“They can’t get through school without their friends.”
So stated Mrs Crowther, a head of year at Thornhill. How right she is. Save for a minor blip in Year 4 when I was CRUELLY FROZEN OUT by Jenny and Jane (still not quite over it), by the time I reached Broughton Hall I was happy as the proverbial Larry, surrounded by amigas that are still my friends to this very day. We didn’t fall out and we weren’t bullied (not sure why with regards to the latter – we should have been prime bullying targets as we were a bit weird.) So my schooldays were very harmonious, luckily.
Sadly not everyone has it as good as me in this area (and before you accuse me of sounding smug, can I just point out that this is LITERALLY the only area that was good during my formative years – I was a geek, I had bad skin, I possessed no sporting ability whatsoever and I had a blue brace. I had very little going for me.) This week’s episode of Educating Yorkshire was all about when normally nice girls go a bit Mean Girls.
It focused on a friendship between two girls who were about to sit their GCSEs, Safiyyah and Hadiqa. Safiyyah was…loud, shall we say, and was determined in her quest to become possibly the most incomprehensible air hostess in the world (seriously, she spoke quicker than me.) The only thing standing in her way was that her written English was exactly the same as her spoken English (i.e peppered with “innits” and “likes”) so gaining the C grade required to get on a college course was looking unlikely – as Miss Uren bluntly put it, “I still think you’re going to struggle to get that C.”
Meanwhile, Hadiqa, who wanted to be prime minister, had been at Thornhill for just ten months yet had formed a firm friendship with Safiyyah in the way that you do when you’re young and you make best friends with someone after about five minutes. Hadiqa had the audacity to possess brains as well as beauty so naturally was the butt of other kids’ jokes, but due to the fact that she often moved schools thanks to her father’s work, she seemed older than her years and had a self-assured air about her in comparison to her peers.
Her cool exterior slipped somewhat when the fickle Safiyyah let herself be influenced by the friends she’d known since primary school, who didn’t like Hadiqa, blatantly because they were jealous of her. Hadiqa took to hiding in the loos, flouncing dramatically in and out of classrooms and also developed a penchant for attempting to flip tables over, randomly. Safiyyah in turn blamed Hadiqa for phone calls that her dad had received from an anonymous source which informed him that Safiyyah spoke to boys on Facebook (I give thanks every day for the fact that Facebook did not exist during my school days. Surely the bane of every teacher’s life?) It culminated in Hadiqa returning to school after her nan died and Safiyyah aggressively informing her that she was sorry to hear about her nan but that she didn’t want to be friends with her anymore. Lovely!
Then, as quickly as it had escalated, it all blew over. We saw them skip hand-in-hand down the corridor together, declaring that they were friends forever (until their next tiff, I’d imagine.) Safiyyah missed a C in English by just one mark but got into college anyway. Hadiqa was not prime minister by the end of the episode but I wouldn’t put it past her to succeed…
Next week – Year 9s. As we’re all painfully aware, Year 9 is a dark time for everyone involved. Everyone looks a show and has a bad attitude. Cannot wait.
A Few More Things
Lovely shot of Georgia wiping her nose on the back of her hand at the beginning of the episode.
Ryan’s still hilarious – “I want to be an actor or a singer. Or a fireman.”
Ditto Robbie Joe – “I wanna do what my dad does…he’s…I don’t even know what my dad does.” Brilliant.