Logo

Q and A: St Anthony’s School for Girls headteacher on her first year at helm

PUBLISHED: 11:36 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:46 20 March 2017

St Anthony's School for Girls headteacher Laura Martin with a group of her students. Credit: Jonathan Stewart

St Anthony's School for Girls headteacher Laura Martin with a group of her students. Credit: Jonathan Stewart

Red Photographic-Jonathan Stewart

We spoke to St Anthony’s School for Girls headteacher Laura Martin about her first year at the helm.

Laura Martin Laura Martin

Please can you go into your background in teaching prior to starting at St Anthony’s?

Having completed a BA Ed in primary education with the University of Reading, I began my teaching career in a Catholic primary school in Hertfordshire. Prior to opening St Anthony’s School for Girls, I was a founding member of Holy Family, a new Catholic primary school in the borough of Ealing. Together with my team, I organised, resourced and designed the curriculum for the opening of each class and nurtured the caring, family ethos within a growing school environment. As the assistant head, I was an integral part of the team which led Holy Family to achieve the “outstanding” grade in their first Ofsted Inspection. I have now embarked on a new challenge and aim to apply the experience and skills gained in my previous role to the successful running of St Anthony’s School for Girls.

What attracted you to the job?

St Anthony's School for Girls headteacher Laura Martin, Alpha Plus executive deputy chairman Graham Able and founding parent Ebru Nart. St Anthony's School for Girls headteacher Laura Martin, Alpha Plus executive deputy chairman Graham Able and founding parent Ebru Nart.

The challenge of starting a new school was an incredibly rewarding experience, and so when the opportunity arose to open St Anthony’s School for Girls, I was delighted to be offered the position. What appealed to me most was the opportunity to create from its foundation, a learning environment where all pupils could thrive and reach their full potential. As a school leader, I am blessed with the task of creating our future traditions and aim to achieve this using exciting and innovative approaches to teaching. Prior to taking the position, I visited St Anthony’s Boys and met with headmaster, Paul Keyte. It was clear that we shared the same values and principles in our approach to education and so would go on to make a successful team. I also admired the success of the Alpha Plus Group schools and was attracted to the opportunity of working within a group which would offer the support network of successful and forward-thinking headteachers.

What makes St Anthony’s unique as a school?

As a start-up school, we are unique in that we are not governed by traditions or principles which could have potentially become outdated. The opening of a new school provides us with a blank canvas. We have the opportunity to create an educational setting tailored to the needs of a diverse and ever changing environment. St Anthony’s girls benefit from traditional teaching methods while drawing upon the latest advances in technology and the latest research and innovation in education. Through working closely with the boys’ school, we are also able to give our pupils the opportunities that a co-educational school would provide while maintaining the benefits that singlesex education has to offer. Paul and I meet frequently to ensure that our shared ethos is maintained and academic success of the two schools is on par.

What are your main aims as headteacher?

St Anthony’s School for Boys is known as being both academic and caring. My Headteacher Laura Martin surrounded by a crop of her pupils. Spring Term 2017 37 Interview aim is to nurture this ethos in the girl’s school throughout our period of growth. My approach to education is that first and foremost, the girls should enjoy learning. I want the girls to skip into school every day excited to make new discoveries, to gain knowledge and practise skills. It is our duty to ensure that during their time with us, the girls are prepared for the next stage in their school career. And so we promote independence and encourage our girls to take ownership of their learning. We want our girls to see themselves as individuals, with unique strengths and ambitions and that stems from how we ourselves view the girls, and the education with which we provide them. As our pupil numbers grow, my aim is that our pastoral care will continue to be equal to our excellent academic offering. By attending St Anthony’s, our girls will receive an education which develops the human being as a whole.

What has been your proudest moment during the school’s first year?

There have been many proud moments and successes during our first year but the most memorable for me was seeing the very first St Anthony’s girl cross the school gates proudly wearing her new school uniform. The girls themselves have made the opening of this school a joy. They fully appreciate the importance and responsibility of being a founding member and know that their actions and achievements will go on to set the St Anthony’s Girls traditions. It gives me such pleasure to watch them grow and flourish as the role models to our future year groups.

What are you most excited about this term?

We are incredibly excited about STEM week, which will take place in March. During this week all learning will be focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Through cross-curricular projects, the girls will take part in robotics sessions which will draw on their construction and programming skills. There will be investigations to spark a curiosity in chemistry and mathematical problem solving which will encourage them to pose as many questions as they have answered.

What do you like most about working in Camden?

The situation of the school between Hampstead and Golders Green enables me make the most of bustling north London life while enjoying the glorious greenery and outdoor space provided by Golders Hill park.

What is the school’s ethos?

Our ethos underpins every aspect of school life at St Anthony’s School for Girls. As with our sister school, St Anthony’s School for Boys, it is our nurturing family environment and high quality education which makes us exceptional. We believe that children reach their true potential when they feel safe, secure and valued as part of a supportive community. We recognise that each child is an individual, with unique strengths and abilities. Through our guidance, it is the St Anthony’s School for Girls aim that our pupils will flourish academically and go on to affect change, making a positive contribution to society through their academic abilities and moral and spiritual beliefs. Through living out our aims and ethos, we hope to foster in each child a passion to learn, the motivation to achieve and the desire to excel.

Latest Hampstead Education News

The future is bright for Hawley Primary School following the official opening of its new building.

Students from Portland Place School have demonstrated their support for anti-bullying by winning first place in the ‘odd socks day challenge’.

A Golders Green school is celebrating after receiving an “outstanding” Ofsted report.

Our Lady of Muswell Hill Primary School is on the up after receiving an upgrade in its Ofsted rating.

A Coldfall Primary School student has been named as the number one ranked under-10s table tennis player in the country.

Greig City Academy students were among dedicated sailors from across the UK who had their endeavours recognised by HRH Princess Anne at the annual Royal Yachting Awards (RYA) ceremony.

Schools have been hard at work in the run up to Christmas to provide as much festive cheer in the community as possible.

There have been some busy elves working away in the run up to Christmas at The Cavendish School.

South Hampstead Junior School pupils have marked 60 years since the school moved into its own separate site at 12 Netherhall Gardens in 1957.

‘The future is bright’ for a crop of Camden youngsters who dazzled judges in a public speaking contest at Regent High School.

Henrietta Barnett School has been named as the UK’s top performing state school in a much-anticipated annual league table released by the Sunday Times.

A success story of one of Archant London’s Student Takeover schemes is encouraging students at City of Westminster College and College of North West London to get involved in a potentially “life-changing” opportunity at the Ham&High.

A young violinist from Archway has described the moment she was accepted into the National Youth Orchestra (NYO) as like “a dream come true”.

A newly-opened redesigned wing at University College School has been dedicated to a headmaster who spent 17 years at the helm in Hampstead.

Camden headteachers have joined forces to highlight the impact of “relentless cuts” in the run-up to Philip Hammond’s budget announcement on Wednesday.

It was packed-out affair at Rokesly Junior School as parents received a lesson on how calmness is key when talking to your children.

Gifted youngsters from across Camden were celebrated at another inspiring Jack Petchey Foundation awards ceremony.

An opportunity of a lifetime has arisen for media-savvy students at City of Westminster College and the College of North West London.

A champion of diversity, a talented dancer and a rising musical star are just three of the youngsters who are set to be recognised at a Camden awards ceremony.

St Anthony’s School for Girls was awash with colour as students celebrated cultures from around the world.

Education editor James Scott speaks to Sarah Creasey about life as headteacher of Parliament Hill School.

“We are not going away,” was the warning shot to politicians in Westminster on Tuesday as parents and students from Haringey and Camden protested against school cuts.

Charitable students at UCS Hampstead have clubbed together to give a mammoth donation to the north Paddington food bank.

Meeting the need for extra school places remains a key priority for Camden, Barnet and Haringey councils, in the face of warnings about a looming shortfall.

Nobody goes to university without knowing they’ll take on debt.

Whizz-kids are giving the older generation a helping hand at Highgate School by running a technology club for ex-students.

The head of English at St Anthony’s School for Boys is a double champion after wining two gold medals at the European Masters Marathon Championships in Poland.

The Mayor of London has been applauded for tackling pollution in Camden after three of the borough’s primary schools were included in the first wave of ‘air quality audits’.

A school expansion has been lauded by Camden Council, despite “teething problems” over travel arrangements around the site.

A tech-savvy Abacus Belsize Park Primary School teacher will be inspiring her pupils this term after spending part of the summer break at a celebrated teaching event in California.

A blogger has been jailed for nine months after harassing parents of children caught up in false allegations of a ‘satanic paedophile ring’ at a Camden school.

Portland Place school headteacher David Bradbury...

A top Highgate independent school is acting as the principle educational sponsor to a state-funded academy which opened its doors in Tottenham on Monday with the chief aim of providing disadvantaged students living in Haringey with a “first class” education.

Following the much anticipated grading changes to GCSEs, three quarters of students at Westminster Academy were celebrating achieving the benchmark grade of a pass at GCSE.

The principal of Greig City Academy has lauded the ‘outstanding’ achievements of his GCSE students, with some of them setting their sights on Oxbridge degrees.

Students collecting their GCSE results across Camden yesterday morning have produced scores that are well above the national average.

Highgate School’s students have risen to the challenge of tougher exams by producing top results, according to headteacher Adam Pettitt.

Hornsey School for Girls have said despite reforms the school has achieved another set of “fantastic” GCSE results.

Students at King Alfred School have bucked the national trend after achieving their strongest raft of A* and A grades for 10 years.

North Bridge House Senior Hampstead students have bucked the national trend after receiving their GCSE exam results this morning.

The UCL Academy in Swiss Cottage celebrated it’s first ever GCSE results day with plenty of students securing impressive grades.

Pupils at South Hampstead High School were celebrating this morning as they collected the school’s best ever GCSE results, with a record-breaking 77.4% of entries awarded the top A* grade (up 13% on 2016) whilst an incredible 94.6% of entries were graded A*/A – another record for the school.

Pupils at top independent school Channing are celebrating after scooping outstanding GCSE results.

The headteacher of top independent University College School has urged the government to stop tinkering with education after the school posted record GCSE results.

Students collecting their GCSEs at Portland Place School this morning had plenty to celebrate, with headteacher David Bradbury lauding their dedication.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

2018 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant