Our New Head of Pre-prep – Mrs King

What did you do before Hatherop?

I was at Dragon School in Oxford for 12 years, which sounds like a very long time but I had lots of different roles both within the Prep and Pre-Prep! I started as a Year One teacher, but during my time there I was also an English Teacher in Year Six, a Reception Teacher, I was Head of Year Two for several years, Head of ICT, Head of Educational Trips and Visits and when I left last year I was Director of Social and Environmental Impact, Houseparent in a large Junior Girls Boarding House and taught RSE in the Prep School. However, I am passionate about working with the younger children and am delighted to be back working in the Pre-Prep.

What is your favourite time at school?

This is actually my favourite time of year and I don’t think that Hatherop could look any more beautiful with the trees in all their glory. I absolutely love the colours of Autumn and then all of the excitement in the build-up to Christmas. I am particularly looking forward to the Christingle Service which I am told is a really special event.

What do you enjoy about teaching?

I love having the opportunity to play a small part in a child’s future. It is such a privilege to observe children falling in love with learning and gaining in confidence. I really enjoy seeing the look of wonder in a child’s eyes and sharing in moments of celebration with them when they grasp a new skill. I enjoy the fact that every day is different and that children never fail to make me smile. I am also very reassured spending so much time with these children of the future!

What are your plans for Hatherop Pre-Prep

I feel very lucky to have arrived in time to see the Stable Yard really starting to take shape. Next I am keen to develop the outside area with lots of planting (the children have already potted some spring bulbs) and incorporate more outdoor learning into the curriculum. I am constantly in awe of how incredible the facilities and the amount of space here at Hatherop and am keen that we make use of the incredible grounds as much as possible. I am also passionate about instilling a love of reading every child, as it really is the gateway to learning. Alongside our fantastic new Little Wandle programme, I have started Pre-Prep assemblies on a Monday which is an opportunity to share a brilliant book that I have discovered each week at the library. During this time, we also celebrate acts of kindness (my motto is ‘Kindness is King’) and I absolutely love hearing about times that Pre-Prep children have been kind to one another. I have also introduced Philosophy for Children (or P4C) and am looking forward to engaging with charities and projects that benefit the local community and the environment, something I did a lot of in my previous role. I am very proud of the Prep 1 children who have already earned an RSPB Wild Challenge Bronze Award this term.

What do enjoy doing in your spare time?

I have a daughter called Clover who has just started with the wonderful Mrs Riley in the Nursery and have a Labrador-retriever called Harley, who used to be a Guide Dog and now enjoys coming into school a couple of days a week. I love cooking (although am a dreadful baker!) and am currently taking an interior design course in any spare moment, as my husband and I are in the midst of doing up our new house which needs a lot of work. I love nothing more than traveling with my family, discovering new walks and hosting dinner-parties for my friends.