Can you describe your journey into teaching (how did you qualify, what have been the key steps along the way)?
My first degree was a BSc in Geography at the University of Bristol, followed by MSc. I then did a PGCSE in Secondary Geography at the University of Cambridge.
What support do you get as a headteacher in Hertfordshire?
I have benefitted from a lot of support from Hertfordshire Heads networking opportunities - through HASSH, HfL and BASSH.
As a headteacher, what are you looking for when recruiting new teachers?
I am looking for teachers with a real commitment and drive to support and work with young people, to think the best of young people to provide them with the best possible start in life, and for teachers to have a good subject specialism. Also - a sense of humour, openness to being good team players.
What support is available to staff at your school (from within the school or elsewhere)?
Support is critical - at so many levels, and in so many ways. From faculty and subject teams, from the school's teaching and learning team, from coaching, mentoring and informal support. Staff wellbeing is critical and embracing professional learning at all opportunities is important.
Is there any additional support available to school staff from minority backgrounds (BAME, LGBTQIA+, disabled etc)?
Yes - we have developed a staff BAME Forum which meets regularly, and the school also benefited from HfL's Great Representation programme in 2021/22. We wish to offer individual support and ensure that the school's culture is inclusive to all.
How has your school adapted to teaching remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic?
We used Microsoft Teams to introduce live lessons and we provided very regular care and support through our pastoral and safeguarding teams. Teachers without question developed new skills quickly! We are all more adept at using remote resources to supplement the more regular approaches to teaching and learning.