PUBLISHED: 15:05 16 October 2013 | UPDATED: 15:05 16 October 2013
Archant © 2013
When you are new to school it can be perplexing to understand who does what and what the many different titles mean - and that goes for both pupils and parents. We asked our education writer Jo Malone to put the question “Who are you and what do you do” - and there are some surprising answers!
Stuart James <co pic being taken wed july 10>
Estate manager for Langley School and Thorpe House Langley Prep School, Langley and Norwich.
Stuart describes his team as a mini building company, with qualified electricians, carpenters, plumbers, painters and gardeners among the 12 staff responsible for the upkeep of the Grade One listed Langley School building and associated facilities and the 110-acre grounds, plus the Prep School.
Work can range from laying a new car park and overseeing the construction of the new sixth form block at Langley to repairing part of the main staircase, incorporating a bracket specially commissioned from a blacksmith and building sets for school plays or replacing old oil boilers with biomass boilers.
“I had to make a Tardis recently, that was a first,” says Stuart.
He manages the budget and, with his team, deals with organising listed building consent for work and sets out the schools for sports days and events. Now, with a big tree planting programme, the team is using old drawings to restore the Langley Estate to the way Capability Brown designed it.
Jade Sandy <co pic being emailed>
Prefect at Glebe House School, Hunstanton
Helping other pupils feel settled at school is an essential part of 12-year-old Jade’s role as a student mentor and prefect. But she feels every pupil helps to support the school’s caring ethos.
“We do all look out for younger children and make sure they feel okay,” says Jade, who has been at Glebe House School since joining the nursery aged nine months. A school council member, student mentor and now prefect, Jade says her role is to work hard and to help others.
“I think when new people arrive they could be scared and anxious, and we show that our school is a caring community, make sure that they are introduced to everyone, and always have a friend.”
Pupils can turn to Jade for help and she’ll support them telling a member of staff when necessary.
Eventually Jade wants to be a children’s therapist. “I like helping. It’s important that if you have problems there is someone to help you.”
Benita Ogg <co pic not organized yet, will sort>
Bursar at Town Close School, Norwich
Benita Ogg blows away the preconception that bursars “only look after money”. From dealing with insurance companies to human resources and staffing issues, her working day couldn’t be more varied. While she keeps an overview of the budget, there’s also recruiting and managing support staff, legal matters, health and safety issues, child protection, overseeing catering, maintenance and grounds, ensuring any work complies with Town Close’s listed building and conservation area status plus all sorts in between.
“It is everything that is not the academic side of the school,” she explains. “I might be on the sports field in the snow looking at some damage, then come in to talk to a barrister about another matter. I love it.”
Benita adds that while she has lunch with the children, parents don’t tend to know who she is or what she does. “Everyone thinks I just deal with fees,” she laughs.
Claire Harding <co pic being emailed>
Special educational needs coordinator at Magdalene House Prep School, Wisbech.
Claire works to coordinate extra support to pupils who need it, from those with dyslexia or dyspraxia to children struggling with numeracy or handwriting. She works one to one with pupils, tailoring each an individual development programme.
“Teaching one to one is very rewarding. If someone is seven and dyslexic, they’re finding pushing sounds together to make a word very difficult. I am teaching them explicitly how to do that so they can read the word, the sentence, the paragraph and read themselves a story; it is so rewarding.”
Also a music teacher for part of the school week, she has a relaxed resources room for assessing and reviewing children with dyslexia or dyspraxia and supporting those needing extra help.
“We do have small classes here and that makes a huge difference to a child anyway,” she adds.