We turn the spotlight to Taryn Lombard, Head of The Cavendish School, Camden, where she talks about her journey to leadership and what makes her school stand out from the rest.

What was your path to becoming a headteacher?

I was inspired early on by teachers and realised that a visionary head can make a school special. Through years of teaching in different types of school, I was pleased to grow into the role I have now, where I can make a difference, both personally and through the team I lead, to all the girls who pass through The Cavendish School. It’s a great honour and a pleasure every day. Best job in the world.

Why did you want to become a headteacher?

With regard to The Cavendish School, I was drawn to the fact that it was an all-girls school, like Wimbledon High where I taught for many years, and a charity.  I aim to send girls into the world ready to make a positive difference in some way and look forward to learning how they do it!

Ham & High: Sending girls into the world ready to make a positive differenceSending girls into the world ready to make a positive difference (Image: The Cavendish School)

What’s the most surprising thing about you that people may not know?

Outside of work and education, where I am happy to talk to everyone, child or adult, and present to large groups, I am socially reserved and possibly more quiet than people would expect.

What were your favourite and least favourite school dinners?

When I was a child I always brought a packed lunch from home, so never really had a best or least favourite. But now my favourite school dinner is halloumi skewers. It’s a hard choice though, because our school lunches are always healthy and delicious and a real perk of working at The Cavendish. And there is always such a choice of hot and cold dishes that I still don’t have any days where I don’t like the lunch.

Ham & High: Pupils have a spirited and adventurous approach to life Pupils have a spirited and adventurous approach to life (Image: The Cavendish School)

How do you relax outside of school?

Two very different pastimes: competitive golf and cooking. My three children keep me busy too!

What are you most proud of at your school?

Each and every girl, and their daring, spirited and adventurous approach to life – they are grounded and resourceful and make this a delightful place to be.

Ham & High: The school benefits from a great deal more space, inside and outThe school benefits from a great deal more space, inside and out (Image: The Cavendish School)How is your school different from others nearby?

Our focus is very much on teaching girls to develop their voices; to speak with confidence and to listen to and learn from others. We teach them that there are no limits to what they can achieve across arts, sciences and sport and relish their daring to stretch themselves in a challenging yet safe and supportive environment.

In purely practical terms we also benefit from a great deal more space, inside and out, than many other schools in London: we have large playgrounds and gardens, big classrooms with high ceilings and plenty of light, specialist facilities for science and art. Visitors are always astonished by how – like the Tardis – we seem to be so much bigger inside than the outside would suggest. 

Being in the heart of Camden rather than leafy Hampstead we also have parks, pools and playing fields, museums etc within easy walking distance and so easily enjoy all the diversity that this wonderful city has to offer.  We’re also very easy to get to: being moments from the tube is a big help for busy parents, and we have a popular school bus for our Islington families.

And not every primary school has a dog – Dexter, our friendly corgi, is very much loved by all of us here; he never refuses a cuddle (though he is not always keen on a brisk walk)!

Ham & High: The much loved school pet, Dexter the corgiThe much loved school pet, Dexter the corgi (Image: The Cavendish School)

If you had to sum up the school in just one word, what would it be?

Kaleidoscopic! With its multitude of opportunities across and beyond the curriculum, its creativity, the huge diversity of our school body and our links to the wider community in Camden and around the world, it is like a kaleidoscope: vibrant and full of changing patterns that are beautiful to behold. I would invite anyone who is interested to see this at first hand to contact us to arrange a tour; we are always happy to show people round on any normal school day.  And in the meantime, for a glimpse of what we get up to, please see us on Instagram.

Head name:  Mrs Taryn Lombard

School name: The Cavendish School

Address: 31 Inverness Street, London NW1 7HB

Telephone number: 020 7485 1958

Email address: admissions@cavendish-school.co.uk

Website address: https://cavendishschool.co.uk/

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