With the construction of Sherford's primary school well underway, we caught up with two of its new teachers, Miss Ramsey and Miss May, to hear their hopes for Sherford Vale, as they prepare to start teaching the first pupils from September.
Which year group will you be teaching?
Miss Ramsey: I will be teaching the foundation years (reception) and key stage one (year 1 and 2).
Miss May: I will be teaching the whole of key stage two, from years 3 to 6.
What inspired you to get into teaching?
Miss Ramsey: I admired my PE teacher’s ability to inspire her students to enjoy and benefit from physical education. She created the foundations that fuelled my aspirations of becoming a teacher.
Miss May: In year 2 I had an amazing teacher who was the reason why I enjoyed going to school everyday. 20 years later I remember her fondly, and I would love to be able to inspire children to develop such a love of learning, as she did for me.
What was your previous role, before you applied to teach at Sherford Vale?
Miss Ramsey: I have been a class teacher in a village school in West Sussex for the past 3 years, as well as head of PE for the past 2 years.
Miss May: After training at the University of Gloucestershire, I moved back to Plymouth and have been teaching Key Stage 2 at a local Primary School for 5 years. I have also been a Science co-ordinator and student-teacher mentor.
Why did you apply and what attracted you to teach at Sherford Vale?
Miss Ramsey: Carrying on my teaching career in a brand-new school is a fantastic opportunity, hence why I applied! I’m very excited about delivering a broad and balanced curriculum for all, with disciplined learning which can cater to every child’s individual needs, encouraging students to aim high and try to achieve their full potential.
Miss May: I thought it was an incredible opportunity to be able to be part of a school’s development from such an early stage. I am excited to help develop the curriculum for Sherford Vale, to ensure that it not only encourages good academic progress but also helps develop children as motivated, inquisitive and kind young people.
What do you think is the most exciting part about teaching at Sherford Vale?
Miss Ramsey: The fact that both the teachers and pupils are all starting from a brand-new slate in a new building, building the foundations together.
Miss May: Apart from meeting all the children and getting to know them as individuals, I think what is most exciting is being a part of a brand-new school and being involved in its growth over the coming years.
How do you think you will play a part in the new school’s development?
Miss Ramsey: I will be bringing an exciting curriculum and understanding of how children should progress in their PE skills from early years- year 6 and beyond. I hope to achieve this by laying the foundations in key stage 1 through teaching the key transferable skills that are needed across all school sport.
Miss May: I will be part of a team of people who will be designing the curriculum plan for the first year, as well as supporting with the resourcing of equipment that will be needed. I'm also in charge of designing my classroom, ready for the children to start in September!
What opportunities do you think there are for Sherford Vale as a new school, for the Sherford residents and surrounding communities?
Miss Ramsey: There will be great opportunities for people to come together in the school at the heart of the community – community lunches, performances and the delivery of extra-curricular activities are just a starting point.
Miss May: As a teacher, I hope to involve the community and parents in all aspects of learning. I think it is extremely important for children at Sherford Vale to understand the unique situation that they are in. By supporting and encouraging the children to build strong links with the community at an early age, I believe that Sherford will continue to thrive.
What are your hopes for the students of Sherford Vale?
Miss Ramsey: I hope that all the children will develop a lifelong love of learning, developing their own confidence and independence, taking fond and cherished memories of their time at primary school with them.
Miss May: I hope the children develop confidence, inquisitive minds and a life-long love of learning, and that they leave Sherford Vale with incredible memories and a belief that they can achieve anything they want and be whatever they want to be.
How will you use the outdoors as part of your teaching?
Miss Ramsey: I believe that frequently using the natural environment as a classroom benefits the children in many ways. I will be using the outdoor areas as often as possible, from core curriculum subjects through to play time and arts.
Miss May: I believe it is important to incorporate the outdoors in all subjects, as many studies have shown that being outside increases pupils’ engagement and retention of a topic. I hope to be able to use the local area in many ways, from supporting the teaching of science, to maths, and everything in-between.
Why do you think families should apply to send their children to Sherford Vale?
Miss Ramsey: Because it is a brand-new school, with new facilities and lots of outdoor space for learning. The classes will start off small allowing children to be part the gradual growth of Sherford Vale.
Miss May: I think this is such an exciting opportunity for families to be a part of, as new primary schools in new communities do not open very often. I know that the team that will be working at the school from September are committed to making Sherford Vale a hugely successful school; one that staff, children and parents are proud of.