Personally speaking - 'A bee caused mayhem in an inspection'

26th March 2010 at 00:00

Who has been your biggest influence?

The first head I worked with, Angela Hermon at Wexham Court Primary in Slough. She was keen to encourage me as a leader and via delegation gave me useful experience.

What is your career high so far?

Achieving 100 per cent grade 1s in my first Ofsted inspection as a head and coming top in the Sats league tables within 12 months - with young, inexperienced staff.

What was your worst moment in teaching?

Probably being observed by the lead inspector in my first inspection. I was teaching Year 4 maths and a bee came into the room. A child had a panic attack, at which point I abandoned the lesson. I achieved an outstanding lesson even though we only did 10 minutes.

Which pupil are you most proud of?

A member of my first school choir as an NQT in Slough won a place in the National Youth Choir.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Aim to take at least one risk every day of your career.

What is the most outrageous thing a colleague has done?

Tell children an emotional real-life story as inspiration during an observed lesson. I cried and so did the children.

What would you be if you weren't a teacher?

A surgeon.

What do you do on a Friday evening?

Plan to do something immediately after school. If I went home first I would just fall asleep.

What car do you drive?

A far too grown-up and sensible Lexus.

Where did you last go on holiday?

Edinburgh, as I normally venture much further afield and am a bit embarrassed that I have barely visited Scotland.

What was the last book you read?

Professionally, Good to Great by Jim Collins; personally, The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee.

What is the worst excuse you have heard?

I have had calls from Heathrow with parents saying: "My child has flu" but you can hear announcements being made.

As head of Hampstead Norreys Primary in Berkshire, Ms Butler introduced the international primary curriculum in 2008. Last year the school was placed top of the key stage 2 league tables. She is now also acting head of Willows Primary in Newbury, Berkshire.

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