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Alumni Case Study: Emma Joustra (1981)

Posted on 25th Oct 2018

Earlier this year we were delighted to catch up with Edenhurst alumna Emma Joustra (nee Jones). Emma is a Potteries-based artist who specialises in home and workplace portraits. Emma was commissioned to draw Edenhurst School as a retirement gift for Mr. and Mrs. Copestick. Emma said: "This was a commission very close to my heart having spent many happy years at Edenhurst back in the 70s. The top right window is where it all started in the art block."  See Emma's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EmmaJoustraPortraits and her website at www.itsacolourfullife.com 

Year left: 1981

Profession: Artist/Illustrator

Senior School: Newcastle-under-Lyme School

What was your favourite thing about Edenhurst? 

The people and the setting, it felt like a big happy family.

What other memories do you have from your time at Edenhurst? 

The end of term films shown on a projector in the hall were always a real treat.

Which activities did you most enjoy at Edenhurst?

Edenhurst had (and I'm sure still does) a really creative ethos. Music, Art and Drama were prominent across the curriculum. Creative pupils were really valued. Also I remember sport being a big thing, I loved being in the school teams even though I wasn't particularly sporty.

Did you take part in any trips or residential visits? If so, which ones?

I really enjoyed the School trips of which there were many. I went to Paris and Limoges. I think we stayed very close to the Moulin Rouge. My friend lost her wallet by Notre Dame, and a very kind French person posted it back to her!

What did you think of the teachers at Edenhurst? Did you have a favourite teacher and if so, who was it and why?

They were all really good. Mrs Gutteridge was my favourite, she taught Art and was really encouraging. I liked Mrs Fincham (Music) and Mr Turner (Geography) too. I always remember Mr Turner and Mr Evans (History) as a bit of a double act. I liked 'Mr Nick' very much too.

In what ways did Edenhurst help prepare you for life at senior school? 

I already had experience in French and Latin when I started secondary school. 

Do you still keep in touch with your friends from Edenhurst?

My best friend at Edenhurst is still my best friend over 30 years later. There is an immediate bond with anyone who wore those purple and grey striped blazers!

What useful tips would you give to other pupils preparing to leave Edenhurst? 

Aways be yourself, it's not a bad thing if you don't fit into a particular mould. I wish I could tell that to my 10 year old self !

How would you sum up your experience at Edenhurst in one word? 

Happy.