Headteacher speaks of first days at Welwyn Garden City school

A NEW headteacher has said her aim is to help youngsters enjoy school and inspire them to keep learning.

As Kate Smith completed her first week in charge of Monk’s Walk School in WGC, she spoke to WHT chief reporter Kelly-Ann Kiernan about what she expects from her students.

Ms Smith began teaching in 1985 and, as a product of state education herself, she is keen to make Monk’s Walk the best it can be. She said: “I want to make sure youngsters get a great experience, as good as if they went to the best school in the country.

“I think the youngsters here have the potential to do anything they want to do. They’re very bright, willing and studious.”

Ms Smith’s previous headship was in a Bedfordshire school.

She has spent the last six years working for the local education authority as the head of secondary school effectiveness, but admits she always felt the call to return to the coalface.

She is Monk’s Walk’s first female headteacher for a generation, with six consecutive male heads previously leading the Knightsfield school.

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Her plan is not to make change for change’s sake, but to take a step back and watch how the school functions.

With every Year 11 student leaving the school this summer with at least one GCSE, 92 per cent achieving five A to Cs and 67 per cent managing the five with English and maths, she has a good starting point.

Ms Smith, who lives in the village of Broom, Bedfordshire, said: “I held six assemblies in the first week, as it’s impossible to get all 1,220 students in one place at one time.

“I talked them through my expectations of them and of the staff and said it was important they worked hard.”

She said she was a little surprised to see her address was greeted with applause from her pupils.

“I want them to enjoy school,” she added.

“I told them all the teachers in the room remember being at school, it’s my job to create happy memories of school for them.”