Focus on Westholme School in Blackburn

Mrs Lillian Croston from Westholme School in Blackburn talks to Lancashire Life about the vital ingredients for a great education and tells what inspires her...

Name of school and location Westholme School, Blackburn Name of Head Mrs Lillian Croston B.Sc. (Hons) Dunelm, P.G.C.E. Cantab., A.L.C.M What are the vital ingredients for a great education A caring, secure environment with a positive ethos where children are happy and free to learn, coupled with outstanding teachers who are passionate about their work so their enthusiasm is infectious. Teaching and learning have to be exciting experiences! At Westholme we have high expectations so children are stretched and challenged appropriate to their individual needs. In addition we believe in providing an extensive range of extra curricular activities so that children can find their own particular strengths and from them develop self confidence and good communication skills. It is important that children feel confident enough to take risks with their learning; our pupils understand that they can make mistakes sometimes and it is part of their learning journey. Westholme also provides a curriculum that embraces modern technology to equip our students for the world which awaits them. All of these things come together to create an optimum learning environment. What makes your school so special Children come first. Each individual is known and we cater for his or her individual learning needs. Everyone has a chance to shine at something whether it is Maths or Mandarin, hockey or playing the trumpet, painting a picture or cooking a meal. We are quite a large independent school but each of our departments, nursery, infants, juniors, seniors and sixth form is a unique community with its own special ethos within the larger whole. Children feel secure and valued as they progress from stage to stage. Their constant progress is assured. What made you want to teach I started school when I was three years old and in those days all young children had an hour’s sleep in the afternoon. We had small camp beds in the classroom and had to take our shoes off to lie on them. I was the only child who could tie my shoe laces so had to help all the others after the rest. I enjoyed helping others and this led me into teaching. It is something I wanted to do from being very small. Brief career and personal history Having taught in several schools both independent and maintained I became Principal at Westholme in April 1988. Throughout my career I have always held positions of responsibility relating to national curriculum initiatives and careers provision, professional association work, school governorships, school inspection duties and chief examining work for the Board. Married with one son I am a league badminton player and a fell walker and have a keen interest in literature, the theatre and good food! What’s the most satisfying aspect of the job The most satisfying aspect of the job is working with young people on a daily basis and seeing their progress and development. One advantage of being in the post for some years is that former pupils often drop in to introduce me to their partners and children and I am always impressed by the progress they have made in their careers. There are lots of emails and letter too which are always a pleasure to read. It is clear that only when pupils leave Westholme and compare notes with other people they meet that they realise just what wonderful opportunities they have had here. Who inspires you and why My teachers and pupils inspire me. They are so talented and full of energy and life. It is a great privilege to be their leader. Your best and worst subjects when you were in school my best subjects at school were mathematics, geography and hockey. I’m afraid my art work showed much room for improvement!

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