As part of a special feature leading up to Open Afternoon, we meet some of the staff that make Rydal Penrhos such a vibrant and exceptional place to live and learn.
First up is newly appointed Prep School Head Lucy Davies:
It is with great excitement that I have taken up the role of Head of Prep. It has been a pleasure to meet the fabulous children and begin to learn their names and all their individual interests. Rydal Penrhos certainly is a strong, well-resourced and vibrant school with wonderfully committed staff in all departments.
My career as a teacher has spanned 29 years in five different schools. I have been a Headteacher for the past seven. My parents were teachers and my Father was a Headteacher and Principal. Initially I tried not to become a teacher! After doing my A levels at Rydal I completed a degree in anthropology at Durham University and then went to work for IBM in London. However, I felt that something was missing and eventually left London to complete my teaching qualifications at Exeter University. I have not looked back since!
My first teaching post was in a state maintained primary school in Nottingham where I was head of science. After seven years I moved to a much larger primary school and became head of maths and key stage leader.
In 2001 I moved to Qatar with my family to a British International School with 400 pupils. As the school grew, I held various positions including infant, junior and sixth form teacher, Head of Music, Deputy Head of the Middle School and finally Head of Juniors.
I completed a second post graduate qualification in dyslexia and literacy from the University of York. I also completed the UK National Professional Qualification for Headship which then led to me carrying out inspection tasks at schools in Qatar and Dubai.
When we left Qatar in 2013 the school had 3000 pupils and I was leading 56 classes with 900 pupils and 75 staff. In contrast my latest position has been as Headteacher at the much smaller, but equally dynamic, Firs Prep School in Chester where I have been for the past five years. During my time in Chester I completed my Masters Degree in Educational Leadership with Chester University and worked with the University on the recruitment of students onto their BA courses.
I have always enjoyed teaching and leading learning. I am passionate about education and the benefits that it can bring to a child. My leadership style is collaborative, and I like to think I am organised, passionate and approachable. I like clear systems that work and that everyone understands. I like to simplify processes.
I will always work to give the best education to every child. I am a good listener and seek to hear the views of staff, pupils and parents at every opportunity. Families are at the heart of every school and it is the families who will let me know what they want from the school. I am an experienced educator, but I still have lots to learn.
With my family I have travelled extensively as I believe that knowledge brings understanding; we enjoy camping, sailing and exploring. This love of the outdoors has led me, for over twenty years, to lead the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in various schools. I have organized expeditions with groups of teenagers to Oman, the UAE, Wales, Croatia and several times to the Annapurna region of Nepal. Here young people not only complete difficult and challenging walking treks but they also take place in charity projects working hard to help people in difficult circumstances.
I particularly remember the moment when a newly installed tap was turned on and water came to a remote village for the first time. Our pupils had worked for a week, alongside the villagers, to dig and lay 2km of pipe from the nearest stream; this was surely a learning experience they will never forget.