Head of Department

What is your job title?

Head of Department

How long have you been part of the One team?

Since we opened in 2010, right from the start!

Tell us about your employment prior to joining One

I have worked at two secondary schools prior to joining ONE, one public school in Ipswich and one high school in Coggeshall. Prior to that I worked as post-doctoral Research Officer at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Essex, following on from my PhD studies. I have also worked as Environmental Consultant in Norwich, PA for a German machine tool manufacturer in Basildon and Divemaster in Egypt.

What personal qualities do you need to be successful in your current role?

It is really important to have good interpersonal and communication skills as most of my job entails working with a variety of staff and students across the centre, It helps to comprehend that we are all individuals with very different experiences and priorities to understand people’s different viewpoints. The second most important quality are good organisational skills, as workload would otherwise become overwhelming and unmanageable.

What qualifications do you need for your role?

In order to teach A-level Biology I needed a degree in Biology and teacher training qualification. However, as mentioned above development of softer skills was far more important to be successful in my current role.

What elements of your role do you enjoy most?

Working with so many different people! It never gets boring, Students here are a lot of fun to be around and all the staff are really friendly and professional so very enjoyable to work with. It is also very rewarding when students achieve the grades they deserve and go on to their chosen progression routes.

What's the most challenging aspect of your role?

Time management, as we have a lot of deadlines all the time and there are many short notice issues to deal with on top of our day-to-day roles.

What's a typical day at work for you?

I get into work at 7:30 am and have about one hour of catching up on emails. Depending on the day of the week, I then have a number of meetings with various staff or students across the centre. These may be regular weekly meetings (e.g. briefing staff in STEM) or things that have come up at short notice. I may spend time on lesson preparation, marking and teaching. I also write research proposals, carry out data analysis and write reports, including updates for the research section of our website. Given the chance, I read up on developments in education. There are generally emails to deal with all day!

What spurs you on to work each day?

My colleagues and students and walking into such a nice working environment every day. Progression opportunities to learn new skills and pay progression.