I have been teaching in schools in London for over 15 years and am currently an Advanced Skills Teacher in History as well as a published author of textbooks for schools. In every school that I have worked in the links with the local community has been fundamental to the success of the school. This was particularly noticeable when I worked in a small boys inner city comprehensive in West London. Over the eight years that I was there, I felt that I was really part of a big family. The relationships that I built with the boys, teachers, support staff and headteacher were amazing and even though I left two years ago, that school will always be part of my soul. I was very honoured to be given opportunities to touch the lives of many many students at that school. We had some tough times, including the tragic stabbing of two of our students (in separate incidents), and we worked with students from around the capital and from across the globe who had many issues to deal with. However everyday there was something that brightened our hearts, whether it was a joke to share or a story to retell. We were able to provide fantastic opportunities to help the boys grow into young men that are confident to take on the challenges of the 21st century.