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The top Suffolk independent school putting a smile on their students faces

PUBLISHED: 16:30 08 June 2019

Peter Taylor, the Director of Sport at Ipswich High School Credit: ANTHONY CULLEN

Peter Taylor, the Director of Sport at Ipswich High School Credit: ANTHONY CULLEN

ANTHONY CULLEN

Ipswich High School is here to make its students as happy as possible - that is the message from two of the newest appointments at the Suffolk independent school.

Lisa Finch, head of Prep School at Ipswich High School Credit: CLARE DOUGLASLisa Finch, head of Prep School at Ipswich High School Credit: CLARE DOUGLAS

Lisa Finch, the new head of the preparatory school on their Woolverstone campus, joined the school at Easter and is working to "put happiness at the centre of everything the school does".

"I feel like I've fitted in really quickly," she said. "The staff, parents and pupils have all been incredibly welcoming.

"I have been at the front of school each day to greet parents and pupils on arrival and I have been teaching each class - that's really important to me so that I can quickly get to know each individual child and learn their names as quickly as possible."

Mrs Finch, previously the headteacher at Stanway Fiveways Primary School in Essex, said she is passionate about taking what the school does well and developing it further.

Ipswich High School, in Woolverstone, Suffolk Picture: GREGG BROWNIpswich High School, in Woolverstone, Suffolk Picture: GREGG BROWN

"We want pupils to excel in their area of excellence, but we also want to encourage them to try new things.

"The opportunities for children are phenomenal whether it's skiing, sailing, karate, cookery or music, there really is something for everyone."

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The students at Ipswich High School already perform well academically - in 2018 64% of GCSE results were grades 7-9 - the equivalent of A and A* grades.

The move to focus on student's mood rather than results is being led out of the classroom as well.

The high school's new director of sport, Peter Taylor, joined the school as head of Boys' PE and Games in 2018 when the school first started accepting male students at their sixth form and infant school.

"One of my key priorities is making subtle changes to our curriculum to increase enjoyment levels for all pupils," said Mr Taylor.

"We find that some girls for example, as they are getting older, don't want to play hockey or netball every single term.

"I want people to love PE, having worked their socks off, but with smiles on their faces.

"They need to enjoy it. The hard work will come with the enjoyment factor and this is sometimes how you discover real talent in sport. It's very exciting."

Another element of Mr Taylor's role is delivering outreach work with local schools for a half-term which culminates in a festival celebrating a sport such as athletics, football, hockey and tag rugby.

He added: "We want to develop this partnership over the next few years because it's great to work with our local schools and support what they are doing with their PE.

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