Meet the Head - Isobel Nixon, Scarborough College

Isobel Nixon, head of Scarborough College

Isobel Nixon, head of Scarborough College - Credit: Archant

Isobel Nixon, headmistress of Scarborough College, on why she loves Spencer Tracy, reading and school dinners (minus tapioca)

If you hadn’t become a teacher, what would you have done instead?

I always wanted to be a journalist and imagined myself as a foreign correspondent for The Times.

What were your favourite lessons when you were at school?

English, French and history. This never really changed and they were the subjects I eventually did at A level.

Was there any type of school dinner that you couldn’t stand?

Tapioca pudding stands out as a low point but generally I ate everything and did well on days when we had liver; everyone else hated it so I got their helpings too.

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How do you like to relax away from the busy world of school?

I try to keep fit which isn’t easy given the busy schedule. I love reading and try to catch up on all the books I don’t get time for during the term.

Which would be your favourite film of all time?

Incredibly difficult! Can I give you some categories instead? I love almost any Spencer Tracy film but my favourite drama is Twelve Angry Men. My favourite romantic comedy is Pretty Woman. And my favourite western (I love them!) is Winchester 63.

And how about your Desert Island Discs?

If it’s eight records, they’re split between my all-time favourites for dancing and others to work or read to. In no particular order, I’d go for Black Magic Woman by Santana; Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones; Nutbush City Limits by Ike and Tina Turner; Feeling Good by Nina Simone; Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday; Perfect Day by Lou Reed; Cello Concerto by Elgar; and Canon in D Major by Pachelbel. If it had to be one, I think I’d go for the Nina Simone.

If you were Prime Minister for one day, what’s the first thing you’d do?

This question presupposes that I might have absolute power! I would reverse devolution. I am opposed to nationalism and see it as divisive and inward-looking. We are stronger together than apart and we want the best minds and people to be concentrating on the global issues which face us. (I speak as a Welsh person who grew up in a Welsh-speaking area of Wales). Here at Scarborough College, the International Baccalaureate is a fantastic example of internationalism at its best. n

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