Our Head, Miss Norman recently announced and congratulated our new Heads of School for the academic year of 2023/2024, confirming them to be Year 12’s Isla and Oliver, as well as our Deputy Heads Year 12’s Lala and James. We took time to talk to them recently to ask about their hopes and aspirations for their new roles, keen to also know how they feel about their appointments.
Ollie, Head Boy
Being chosen as Head of School means an incredible amount to me; having spent the last 13 years of my life at the School I feel completely connected, not only as an academic but as a member of our community, and I’m honoured to have been given the chance to fulfil this position, having watched a great many students do so well before me – it’s a tradition I look forward to carrying on.
From assisting with the acclimatisation and development of the youngest students in Senior School to visiting tutor groups for all Year groups to ensure visibility and approachability in School, my overall aim is to compliment the assistance and support already provided by our wonderful teachers and other members of staff, providing a listening ear, guidance and support wherever it’s needed. I’m placing an emphasis on the core School values, on tolerance and respect towards one another, without which it is almost impossible to encourage personal and collective growth.
I very much see this as an opportunity to continue to encourage and cultivate an environment in which students feel confident in their abilities, where they have someone to talk to about their problems, and where they can achieve their fullest academic potential while also indulging in their other interests, something that I believe really underpins what Woodbridge School is all about.
Isla, Head Girl
More than anything I want to leave a positive impression and mark upon the School and our students, doing my very best to enact positive changes and trying new things, I’m thrilled to have been given the opportunity to give something back to a community which I myself have gained so much from, especially having travelled with Ollie through the School since joining in Reception.
As a young person in School I remember the importance and impact of the role models I saw every day; looking up to students as well as teachers, they motivated and encouraged me significantly, particularly during my early years in Senior School. I’m going to be looking to our Prefects to help bridge any gaps that might exist, to create a completely connected community; encouraging students from every year to approach me/us and to feel they are listened to and supported.
So many of my interests and the things that define me as a person have stemmed from the encouragement I’ve received, and my biggest hope is to create that confidence in others, to assist with them fulfilling their potential throughout School and beyond.
Lala, Deputy Head Girl
I feel incredibly privileged to have been voted into the position of Deputy Head of School because I have been given the opportunity to give back what I have found myself at Woodbridge; a fantastic support network and a vivacious learning space and I know that my peers and teachers have put their trust in me. I now have a chance to not only prove that this trust was correctly given, but also to prove that I can excel in a leadership position and offer new perspective. I hope to bring energy to the role, believing the support that the School offers is already incredible; I am incredibly passionate about showing the students what is on offer for them, to help them access their potential.
In particular, next year I will be focusing some of my energy towards the School’s EDI (equality diversity and inclusion). Within this group, students from Year 10 to 13 discuss how we can raise awareness for certain events such as Black History Month and Pride, looking particularly at how we can improve the environment for every student and how we can be on the front foot in terms of awareness and support.
The school has already implemented talks where sixth form students can show what areas they are passionate about to younger students. I feel that this is a great place to start in terms of supporting younger students, as we can demonstrate that the nurturing of young passions leads to success later on.
James, Deputy Head Boy
It means a huge amount to me for me to be appointed as Deputy Head of School. It offers a real chance to help to improve and have an impact on events in School, and I look forward to the challenge and experience it will bring. I feel this role is important as it will allow myself and Lala to help support Ollie and Isla while still providing us with the opportunity to make our own impact.
I want to continue to bring an increased sense of community to the School and strengthen links between year groups as well as help students from different parts of School integrate well, such as our boarders and new students.
I’m also keen to encourage the idea of active leadership through attending events such as the sixth form committee and student council, hoping to help introduce student suggestions and encourage development of ideas, while showcasing an active leadership team. With house and whole School competitions as well as the importance of the interhouse system on my list of priorities, I’m excited about working with and supporting Ollie and Isla wherever possible.
The entire School community looks forward to seeing their impact, compassion and thoughtfulness permeate throughout the School through their support, hard work and endeavours in their new positions. Congratulations to them as well as all of the other Year 12 students moving into their positions of responsibility as the new term begins.