6 Reasons to love school

Claire Grieves of Beeston Hall School

Claire Grieves of Beeston Hall School - Credit: Chris Taylor

Pupils, parents, teachers, caretakers, governors, prefects, nurses... our school communities involve so many different roles and people passionate about the part they play. Jo Malone spoke to some of them

Chris Smith of City College Norwich

Chris Smith of City College Norwich - Credit: Submitted

Why I love being a teacher

“Teaching children is the most rewarding, engaging and inspiring career. Watching the look in a child’s eyes as they discover a new mini-beast on a bug hunt or seeing their tongue sticking out in concentration as they work to correctly form the letters of their name for the first time, reminds me of what a crucial thing it is to develop a life-long love of learning from an early age.

“Working with children is great fun and you can treasure the moments of pure joy. Each day you leave the classroom after tidying away the pencils and working out which piece of work belongs to which child, knowing that you are making a real difference in a job that transforms lives.

“Children will always amaze and surprise you. So many ideas, questions and observations about the world around them. Each child is unique and bursting with possibilities for the future.”

Tamzine Fraulo of Glebe House School

Tamzine Fraulo of Glebe House School - Credit: Bill Robinson

Claire Grieve, pre-prep Year Two teacher at Beeston Hall School in West Runton.

Why I love being head of school

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“The application process for the role of head of school at Norwich School included a written letter of application, two interviews and opinion polls among staff and students. It was not until the final cathedral assembly of the Trinity term that it was announced who was head of school and so you can imagine how honoured and excited I was to find out that this was me.

Nicholas Bevington of Town Close School

Nicholas Bevington of Town Close School - Credit: Submitted

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my role, with particular highlights including organising events, making speeches for both the prefects and the school, and walking down the aisle in cathedral assemblies. What surprised me the most was how close the prefect body became throughout the academic year and how much fun we have had spending time together. I have had the most amazing year and gained so much confidence and life experience taking on this role, I could not be more grateful.”

Livvy Rowe, head of school, Norwich School

Why I love being a “boarding mummy”

Elaine Ives of Taverham Hall School

Elaine Ives of Taverham Hall School - Credit: Submitted

“Having had four children as weekly boarders at Glebe House School and then at The Leys in Cambridge, I know only too well how important it is to create a safe and happy environment for children who board at school.

I am their second ‘mummy’, and that is what I love about being a boarding mother to my boarding girls. I love creating relationships with each of them, caring for them and making them feel ‘at home’. I want them to be happy and so I create a nurturing environment that allows them to grow in independence, encourages personal responsibility, develops their emotional intelligence and understanding of group dynamics, and embeds through experience how we are stronger together.

“The lifestyle isn’t just fun - it develops their confidence, cultivates self-reliance and equips them with independence and tolerance, helping them to become rounded and socially well-adjusted young adults. I love helping them to make these steps towards maturity.”

Tamzine Fraulo, head of girls’ boarding, Glebe House School, Hunstanton

Livvy Rowe (centre) of Norwich School, with deputy heads of school (from left) Christian Burton, Est

Livvy Rowe (centre) of Norwich School, with deputy heads of school (from left) Christian Burton, Esther Anderson, Ruth Willmott and Yash Kulkarni - Credit: Submitted

Why I love being a librarian

“Being a college librarian is about much more than issuing books to students. In a college like this you get to work directly with students. Throughout the year my library colleagues and I have been working one-to-one with supported learning students on their literacy. Seeing their progress gives you a real sense of achievement. We’ve also taken these students out to a local bookshop where they have chosen books for our library and then helped to promote them.

“You also get to work with some cool colleagues, because the people that come into libraries tend to be interested in contemporary fiction, the arts, theatre – they’re good people to work with.”

Chris Smith, City College Norwich

Why I love being a school matron

“When my own son was a pupil at Taverham Hall, a matron called Mrs Eales looked after him once when he was poorly. She did this in such a loving manner as a mother would care for her own child, and this is very much what I have based my own approach on.

“At Taverham Hall I look after about 300 children, tending to their everyday bumps, cuts and tummy aches as well as liaising closely with a number of parents. The door to my medical room is always open, and many pop in for a chat and sometimes even a hot chocolate! This all helps to make everyone feel familiar and at ease.

“Apart from the medical side, I happily join in with events and trips and have also had my face painted on occasion by the pupils to help raise funds for a number of school charities.”

Elaine Ives, school matron, Taverham Hall School, Taverham

Why I love being a headteacher

“I remember my first lesson as a qualified teacher, having given up my job in finance and re-trained, and immediately knowing I had done the right thing. Children sense your enthusiasm and if you give everything to teaching, they reward you with the joy of discovering the world all over again through their eyes.

“A love of teaching has to be the starting point for any head and I have never subscribed to the view that leadership is the same no matter what the product. I am passionate about the education we provide at Town Close, day in and day out.

“As a headteacher there are varied encounters, new ideas and fascinating challenges always there to absorb and excite. As demanding as it is, leading a school community does not feel like work. Being surrounded by inspiring children and colleagues is an absolute privilege.

Nicholas Bevington, headmaster, Town Close School, Norwich

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