Independent Schools Guide: Principle goals of principal teachers

We went back to the chalkface to ask those in charge at some of the country’s leading places of learning, what is your greatest ambition for the school during your time as head teacher?

Melvyn Roffe

George Watson’s College,

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Edinburgh

Melvyn Roffe, George Watson's College
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Job title Principal

Teaching subject English

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What is your greatest ambition for the school during your time as head teacher?

I’ve always had four ambitions at Watson’s. The first is to make sure that every pupil is enabled to do their very best in all areas of school life.

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Carol Chandler-Thompson, St George's School

The second is to ensure we retain the warm and welcoming feel for which Watson’s is well known; we do things well here, but we’re never elitist or out of touch.

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Third is to firmly connect the school to our city, working with individuals and organisations for the benefit of all.

Finally, I want to ensure that pupils feel connected internationally and are inspired to make a difference when they leave us.

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Carol Chandler-Thompson

Lise Hudson, High School of Dundee
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St George’s School,

Edinburgh

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Job title Head

Teaching subject History and Politics

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Helen Harrison, Fettes College. Image: Dougal Nicol Photography

What is your greatest ambition for the school during your time as head teacher?

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To be connected with both its past and future as a vibrant forward-thinking community unrelentingly focussed on a fantastic education for girls.

This means honouring the illustrious 130-plus year history of St George’s – pioneering, bold and empowering for its pupils in every sense.

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Unafraid of innovation or ambition, we intend to be the school that others look at and think: “I wonder what St George’s are doing with that?

Lise Hudson

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High School of Dundee

Andrew J McGarva, Morrison's Academy
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Job title Rector

Teaching subject History

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What is your greatest ambition for the school during your time as head teacher?

To foster a community that nurtures young people to make a positive difference to the world around them.

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To provide an exceptional learning experience based on lived core values, where humility, kindness and an innovative spirit are the foundations for success.

To work to build partnerships across the amazing city of Dundee for the benefit of all the young people there, and to support, empower and inspire all members of the school community to be themselves, follow their dreams and give back to their communities.

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Helen Harrison

Fettes College,

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Edinburgh

Job title Head

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Teaching subject Geography; and current affairs to third form

What is your greatest ambition for the school during your time as head teacher?

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Our students will leave the school knowing themselves, looking out for others, capable of thinking critically and ready to make a positive mark on their rapidly changing world.

I have launched our school strategy and have called it Fettes Moving Forward: A place to Live. A place to Learn. A place to Grow. We are building on the success of this great school, on its established reputation for academic excellence, our sector-leading pastoral care and our full boarding ethos, and we are investing in significant development and refurbishment.

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Andrew J McGarva

Morrison’s Academy

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Crieff, Perthshire

Job title Rector

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Teaching subject Music

What is your greatest ambition for the school during your time as head teacher?

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Staying true to the school’s values, I will continue to grow our culture of lifelong learning and provide enriching experiences and educational programmes to equip our pupils with the skills and mindset to thrive in their future.

As a school, we are ambitious in the development and growth of our facilities, whilst strengthening partnerships with the local community and beyond.

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My ambition for all Morrisonians is that they will leave school confident, knowledgeable and motivated. I aspire for every member of our community to live our school values with integrity and have the passion and courage to embrace opportunities.

Simon Johnson

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Wellington School, Ayr

Job title Head

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Teaching subject Mathematics

What is your greatest ambition for the school during your time as head teacher?

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Wellington is a nurturing school that puts the needs of individuals first. Pupils are encouraged to throw themselves into school life, to give their best and to be kind to themselves and to one another.

My ambition is for the school to remain true to those ideals. I would love to see more development of our facilities, but first and foremost I want this to remain a happy school that broadens the horizons of young people and gives them the skills they will need to thrive, and make a positive contribution in the world.

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Simon Brian

St Leonards School,

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St Andrews, Fife

Job title Head

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Teaching subjects French and German

What is your greatest ambition for the school during your time as head teacher?

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My greatest ambition is for our pupils to feel a deep sense of personal fulfilment, enrichment and achievement, having made incredible progress in every area of their lives at St Leonards.

This means that we, as educators, provide the most relevant and purposeful education possible, and focus on making a positive difference to every single young person every single day.

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My wish is to see all our young people embrace lifelong learning, commit to ongoing personal growth and improvement, feel empowered to look after their own wellbeing, embody kindness, and enrich the lives of all those around them.

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Mark Becher

The Compass School,

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Haddington, East Lothian

Job title Headmaster

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Teaching subject Primary education

What is your greatest ambition for the school during your time as head teacher?

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Having spent 25 years at The Compass, my ambition for the school is for it to continue to be a place which allows children to be happy and to flourish.

We offer a warm, caring environment in which our children are encouraged to develop their unique gifts and talents, and progress – not only academically but in confidence and self-esteem too.

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Every child has the ability to excel in some aspect of school life and we wish to continue to provide our children with numerous opportunities to enjoy success and to flourish, through achieving their own personal goals.

We constantly aim to prepare children for the challenges of the modern world, where knowledge, communication and creativity will be the key to their future.

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Sion Johnson, Wellington School. Image: Craig & Eva Sanders Photography
Simon Brian, St Leonards School. Image: Larry Bray
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Mark Becher, The Compass School