I am often asked by prospective parents what makes a Heywood Prep education differ from that of a local primary school. Apart from small class sizes; an enviable range of specialist subjects from Nursery to Year 6; our core principles and expectations; a purposeful and positive energy that even visitors feel drawn into and a curriculum that truly meets the individual needs of each child, I always have to say that it is our teachers that set us apart from the rest.
Our teachers, of which three are Oxbridge graduates, almost half graduated from Russell Group universities, and a quarter hold masters degrees, are the school’s greatest resource. They boast degrees not only in Education, but also in Maths, History, Zoology, Modern Languages, English, Geography, Sport and Music, to name but a few. However, qualifications are only part of the story.
A school demonstrating excellence must also have a dynamic team of staff who are passionate about their subject and who genuinely care about the attainment and wellbeing of the children. They must be motivated to provide all manner of additional opportunities outside the classroom (science fairs, workshops, choirs, educational trips and tours, visiting speakers, clubs, competitions – I could go on!). Above all, it is their interaction with the children that is key. Overseeing and being an instrumental part of the children’s progress has to be something that brings them joy and, above all, they must believe in each and every child’s ability to achieve amazing things.
A Heywood ‘wish list’ when advertising for a new teacher is considerably more detailed than that of Michael and Jane Banks when recruiting a nanny (I watched Year 6 in a fabulous rehearsal of ‘Mary Poppins’ this week!) and as such, we have a skilled, experienced, caring, energetic, talented, forward-thinking team. I feel certain that our newest recruits, who will join us in September, will further enhance our strong team of teachers and I am delighted to be able to introduce them to you.
We have recruited Mr Gareth Edwards, BA Hons, PGCE, QTS, to lead English in the Prep Department. Mr Edwards is joining us from The British International School of New York, where he has spent three years leading the KS2 (Prep) Department, responsible for planning and developing the curriculum. Prior to this, he worked at Hurlingham Prep School, Putney, where he was responsible for 11+ English preparation. Mr Edwards has a background in musical theatre and enjoys teaching a range of subjects in addition to English, including Science, Maths and Drama. At interview he demonstrated his skills as an excellent English teacher who quickly built a rapport with our children and we feel confident will inspire and challenge our pupils.
Mrs Sarah Lascelles-Gilmore, BA Hons, QTS, NPQSL, will join us as Head of Maths, with 20 years’ teaching experience at schools including Millfield Prep and Kingswood Prep. She is an experienced Year 5 and Year 6 Form Tutor, has taught Maths from Reception to Year 8 and brings with her enormous experience in preparing children for selective senior school entry. At interview she demonstrated her passion for teaching and for being part of a forward-thinking team that is always looking to improve teaching and learning opportunities. Mrs Lascelles-Gilmore will be continuing her MA in Educational Management studies with Bath University whilst teaching with us.