What distinguishes Tormead from other schools?
“Tormead offers the ideal balance – enabling girls to excel academically in an intellectually curious environment but without the pressure to succeed. One pupil described Tormead as ‘Success without the Stress’. We also allow girls to be themselves and develop their own interests so they leave us as grounded, resilient young people with an interest in improving their community.”
Which aspects of Tormead would you highlight to prospective parents?
“Girls’ schools have a reputation, supported by academic research, for building emotional resilience and allowing opportunities to pursue academic areas traditionally underrepresented by young women. Perhaps that’s why our most popular A Level subjects are currently Maths and the three sciences. Overall, our academic achievement, sporting and other extra-curricular opportunities and an exceptionally strong culture of pastoral care, mean we stand out as a close, caring community where girls develop intellectually and socially to fulfil their potential.”
Why did you take on this role?
“From the moment I met the girls during my interview process for the Headship, I realised this was a very special school. Tormead’s educational ‘DNA’ is very much my own: get pastoral care right and, unsurprisingly, happy and secure pupils succeed academically. I also envisage a wonderful opportunity to make an already great school even better.”
What have you achieved so far?
“During these unprecedented times, my colleagues and I can look back proudly at how we managed to continue offering an excellent education to our pupils alongside as much sport and extra-curricular activities as possible. Keeping everyone safe with minimal disruption was always our aim.”
Tell us about your ambitions…
“The next five years involve making our Science provision sector-leading, while we’re developing our Sixth Form facilities for greater study, social and specialist spaces. I’m also keen to continue putting pastoral care at the heart of everything we do by further investing in pastoral spaces for girls and the Wellbeing staff. Finally, we’re expanding our sports facilities into a completed Urn Field home-ground for Tormead in September 2022.”
Nicest thing you’ve heard a pupil or parent say about Tormead?
“That we were there for them and their daughter when she was struggling – and, with our support, she came through her difficulties and went on to achieve her potential.”
Describe the atmosphere of the school…
“During lesson times, there’s an air of purposeful learning as you wander around our corridors. Girls are focused on their learning, engaging in debates, experiments or group activities. Travel around the school and you will hear laughter and smell the aroma of coffee from the café in the Sixth Form Common Room, or pass by the library and feel a palpable sense of intense focus. Enter the JCS – our performing arts block – and the melodies from music lessons are constant along with excited exclamations from drama lessons. Elsewhere, The Sports Centre is always busy, with gymnastics classes at lunchtimes and after school, cricket net practice, netball matches, or strength and conditioning training in the new fitness suite.”
Favourite moment as Head (so far)?
“A real highlight was attending the Upper Sixth end of year party and listening to girls’ experiences of Tormead and seeing what incredible young women are progressing from our school into their university lives. The impact our staff had was clearly evident from the girls’ heartfelt leaving messages.”