Ambition, Bravery and Curiosity at The Hive workshops
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Our Assistant head of the Junior School Mrs Daly tells us all about herself, and how every day is different at Blackheath High Junior School.
What is your job title?
Assistant Head at Blackheath High Juniors
Tell us about yourself. What is your role? What does your job involve?
I am a Form Tutor for Year 5. I teach lesson in years 3, 4, 5 and 6. My other roles are as Head of Key stage 2 and I lead on the PSHEE curriculum for the Junior School.
How long have you worked here?
I have been teaching at Blackheath High Juniors for 15 years. My daughter attended the school for four years before I joined the school in September 2004. At that time I was responsible for Science at Juniors.
Tell us about your career path.
I left school having completed A levels in Biology, Chemistry, Statistics and Maths and went to train at Welwyn Garden City and St Albans City Hospital to be a nurse. My ambition was to complete my Nursing training then specialise in midwifery with the aim being to work in the community. Unfortunately I suffered a slipped disc whilst on duty in my second year. After a difficult six months in hospital I did return to my training on a paediatric ward, but I was unable to complete my course due to the injury. After that I had to re-think and took on many different and temporary jobs. I applied to Avery Hill for teacher training in 1986 and I have never looked back.
How does your previous experience benefit the school?
Both my parents were teachers, with my father moving on to engineering later in his career. He also worked for the CBI for many years, which meant a lot of conversations around the dinner table relating, in one way or another, to the importance and provision of good educational opportunities for young people. Their passion for education I know has had an impact on me.
What do you like most about your job? What makes working here at Blackheath High School so rewarding and enjoyable?
It is true to say that every day is different at Blackheath, as a teacher you focus on what experience you can provide for the girls you teach that day. I know that I am very fortunate to be working in a school that is vibrant and where everyone is valued. Our school is always busy and it is great to be a member of the GDST community that puts the girls at the heart of every decision made.
What has been your biggest achievement at Blackheath High School?
I have enjoyed many career opportunities since working for the GDST at Blackheath, all of which have empowered me in my role now as Assistant Head. Currently, I am very pleased with the work we are doing in embedding pupil voice in the school, in particular by raising the profile of the School Council. This year for the first time the School Council have played a pivotal role in collecting and collating ideas from every class, to making decisions on which projects to focus on, to presenting budget bids for exciting new equipment and experiences for the school. These have ranged from ‘potion pots’ for the Nursery’s Forest School to planters in the playground and to an activity at the Field to challenge the bravery of our KS2 pupils. The girls have all their ideas and the progress made for each project on an exciting display board leading to the gym, so please do take time to have a look next time you are visiting.
What has been your biggest challenge at Blackheath High School?
Finding the right balance between awareness and knowledge of new educational initiatives and making professional judgements based on what we think as a school would enhance and improve the learning experiences and life chance for our girls.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
When I get time I love to garden, cook and follow football, but most of all I love walking along a beach whatever the weather.
Tell us something surprising about yourself
When I was at college I was in a band called GMT and I played electric guitar.