What is your role at College?
As Deputy Head (Learning and Wellbeing) I feel very privileged to be involved in two fundamental aspects of College life. We devote many hours to learning and it is therefore hugely important that both staff and pupils feel genuinely inspired in the classroom. Developing the Floreat programme is stimulating and satisfying, and has got me thinking really carefully about the educational experience that is fundamental to College’s aims.
What did you do before you came to College?
Teaching has always been my passion, and I’ve been involved at almost every level, from pre-school to postgraduate courses, and in many kinds of settings. People ask what I have enjoyed most, but each age range and setting have their own special features and attractions. Life-long learning is crucial; if we don’t continue to learn (including, or especially, as adults), we lose out on so many opportunities for enrichment and pleasure.
If you hadn’t become a teacher, what would you have done instead?
Horticulture would have been another choice since I appreciate the natural world and am fascinated by the miracle of growth. There’s also great scope for creativity in landscape design and planting, as the UK’s lovely parks and gardens show. The College Grounds and Gardens team do a wonderful job of beautifying this environment.
What is your favourite thing about College life?
This is easy: the people – pupils, colleagues and parents. College is about so many wonderful things, but for me, its essence is captured in the quality of the relationships that we are fortunate to share and the sense of community that results.
What are you reading at the moment?
I usually have two books on the go, a novel and a non-fiction book. My daughter has just given me My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologies by Fredrik Backman and I’m almost through Everything You Need, You Have: how to be at home in yourself by Gerad Kite. It’s excellent.
Other than your own, what was your favourite subject at school?
I loved History, in no small measure because of the consummate skill of the teacher.
If you could be Prime Minister for the day, what is the first thing that you would do?
As I can’t choose one, I’ll list the first two. I would start with addressing environmental issues, and with changing the current university applications system, which creates great academic pressure for many young people.