Weston born and bred, I moved away to read French at the University of Lancaster at the age of 18 and did not return for the next 20 years. I completed a four year language degree with a year as an FLA (foreign language assistant) in Paris. After graduating, I completed a PGCE at the University of York.
Since qualifying in 1996, I have worked in a number of schools, here and oversees. I ran two successful languages departments. In 2005, I took a “gap year” and went overseas. The plan was to make my way around South East Asia and India, but I got drawn back into education. I worked for a couple of NGOs, and taught English to teenage girls who had been sold by their families. This was a very interesting time.
On return to the UK, I settled in the south east for five years, where I was deputy head at an 11 – 18 comprehensive. I had responsibility for curriculum and teaching and learning. I was particularly involved with intervention and raising attainment. During this time, I had my son and eventually decided to move back to the South West to be closer to family.
As luck would have it, Neville Coles saw fit to give me a day a week teaching French. This soon became three days with some Maths, and then four days. After a year, I was persuaded to take the SENCo role and worked happily in the SRB for three years, during which time we got an outstanding grading from Ofsted for SEND.
In my final year at PCSA, I became Head of Upper School and very quickly learnt about the importance of pastoral work. I worked closely with the Heads of Years 9, 10 and 11 and gained a huge insight into the importance of this area of school life. When I was asked, by Neville, to accompany him to WCS as Head of School, it was this time as Head of Upper School which had really prepared me for the challenges ahead.
In my free time, I am mainly outside on my bike, or walking up a hill with my nine year old. I still have a passion for travel, and my bucket list of counties yet to visit is a long one!