Class Teacher, Dunannie

BA Winchester, MA Open University, Adv Dip Special Needs OU, PGCE Hertfordshire, RSA Dip Theatre Arts, West London

What makes a good teacher at Dunannie?

Listening to children. Taking time to be patient and allowing them to express themselves. Creativity and openness to new ideas. Enthusiasm.

What are you trying to encourage and instil in the children?

Curiosity and a love of learning. The kind that stays. I want the children to be able to leave Dunannie feeling empowered and open to life.

Apart from your teaching role, what else do you get involved with at the school?

I have recently taken on the job of representing teaching staff at Dunannie on the Bedales Staff Liaison Group. I am also part of the Mental Health and Well-being Group which meets each term.

Over my time at Dunannie I have run a range of after-school activities including Nature Explorers, Art Club and most recently Model-makers.

Every Spring I am one of the teacher judges for Chris Evans' 500 words story competition. Begun seven years ago from relatively small beginnings, it is now a wonderful showcase of young writing talent. Last year over 120,000 stories were submitted. I usually judge about 40!

I have also worked with the Education Department at Chichester Cathedral on developing new learning workshops.

In your opinion, what makes Dunannie special?

We know the children really well. We are committed and truly enthusiastic about learning. Dunannie is special because of the amazing group of people here. At Dunannie, at the sharp end of teaching, every moment of learning counts. With such supportive and talented colleagues it is a pleasure and a privilege to be teaching here.

Who or what inspires you?

My children, my parents,
Explorers,
Art,
Nature,
And Nanny McPhee. “There is something you should understand about the way I work. When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go. It's rather sad, really, but there it is”.

I’m always sad when my class leave and move on. But how great that they are ready.

Tell us something not a lot of people know about you.

I learnt to fly gliders.