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May 10th 2017

60 seconds with Mrs M Gilfedder-Bonnar, Deputy Head of Junior School

For this issue, we caught up with Mrs Gilfedder-Bonnar, Deputy Head of the Junior School.

Tell us about your career path. Have you always worked in the teaching field?

I studied Law at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland. During this time, I took a year out to dance in the ‘Lord of the Dance’ show. I toured America, danced for President Bush Senior, and performed to 25,000 people at Hyde Park! Following graduation, I decided to pursue a career in education, studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Education at the University of Glasgow. I have over 14 years of experience and have taught in both the state and independent sector in Scotland, as well as at the British School of Amsterdam. Since moving to England more than 10 years ago, I have taught in the independent sector at Parkgate House School, a co-educational school in Clapham and at Dulwich Prep, an all-boys school before joining Blackheath High. 

When did your passion for teaching develop?

I come from a family of teachers. Teaching requires lots of energy and passion and I am delighted to see children flourish and play my part in helping them to reach their individual and full potential.  

What made you decide Blackheath High was for you?

I came to visit the school as a prospective parent! I was so impressed with the girls and the warm environment created by staff that I decided to apply for a job.

What does your current role involve?

I am a Year 5 Form Tutor and teach across Key Stage 2. I am also responsible for academic matters at Juniors and liaise with staff to ensure that we continue to offer an exciting and challenging curriculum. My role is varied, for example, I recently organised and hosted the Junior Deputy Head Conference for the schools across the Girls Day School Trust. I enjoy the variety within my role and no matter what I am doing, whether it is teaching, taking an assembly or liaising with staff, learning is always at the heart of it. 

What sort of things do you enjoy outside of school?

I try to go to the gym (although I spend more time in the cafe than the actual gym!) and I love to read. I’m enjoying revisiting my favourite books from my childhood as I read them to my own children. I’m not sure who enjoys them more!

What is the best thing about your job?

I love visiting all the girls across Junior School and hearing all their stories. It’s a complete pleasure coming to work as the girls and the staff make it all worthwhile.

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