New head wants passion for learning
A SCHOOL passionate about learning and where life is exciting for students is the aim of new Felixstowe headteacher Peter Tomkins.Mr Tomkins takes over at Orwell High in September and is currently working closely with acting head Catherine Wiltshire, making regular visits to the school and receiving regular briefings by phone and e-mail.
A SCHOOL passionate about learning and where life is exciting for students is the aim of new Felixstowe headteacher Peter Tomkins.
Mr Tomkins takes over at Orwell High in September and is currently working closely with acting head Catherine Wiltshire, making regular visits to the school and receiving regular briefings by phone and e-mail.
He is also busy searching for a house in the seaside town ready for the move with his wife and two children, aged three and four.
"I think it is important to live in the community where you are working and Felixstowe seems a lovely town," he said.
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"At the moment I commute 45 minutes - that's 90 minutes a day which I could be with my family. And if I am close to the school, I will be able to be here when trips return or for special events or whatever."
Mr Tomkins, currently senior vice principal at Beauchamp College, a comprehensive upper and community college in Leicester for 1,000 students doing GCSEs and 1,000 doing A-levels, is excited about the "fantastic challenge" ahead at Orwell High.
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"It will be a different environment and a chance to work in a really good school which is going places and developing. From what I have seen so far, it is a vibrant community with a great staff and enthusiastic pupils," he said.
He said his current school, which drew pupils from a large area on the edge of Leicester city centre, was too big to have the personal contact with staff and students which was so important in a school.
"It is important to know what people are like, not just see them as names on a piece of paper or only in terms of how well they are doing. It is important to know what their interests and enthusiasms are," said Mr Tomkins.
This would enable the school in Maidstone Road to develop its students and as a place of excellence in education.
He had no immediate proposals for major change and was currently assessing the school, getting a grasp of its workings and getting to know everyone.
He was also hopeful of success for Orwell's latest bid to be a technology college, which would bring financial benefits as well as specialist status.
"The students I have met have been forthcoming and friendly, enthusiastic, and we need to make sure we encourage that enthusiasm so we have a school that is passionate about learning and exciting for students," he added.
Mrs Wiltshire, deputy head at Bungay High, took over for this term after previous head Dave Forrest left to take up the post of head at Sudbury Upper.
She and Mr Tomkins were "working towards a shared vision" and also ensuring that the changeover was as smooth as possible with little disruption to school life.
What do you think of Orwell becoming a technology college? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org