Q.— You have been newly appointed as Principal at Baleares International College, Sant Agustí. How would you describe your first months in the School?
A. — “I began as Principal in August 2020, so it has been a very exciting few month. It is always exciting when you start any new job; things are always a little different as you must learn how things work quickly!
Children are so open and honest, and it was a delight to learn all about the children at BIC Sant Agustí as individuals. Forming and working as a team alongside all the staff has been very rewarding as everyone has had so much to learn together in the last few months.”
Q.— What has been your most proud and major success throughout your successful career?
A. — “I started my career as a teacher in a primary school in Wales, where I stayed for many years, before moving into lecturing at a university in teacher training.
I then returned to teaching, but this time in Cairo, Egypt, which was my first experience in international teaching, making me think about inclusion and diversity.
Moving to Malawi, as Head of Primary, I set up a new International Primary school from its beginning, working with a remarkable lady who had the vision to open a school for children to give them an education and a goal to improve their life.
In Gran Canaria, I then spent a wonderful 5 years as Head of Primary at an International School, fostering excellent relationships with children, staff and parents and becoming a lead inspector for the National Association of British Schools in Spain.
Simply put, my proudest moments have been watching others achieve after some kind of input from me.”
Q.— What drove you to accept this new challenge as Principal of Baleares International College?
A. — “I am a firm believer that change is good for everyone. Schools need new ideas; they cannot keep going as they are, or standards can begin to fall.
BIC Sant Agustí is the type of school I love, and I was ready for a new challenge. When you are teaching internationally, the country you are living in, as well as the school, are both important factors.
After visiting Baleares International College, and meeting the children, staff and parents, I felt it was my type of school and one which I could build on its excellent foundations.”
Q.— You are running a wonderful Early Years and Primary specialised School in Palma, known for its family and community feel, could you tell us a little bit more about it?
A. — “Baleares International College, Sant Agustí, is the only dedicated British Primary school on Mallorca, so we have a very special position.
Everything in our school is targeted at Primary children such as the specific curriculum, the style of education, the behaviour systems and even the furniture!
The school is small which gives us huge advantages of smaller classes, dedicated teachers, a feeling of being part of a family and a closeness which is difficult to find in larger schools.
We believe that a happy child will make a good learner and therefore be successful in whatever they choose to do.”
Q.— What is the role of a parent in shaping a child’s education? How do you see this encouraged at Baleares International College?
A. — “Communication is a key factor in establishing and maintaining positive links between parents and teachers.
Normally we hold activities which help to bring the community closer together and we are still holding parent evenings, individual consultations and all teachers meet the parents at the gates daily.
Although teachers are the specialist educators, parents know their child better than anyone, so that link between parents and school is vital.
The first years of a child’s education are the most important, to build the basic foundations, so when parents and school work together in partnership, children can benefit from a unique experience in their school life.”
Q.— You are passionate for education with a strong belief that every child can receive a challenging education within strong inclusive values. Can you tell us a little bit more about this?
A. — “Using the British curriculum, children can be educated to the best of their ability. As well as learning subjects such as English, maths, art and PE, we introduce the children to thinking skills, growth mindset and positivity.
We are a non-selective school, but we want all children to have a positive attitude to their learning.
The children are introduced to ways of looking after themselves, ways of dealing with problems and how to be the best person they can be. We celebrate our international cultures, are passionate about inclusion, diversity and acceptance.”
Q.— What are you looking forward to this year?
A. — “ I am looking forward to seeing the children at BIC Sant Agustí making good progress academically, but also to grow in confidence and be flexible in their approach to learning, as well as continuing to develop my relationship with my team of staff and parents.
I am looking forward to embedding my role as Principal, moving the school forward by introducing new ideas and some changes, to improve standards in those areas which need improving.”
Q.— And finally, would you like to send a message to the readers?
A. — “I would like to thank everyone for the welcome I have received. It has been quite challenging, but already hugely rewarding. I believe we should always try to be the best we can be - aim high!”