Heads of department create the unique personality for how each subject is taught in a school, while head teachers flavour the school as a whole. We talk to Dr Gemma Jones, Head of Science at St Edmund’s School in Canterbury about her job and the teachers and subjects from her own school days
Favourite subject when you were at school
My favourite subject at school was history (surprising for a Head of Science!). I loved learning about the past, comparing it to my life and how my teachers managed to make what we learnt about relevant and current.
Most inspirational teacher when you were at school
My most inspirational teacher was Mrs Riddell, my English teacher. She was such a jolly character and took such a great interest in the development of each and every pupil.
Favourite character from a book or film
My favourite character has to be Matilda from the Roald Dahl novel. I remember reading it as a little girl and finding her so courageous in the face of such adversity.
Best school memory
My best school memory is the time I tried to forward the time on the clock in my maths classroom when my teacher Mr Wordsworth popped out. Needless to say he returned and caught me in the act; the clock fell off the wall and smashed into pieces.
Is there anything you wish you’d studied at school that you didn’t?
I wish I had studied geography at GCSE level as it was a subject I enjoyed and think it was would have complemented my science studies. I chose food technology instead and can bake a mean cake.
What’s your proudest achievement at your current school?
My personal proudest achievement at St Edmund’s was becoming Head of Science in 2016. It is a privilege to work in such a motivated department and I’ve enjoyed the varied challenges of the job. With regards to the pupils they never cease to make me proud and no more so than the success of four of my Upper Sixth who won gold (two), silver and commended medals in the 2018 National Biology Olympiad competition.
What are you looking forward to this coming year?
This coming year I’m looking forward to having my third baby and returning to the job I love in January.
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