We are pleased to welcome Mr Sivendra Gajendra to Tormead from From January 2022. Mr Gajendra is one of two new appointments in the Maths department, currently led by Ms Charlie Wyatt. Read on to find out more about Mr Gajendra and what brings him to Tormead.
Welcome to Tormead! Can you tell us a bit about your background and career history?
I studied Economics at University before completing my PGCE in Secondary Mathematics. I then returned to my teach at my secondary school and have been teaching ever since! I have taught in schools across the UK and also in Hong Kong.
When did you first discover your love for Maths? Was it triggered by a specific event, teacher or project?
I loved studying Mathematics at school and helping my friends as they also studied Maths. It was at this point I thought about a career in teaching and it lead me to apply for a PGCE after University.
What is your favourite aspect of Maths to teach and study?
I really enjoy teaching Trigonometry. There is so much more to this topic than meets the eye and I enjoy helping students to explore and understand the links between sub-topics.
What attracted you to join Tormead?
I was keen to return to teaching GCSE and A Level Maths, so when I saw the opportunity at Tormead I was intrigued to learn more about the school, especially the focus on pastoral care. I really enjoyed my interview day and am really excited to join the school in January.
What aspects are you most looking forward to when you join Tormead?
I am really looking forward to working with the great team in the Maths department. I am also keen to help with running Football and Tennis sessions and events.
Is there an element of Maths education you would like to promote that you think is underrated?
I think problem solving is a very important skill and I’m keen to help support students to improve this in preparation for Maths Challenges.
Do you have any hobbies or interests, apart from Maths, you like to partake in outside of work?
I really enjoy watching and playing sports, especially Football and Tennis. I also enjoy running as well as swimming, and like to read autobiographies from sports men and women as it is fascinating to learn about their lives and their reflections on sporting events and milestones. Spending time with friends and family is important to me so I spend lots of time with them when I can.
Do you have a stand-out moment of something you’re especially proud of?
I am really proud to have completed the ‘Sure Run to the Beat’ 10km race in September 2015. This helped raise money for a charity that I strongly support.
What advice would you give to students who struggle with Maths?
I would encourage students to always try their best in answering the question in front of them before asking for help. We are all capable Mathematicians but, sometimes, we need help along the way through support from teachers and peers in order to progress further and find moments of success.
What future opportunities are available to those who study Maths at A Level?
There is no limit to the careers and future opportunities studying Mathematics can lead to; the list is endless!
What is something you would like to tick off your bucket-list?
I am fortunate enough to have attended every Grand Slam event around the world – the Australian Open, the US Open, the French Open and Wimbledon. I would like to try and attend a finals match at every Grand Slam; I’ve already the Australian Open Men’s Final and the Women’s Wimbledon Final.
Finally, what advice would you give your teenage self if you could go back in time?
Make the most of all the curricular and extra-curricular opportunities available to you!