It is with great pleasure that I introduce myself as the new Headteacher of Bury St Edmunds County Upper School. It is an absolute privilege to have been appointed by the Trust and Governors and entrusted with the job of leading such an exceptional school. I felt certain, from my previous knowledge of the school, from my first impressions upon visiting the school during my interview and subsequent visits, that my educational values are well aligned with County Upper School. School culture, in my view, underpins the success of a school: County Upper has been commended on the way that students “behave exceptionally well” and are “considerate and show respect for all”. Building on this, I am committed to promoting a collegiate ethos which fosters healthy friendships and ensures the well-being of all, with a positive peer group culture in which academic excellence is celebrated along with the values of empathy, kindness and moral responsibility.
As a parent, I want for your children what I want for my own: for school to be a place where they flourish and feel safe and happy; for school to be a place where their innate curiosity is fostered and challenged by a curriculum that motivates, involves and inspires. School is more than a ‘preparation for life’: my ambition is that County Upper alumnae will be able to look back on their experiences here as amongst the most intrinsically rewarding, stimulating and affirming chapters of their lives.
A strong and supportive partnership between the home and the school is fundamental to the success of any child. In order to support this, it is vital that communication is clear and regular and opportunities are structured through the year to constructively seek out feedback. As an outward facing school, I feel that it is important for all groups within the school community to have a voice in the development of the school and that as a school we are approachable and allocate time to listen to the views of all, in both formal and informal contexts. It is by listening and responding that we can ensure we are providing the very best education to every child. At the outset of my tenure I will share plans with you about how we will consult with all members of the school community around the school development plan that will identify priorities and drive decisions over the next three years.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nick Froy as the interim-Headteacher in the Summer 2021 term. We worked together closely, since my appointment, to discuss key issues with the clear priority this term on ensuring that safeguarding systems and protocols are rigorous and understood by all; that partnerships with agencies to ensure that safeguarding is robust are strengthened, and that students are supported by a strong safeguarding curriculum that ensures they feel safe and are safe.
I look forward to working in partnership with the whole community in this academic year as we start the next chapter in County Upper Schools’ journey together.