New head put under the spotlight by the Free Press’s Alexia

New head at Spalding High School 'Michele Anderson interviewed by Free Press work experience reporter Alexia Hendrickson
New head at Spalding High School 'Michele Anderson interviewed by Free Press work experience reporter Alexia Hendrickson

As a member of the High School for nearly seven years it was a sad moment for my friends and I to say goodbye to former headmaster, Mr Tim Clark, who had definitely left a lasting impression on both myself and the school.

With the size of the shoes to fill being incredibly large, the High School has recently welcomed Michele Anderson, formly from Maidstone Grammar school in Kent, to take on the role as headmistress.

In an interview with the new head I was able to ask the questions the majority of the sixth form wanted to know.

My first impression of Mrs Anderson was that she is a very friendly and approachable individual with a lot of potential to maintain the postively well disciplined environment established by both Mr Clark and acting headteacher Mrs Bamford.

What in particular attracted you to Spalding High School?

“There were many things that attracted me to the school. I was very happy at my previous school. I loved the school, the job and the students and I worked with very professional staff so I knew it would take a very special school to take me away from that.

“As I was looking to relocate my whole family, it wasn’t a matter of headship at any cost.The feel of both schools is very similar, and I felt I could be really happy here.

“Spalding High School has the same ethos and educational view that I have and I think that is very important.”

Do you have any planned changes or improvements for the school?

“The school and I sit very comfortably together in terms of our ethos regarding education. I dont think schools should be examination factories, they should be about developing the fully-rounded individual and giving the opportunity for students to develop in ways other than in paper certificates.

“We are currently going through a period of reflection of what we stand for as a school, by looking at what defines and characterises us.

“From that, we will collectively develop an ethos of what is important to us as a school community. The beginning of the next academic year will be when we will start to reflect on what we want to improve and change.

“This will be a collective discusssion that I will of course lead and shape. But as I have already said to the staff, the governors and the PTA, we are all cogs in a very big wheel. I can’t take the school forward and improve it on my own, it has to be a collective and team effort. I just happen to be the team captain.

Have you always wanted to be a teacher?

“No I didnt. I come from a legal background with my mother being a legal executive, and I originally selected to study law.

“However, in Year 12 I had an outstanding English teacher whose methods of teaching were out of this world and I started to think that I could do this. The very last minute I changed to an education degree. I trained as a Home Economics teacher, but have taught Geography for most of my career.

Would you say you have a favourite aspect about teaching?

I love teaching. I’m not teaching in terms five and six and I miss being in the classroom already. I love the rewarding experience of helping students to develop their understanding, appreciation, and confidence in a subject.

“I also love the creativity of planning excellent lessons and that for me has never lost its appeal.

“I would definitely say the least favourite aspect of the job is the marking.”

What would you say your first impressions of the school were?

“The school is definitely friendly and welcoming. I have had so many students come up to me and talk to me, and asking me how my first week was going or if I was enjoying the school, without me having to make the approach. It has been a thouroughly pleasant couple of weeks.”

How would you say have dealt with any issues in the past, with regards to teaching?

“Teaching can be a very challenging profession and I went through the same demanding situations that all teachers go through, with regards to behavioural challenges. I would say I am open, transparant and fair so have developed the strategies to deal with these problems. I am a strong behavioural manager, students tend to know now that I’m not someone to be messed with.”