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As a writer, I wrote a montly column for a lifestyle magazine for two years and also wrote (and continue to write) for education content producers and publications (see gallery). 

I am a proud director on the board of trustees for Arvon, the UK’s leading creative writing charity. 

As a teacher, I have worked in primary, prep and secondary schools for the past 16 years, and my current role is Assistant Head of Primary at an international school in Paris. I am a passionate and innovative educator and my practice is informed by evidence-based research and a wealth of classroom expeience.  As a linguist, I led literacy in a number of schools as well as having editorship of a large whole school magazine used for marketing. I absolutely love writing and pride myself on getting the children I teach to feel the same way about it. Year on year pupils I've taught (and their parents) have consistently told me how they (or their child) went from hating English to loving it, and I'm on a mission to spread that impact and positivity about the written word further. 

I love teaching and sharing with the community, so if you are a teacher too, do click here for my shared/mentor texts for use with UKS2 and to read my thoughts/findings on education research and reform, in which I have a strong interest. 

On Writing

When I write I am most in flow. I find writing 'intrinsically rewarding' and I definitely 'experience a distorted sense of time' as the term flow suggests. It's a kind of mindfulness. I find the act of writing incredibly powerful and stimulating.

I find writing challenging because, like others have noted, writing is about being creative and critical at the same time and always striving for originality. I love words and I love how they can be crafted together to make the most clever description or to make the reader laugh out loud. Writing is an emotional act and the fact that a reader/writer relationship can be created from words and paper is, for me, pretty wondrous. 

I write for lots of reasons: to figure things out, to amuse myself and others, to inform, to teach, to entertain, for the challenge and satisfaction it brings - mostly for the love of it. I wrote diaries from the age of 7 and wrote my first 'novel' at 12 after being inspired by a wonderfully funny and talented English teacher. 

I hope to do for other children what he did for me.

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On Teaching

The best schools I've worked in have had a busy, chatty staffroom where happy teachers, passionate about their practice and the children they teach, share ideas, successes and failures. Teachers should be  supported to learn and develop their curriculum knowledge and teaching craft and  encouraged to work collaboratively towards school improvement, at every stage of their career. 

I love curriculum design and development and believe in teaching rich content and core skills via stimulating themes, high-quality resources and innovative projects.  For me, a modern curriculum needs to offer ample opportunity for children to practise the 4Cs, to use technology and to consider their place in a global society. Schools also have a duty to educate pupils in what it means to be a good human being. 

 

 

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What the pupils think.....

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Featured in the 2021 Periodic Table of UK Educators to Follow Today

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