Who was your best teacher?
I was lucky to have many. Eric Griffiths my tutor at Cambridge taught me to appreciate finely crafted language and the importance and impact of a well-chosen word.
How do you prepare pupils for the workplace of the future?
Education is about more than just passing exams, although they are a means to an end. We want pupils to ‘be themselves’, and to go out and make a positive difference in their community. To do this, the skills girls learn outside the classroom are arguably just as important as A*s. Many of the jobs our girls will go into when they leave university haven’t been invented yet, so being open to new opportunities is vital; having the confidence to grasp an opportunity is necessary for success.
What aspect of the school, in terms of facilities, are you most proud?
Our new Sixth Form Centre has had an immensely positive impact on the quality of life for our Sixth Form girls and their teachers.
For what is the school most renown?
Outstanding maths and science results, impressive creative arts and consistently successful sports teams, especially our equestrian teams.
What is the school’s attitude towards Internet access, social media etc?
We want girls to take advantage of the opportunities modern technology provides, but also be aware of the pitfalls and dangers. In addition we are keen to help parents learn and keep themselves and their families safer.
What languages are taught?
We offer a range of options: English (and English as a second language) French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, Latin, Greek.
What are the biggest challenges facing education?
Increasingly exams are becoming prescriptive, so that they are easy to mark. You can be well-informed about a subject, but if you don’t express your answer using the format the examiner is expecting, you may not achieve the marks. As professionals and subject specialists, staff teach what the girls ought to know to be passionate about their own particular subject, but then also teach what is required to jump through the exam hoops. If all you do is teach to exam syllabus, then you are impoverishing the education of the student.
What does the boarding experience offer pupils?
It prepares children for the real world. Girls make friends for life and at a time when families are more fragmented, a strong friendship group is important. It helps you understand different perspectives and view points. We have a diverse community ranging from princesses to girls on 100 per cent bursaries, and pupils from over 20 different nationalities. We are preparing girls to perform on a global stage.
Mayfield School, Mayfield