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Talking heads

We took time out with Therésa Jaggard, who joined Spring Grove as Head in Summer 2020, to discover the five key features she is looking to build on at this family-feel school, positioned just outside the pretty village of Wye.

Mrs Jaggard has experience in both the state and independent education sectors as before this role, she was working at a primary school in West Kent: part of the Tenax Schools Trust – a Church of England multi-academy trust that exists to provide outstanding education in both primary and secondary schools in Kent and East Sussex.

So, what are the 5 key features she’s looking to build on at Spring Grove?

Mastery Teaching

Spring Grove prides itself on the fact that it is research-led, outward-facing and innovative. The culture of coaching plays a pivotal part in school life alongside strong parental engagement (they welcome all feedback so they can improve their offering) so they recognize the value of always measuring the impact of their work.

Mrs Jaggard is looking to enhance this area even further as she comments: ‘We have been embedding mastery teaching at Spring Grove and a large part of that has been developing Responsive Teaching, further developing quality assessment for learning, techniques where the aim is to reveal pupils’ weaknesses, so the teacher can action them, providing timely intervention and feedback, aiding exceptional progress. Effective mastery teaching means children progress well and are more resilient and have a positive mindset.’

Resilience and Positive Thinking

It is evident that there is strong family feel at Spring Grove not least helped by the fact that it is positioned within a distinctive and attractive Stuart house and set within 14 acres of beautiful Kent countryside. 

The school is small enough for them to know every child and their family and encourage them to support the school motto: ‘Always Do Your Best’ and this is at the forefront of Mrs Jaggard’s thinking for developing this area even further. ‘We are cultivating an appetite for adventure and a tolerance for error, creating can-do people, who are able to act independently.

Positive mindset learners make more mistakes – and often more interesting ones – than those with fixed mindsets. The willingness to venture and tinker is vital to real-world achievement, and the ability to bounce back after adversity and learn from mistakes is key. To thrive in the 21st century, it is simply not enough to leave school with a clutch of examination certificates. By encouraging our children to be tenacious and resourceful, imaginative, and logical, collaborative and inquisitive we aim to equip them all with the resilience for a life beyond school.’

Building on Performing Arts

Spring Grove has always had a strong reputation for music and drama, and this tradition is in safe hands with Mrs Jaggard as she is an accomplished musician who was previously a Director of Music at a range of schools and has performed at top venues such as The Royal Albert Hall and Festival Hall.

As Mrs Jaggard comments: ‘We continue to develop a contemporary approach with on-trend disciplines such as street dance being introduced alongside the traditional classics. Dance will be a stronger feature within our curriculum, and we have appointed a male dance specialist to support us in this area which we know will benefit our performance abilities but will also serve as an inspiring male role model and showcase inclusivity as a key life message.’

Widening Sporting Landscape

Sport plays a huge part in school life at Spring Grove. The pupils have access to qualified and experienced coaches within a wide range of sports and Mrs Jaggard is the perfect candidate to drive this area forward as she used to swim for her county and recognizes that natural talent needs to be nurtured. The changing facilities are currently undergoing substantial investment and a far broader curriculum will be offered including a stronger emphasis on gymnastics – for boys and girls – as well as new MUGA for sports training.

As you can imagine, swimming will also play a more permanent role and as Mrs Jaggard tells us: ‘Swimming will no longer be the Cinderella sport with weekly swimming lessons becoming a fixed feature. We will also be offering a broader curriculum throughout the school as well as training more staff to be Level-3 for Forest School so they can take more advantage of our award-winning off-site Forest School within their lessons.’

Enhancing Well-Being

The desire at Spring Grove is to produce pupils who adaptive, responsive, and caring people and this ethos is being taken forward by Mrs Jaggard. Mrs Jaggard is keen to build on those key skills learned due to the pandemic such as Google Classroom, virtual meets, work-life balance to support those parents that may miss out due to work constraints as well as focusing on key areas such as collaboration, team, problem solving, curiosity which is key after so much time Home Learning.

Mrs Jaggard also shares with us that: ‘Moving forward, we will be looking at creating a Global School with the support of LYFTA, with a focus on empathy, resilience and sharing meaningful and inspiring human stories from across the globe as well as increasing our STEM offering. We already have a Ridout composter which turns all the food waste from the kitchen into compost, so SG Green is a tangible vision for the future.’

Spring Grove School, Harville Road, Wye, TN25 5EZ, Tel: 01233 812337, springgroveschool.co.uk

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