Meet the Headteacher - four of the regions top headteachers

PUBLISHED: 16:03 21 September 2011 | UPDATED: 20:01 20 February 2013

Meet the Headteacher - four of the regions top headteachers

Meet the Headteacher - four of the regions top headteachers

Meet the Headteacher - we asked four of the regions top headteachers what makes their school so special...

St Pius X Preparatory School

Name of school and location:
St Pius X Preparatory School and Oak House Nursery

Name of head:
Bridgeen Banks

What are the vital ingredients for a great education?
Enthusiastic staff who love children and want to motivate pupils to enjoy learning.

What makes your school so special?
Every child is recognised and accepted. Our pupils know they have to work very hard and perform to their ultimate ability academically but they also know that they will have lots of fun and a very happy time.

What made you want to teach?
I knew from the age of six that I wanted to teach, thanks to the brilliant teacher I had that year.

Brief career and personal history:
I originally taught history, PE and social studies in a large high school in Manchester. I joined St Pius X as a classroom teacher in September 1983 and became head in January 1987.

Describe your approach to educating young people?
It is vitally important to take a real interest in each pupil. They need to know that you genuinely like them and want to get to know them as individuals.

What's the most satisfying aspect of the job?
Seeing the children develop during their time here and reaching their full potential.

Who inspired you and why?
One of the teachers from my old convent prep school.

Your best and worst subjects when you were at school?
English was my best subject and art my worst.

www.stpiusx.co.uk




Highfield Priory School

Name of school and location: Highfield Priory

School, an Independent day school for boys

and girls from six months to eleven years.

Name of head: Jeremy Duke

What are the vital ingredients for a great

education? A great education is one which

ensures excellence in the core subjects while

encouraging a child to realise his or her potential

across a wide variety of other disciplines which

should include: Music, Art, Drama, Modern

Languages, Sport and Outdoor Pursuits.

What makes your school so special?

Highfield is the top preparatory school in

Lancashire (Sunday Times Top 100 Preparatory

Schools) as a result of its academic excellence

but Highfield is special because it is about so

much more. At Highfield we strive to educate

the whole child, giving them all opportunities

that help them to discover their gifts and

talents. We place a great deal of emphasis on

self discovery and self confidence. We work on

their elocution and public speaking skills to

ensure that they are able to be proud of who

they are and are able to present themselves as

confident individuals. Specialist teachers and

facilities help them to recognise and realise their

potential in a variety of fields, most notably in

Science, Modern Languages, Sport, Art, Music

and Drama.

What made you want to teach? Teaching

children is different every day and offers new

challenges and surprises on a regular basis. It is

incredibly rewarding to watch children learn,

discover new talents, forge lifelong friendships

and become confident, witty, intelligent

individuals. And, of course, with the Early Years,

never knowing what they are going to say next!

Brief career and personal history: Teaching in

a variety of Independent and State schools

across the Primary and Secondary age range

has given me a broad view of education. It has

helped me to realise the importance of

preparing children, not just for the next

academic challenge but for life. Working in a

city and living, as I do, on the edge of the Lake

District has had an influence on my approach to

education. I aim to give our pupils an

understanding and appreciation of the Great

Outdoors. To this end we take our pupils

orienteering, on adventure holidays and we are

in the process of developing our woodland area

into an outdoor education facility where the

children can study wild flowers, mini beasts

and birds and enjoy den building and

performing in an outdoor theatre. I feel very

privileged to live in such a beautiful area with

my wife, three children and my dog. Having

three children in the primary age group gives

me a real insight into some of the challenges

that face families on a daily basis and helps

me to understand a variety of educational

issues from a parent's point of view.

Who inspired you and why? The children.

Being in Education for over 15 years has

brought me into contact with children who

are striving to overcome personal or physical

difficulties, or who are simply struggling with

their daily work. Children always inspire and

surprise me by their determination, at such a

young age, to rise to meet a challenge and to

overcome any obstacles placed in their way.

Many adults, myself included, can learn from

their resilience and positive approach to life.

What is the most satisfying aspect of

the job? Sharing in the children's success

and their achievements while they are at the

school and when they return as 'old' boys and

girls who are flourishing at their next school

as a result of their education at Highfield

Priory School.

www.highfieldpriory.co.uk

Highfield Priory School
Name of school and location:
Highfield Priory School, an Independent day school for boys and girls from six months to eleven years.

Name of head:
Jeremy Duke

What are the vital ingredients for a great education?
A great education is one which ensures excellence in the core subjects while encouraging a child to realise his or her potential across a wide variety of other disciplines which should include: Music, Art, Drama, Modern Languages, Sport and Outdoor Pursuits.

What makes your school so special?
Highfield is the top preparatory school in Lancashire (Sunday Times Top 100 Preparatory Schools) as a result of its academic excellence but Highfield is special because it is about so much more. At Highfield we strive to educate the whole child, giving them all opportunities that help them to discover their gifts and talents. We place a great deal of emphasis on self discovery and self confidence. We work on their elocution and public speaking skills to ensure that they are able to be proud of who they are and are able to present themselves as confident individuals. Specialist teachers and facilities help them to recognise and realise their potential in a variety of fields, most notably in Science, Modern Languages, Sport, Art, Music and Drama.

What made you want to teach?
Teaching children is different every day and offers new challenges and surprises on a regular basis. It is incredibly rewarding to watch children learn, discover new talents, forge life long friendships and become confident, witty, intelligent individuals. And, of course, with the Early Years,never knowing what they are going to say next!

Brief career and personal history:
Teaching in a variety of Independent and State schools across the Primary and Secondary age range has given me a broad view of education. It has helped me to realise the importance of preparing children, not just for the next academic challenge but for life. Working in a city and living, as I do, on the edge of the Lake District has had an influence on my approach to education. I aim to give our pupils an understanding and appreciation of the Great Outdoors. To this end we take our pupils orienteering, on adventure holidays and we are in the process of developing our woodland area into an outdoor education facility where the children can study wild flowers, mini beasts and birds and enjoy den building and performing in an outdoor theatre. I feel very privileged to live in such a beautiful area with my wife, three children and my dog. Having three children in the primary age group gives me a real insight into some of the challenges that face families on a daily basis and helpsme to understand a variety of educational issues from a parent's point of view.

Who inspired you and why?
The children. Being in Education for over 15 years hasbrought me into contact with children who are striving to overcome personal or physical difficulties, or who are simply struggling with their daily work. Children always inspire and surprise me by their determination, at such a young age, to rise to meet a challenge and to overcome any obstacles placed in their way. Many adults, myself included, can learn from their resilience and positive approach to life.

What is the most satisfying aspect of the job?
Sharing in the children's success and their achievements while they are at the school and when they return as 'old' boys and girls who are flourishing at their next school as a result of their education at Highfield Priory School.

www.highfieldpriory.co.uk




Kirkham Grammar School

Name of school and location: KirkhamGrammar School, Ribby Road, Kirkham, Preston

Name of head:
Mr Douglas Walker

What are the vital ingredients for a greateducation?
As Headmaster of KirkhamGrammar School set in its own grounds in themarket town of Kirkham I have enjoyed nineyears at the helm of a lovely school. It wasclear when I applied for the post here that theethos of the school matched my owneducational philosophy.

What makes your school so special?

I firmly believe that this must be matched bya supportive environment and Kirkham'sfamily atmosphere provides this. I have alsobelieved strongly in the key balance betweena strong academic culture in a school butadditionally a wide variety of extra-curricularopportunity in schools.

What made you want to teach?

It is fair to say that my own wish to teachcame from a desire to go further in my love ofhistory, my subject, and the opportunity to beinvolved with youngsters out of class often onthe games field.

Brief career and personal history:

This all round education has always been atthe centre of what I have enjoyed in educationand the current trend in schools to theoverbearing statistical target culture isdestroying the bedrock of what I see ascentral to the successful culture of the Englishschool system.

Describe your approach to educating youngpeople?
Young people need challenges andthe chance to find things they enjoy and excelin. When they find this, the self-esteem gainedgives such a boost to their progress generally.Whatever it is the school must endeavour tonurture this and they will generate enthusiasmand commitment which will have more impactthan any statistics or paper based target.

Who inspired you and why?
Personally Ifound my enthusiasm in the study of History,Geography and English but found the sciencesa mystery to me. A love of reading about thepast has stayed with me and I particularlyenjoy historical literature.

Your best and worst subjects when you wereat school?
As a young man I also enjoyedsport and was fortunate enough to play anumber of times of Twickenham for myUniversity but these were very much in theamateur days when sport was a pastime andnot the big business it has become today.

www.kirkhamgrammar.co.uk

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