It is my absolute pleasure to introduce myself formally, as the new Headteacher of Bassaleg School. I wanted to firstly take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself before outlining key aspects of my vision for how we can continue to grow to become a truly exceptional school.
Born and bred in the beautiful town of Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, I went on to graduate from Cardiff University with a BA (Joint Hons) degree in History and English back in 1999 and completing my PGCE in English and PE at Bristol University a year later, I began my teaching career in Barcelona before moving to Hereford to teach English and PE. It was at the Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School where I very much discovered my passion for teaching, in particular English Literature and genuine interest in and care for how young people grow. I was fortunate to be shaped and guided by some wonderful mentors who, alongside my wonderful family, instilled in me the confidence to aspire to be the very best teacher I could and also to make the most of every single opportunity. Already a keen sports woman, having played hockey and having developed a love of swimming and cycling, when I embarked on a career in teaching I realised that longevity and success in this career would only come from developing a very healthy work/ life balance. So alongside of my wonderful career, I have been fortunate to travel the world and continue to search for exciting opportunities to push myself outside of my comfort zone, enjoy life, appreciate family and friends and realise that anything is possible if you work hard and believe in yourself; qualities which I see as integral to being a good role model for young people. This is part of the reason I chose this particular photograph of me on my recent trek to the Himalayas in my quest to conquer Everest Base Camp in March to raise funds for a charity very close to my heart as I want to inspire our young people to constantly challenge themselves to realise their potential in all aspects of life.
With my heart very much in Wales, following my early years of teaching in Hereford, I searched for promotion across the border and secured my first leadership position at Bassaleg School back in 2003 when I took responsibility for key stage four in the English Department. It was here at Bassaleg, within a team of highly skilled and committed teachers where I very much widened my skills set and following a brief stint down the M4 corridor as Head of English in Neath/ Port Talbot, I returned to Bassaleg in 2006 where I have been fortunate to assume the roles of Head of English, Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and now Head of School. When I secured the qualification for Headship (NPQH) in 2015, even having had much opportunity to visit other schools and authorities in my role as a Peer Inspector for Estyn, I knew that my heart and soul lay very much in this school and have aspired to prepare myself fully for the Headship at Bassaleg should the opportunity present itself; now that it’s here, I couldn’t be more excited and I am determined to give it my absolute all!
Bassaleg School has always put innovative teaching and learning and wellbeing at the heart and core of our values and I am wholly committed to ensuring that each individual child is given the most wonderfully challenging and inspiring learning experience whilst being cared for and supported in the most bespoke way. I want your children to excel and become independent and autonomous in their learning; inspired by a creative curriculum and innovative teaching and learning methods, delivered by an exceptional team of highly skilled staff. I want your children to enjoy and feel proud of being a pupil at Bassaleg School. To this end, I very much want to reignite pupils’ desire to have more of a voice in school: to co-construct lessons and plan then execute events with their year groups; activities which enable our young people to develop critical teamwork, social and emotional skills which of course will endeavour to develop each and every one of them as good, morally-grounded, global citizens.
Efficient lines of communication and high visibility are integral to my leadership of Bassaleg School. To this end, each half term, I look forward to publishing my Headteacher’s blog / vlog on the school’s website to give you, our parents/ guardians, a closer insight to the running of the school. I very much look forward to sharing updates on some of our school priorities and celebrating some of the numerous successes both in and out of the classroom. Furthermore, following the successful implementation of the parent forum, a new addition to the calendar this year will be the Headteacher/ parent exchange, scheduled each half term on Wednesdays / Thursdays between 3.15 and 5.45pm. This will give you, as parents / guardians the opportunity to make a 30-minute appointment to meet directly with me to discuss any issue. Of course, you will be familiar with usual lines of communication with your son/ daughter’s Head of Year etc and this new system is not to replace this but simply an additional opportunity to for example to discuss over a cuppa, suggestions you may have on aspects of how we reward students/ communicate with you as parents etc. The dates for these HT/ parent exchanges will be published on the website and appointments can be made via contacting my PA - Miss A. Hortin. Your sons / daughters will I’m sure have informed you that the HT’s office has also moved and I look forward to taking you on a virtual tour of the new venue, which is located very much at the heart of the school site; again something which I see as integral to my successful leadership of the school.
My understanding of which aspects of school improvement are still very much in need of addressing and exactly how we can break through the barriers to become an 80% level 2 inclusive school have put me in a very strong position to lead Bassaleg to becoming one of the very best schools in Wales. I am an incredibly active and motivated individual; “can do” and “never give up” attributes lie at the core of my personal and professional practice. As a dedicated professional, I am wholly committed to the challenge of leading an already dynamic and caring learning community to even greater success and I very much look forward to continuing to forge excellent relationships with you all.
Miss Victoria Lambe