Karen Dabill

Deputy Head Academic

What does your role as Deputy Head (Academic) involve? 

“My role of Deputy Head (Academic) is a critical one, as it plays a key role in shaping the academic experience of students and ensuring that they are well-prepared for the challenges of the future. The primary focus of my role is on the academic development and progress of the students within the school, as well as the professional development of the teaching staff. I am responsible for the design, implementation, and evaluation of the school’s academic curriculum. This involves working with teachers and other academic staff to ensure that the curriculum is engaging, relevant, and aligned with the school’s educational goals. I also oversee the professional development and training of teaching staff, ensuring that they have the knowledge and skills they need to deliver high-quality teaching and learning experiences for students. I am responsible for monitoring the academic progress of students across all year groups, identifying areas of strength and weakness, and implementing strategies to support individual student needs as well as overseeing the school’s assessment and reporting processes, ensuring that they are fair and transparent.”

What is your vision for Academics at Tormead? 

 “Overall, my vision for Academics at Tormead would be to create a learning environment that is inclusive, innovative, and empowering, where students are inspired to reach their full potential and develop a lifelong love of learning. I want to ensure that we have a dynamic and balanced curriculum which is responsive to the evolving workplace of the 21st Century. At the heart of everything I do, I want to ensure all students reach their full potential and enjoy their academic journey and that Tormead has a well-focused and enriched curriculum with an emphasis on inspirational teaching and child-centred learning.

What do you love most about your job? 

“Working with students and listening to them and teachers to achieve the very best academic outcome for all pupils, along with celebrating their success at every opportunity.”

What makes you most proud of working here? 

Working with such an amazing team of teachers at Tormead who are dedicated to bringing out the very best in our students. They play a crucial role in shaping the minds and lives of their students, and I take great pleasure in supporting them to deliver academic excellence while also enriching pupil learning through a broad and varied curriculum. By preparing students for life beyond Tormead, our teachers not only impart knowledge, but also important life skills that will serve our students well in the future.”

Memorable moment? 

Being able to connect with your students and engage with them on a personal level is an important aspect of being a teacher and I love the opportunities house events bring for both students and teachers. I have been known to dress up as a gorilla for the Wellington endangered species day as well as dance around a supermarket car park dressed up as a chicken for the masked singer competition. Unfortunately, being asked by a little boy in the supermarket car park for a photo with the chicken was the closest I’ve been to being famous!”

Where next?

Staff and Governors