give it a read?

In the UK:

In the USA:

Thank you for supporting me and my writing.