16 set. The English Challenge
It is with immense pleasure that I am authoring this article as the new Head of English at St. Paul’s.
Taking on this challenge at such an exciting point in the school’s history is a real honour and privilege.
It comes with the burden of responsibility to continue to grow and develop the tremendous level of English at St. Paul’s, not just in terms of external exam success but also in ensuring that the English language is a fundamental and vibrant component of the day-to-day life of our educational community.
At this point I would like to give you an idea of my professional background. After working for three years as a secondary school teacher in Scotland I moved to Barcelona and the bulk of my career was spent working as a teacher and manager for the British Council. Being part of an international organization dedicated to spreading the improvement of teaching and learning in the English language was an immensely stimulating and worthwhile experience. If ever I need reminded of the importance of English as a global language and how it creates opportunities for young people on so many levels but especially culturally, educationally, and economically I need only to reflect on my time at the British Council.
The key word, therefore, that I would associate with our vision for English at St. Paul’s is opportunities. Whether it be through outstanding external exam results, participating in international projects or continuously improving the teaching and learning of English at the school the fundamental aim remains the same: providing all our pupils with the linguistic competence necessary to take full advantage of the worldwide opportunities available to them. Language learning requires, commitment, resilience, innovation, and excellence. The very values that are the beating heart of the school.
As mentioned earlier it is very much about challenge, but I know that I speak for the rest of my English teaching colleagues as well as for myself by stating that it is a challenge that we relish.
Head of English