We recently sat down for a quick chat with the new Head Teacher for Saddleworth School, Mr Anderson.
If you hadn’t become a teacher, what would you have done instead?
Before considering a career in teaching I was intending to join the police. Whilst I was in the process of applying to join Greater Manchester Police my tutor at university encouraged me to consider teaching as a ‘back up’. I did some work experience in a local school and very quickly realised teaching was my vocation. I withdrew my police application and enrolled on a PGCE course and have never looked back. It is a privilege to work with vibrant, ambitious young people every day.
What were your favourite lessons at school?
My favourite lesson was always English, particularly in English literature. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic English teacher at my secondary school, Mrs Richardson. She was passionate about all forms of literature and you could not help being swept along with her enthusiasm. I will always remember when we read ‘Lord of The Flies’ as a class. A book so moving and powerful the whole class was blown away. I went on to study English at university and ultimately became an English teacher. I still love teaching ‘Lord of The Flies’ today.
Was there any type of school dinner that you did not like?
As a teenager, I hated school dinners. In the Midlands, in the 1990s school dinners involved undercooked chips covered in thick, gloopy gravy. There was no variety, no flavour, and they certainly weren’t very healthy! School dinners have certainly changed for the better and I am looking forward to returning to Saddleworth School where the lunches are fantastic. Maths or English? That is an easy one, English, the best subject in the world. From Shakespeare to Sherlock Holmes there is something to interest everyone!
Newsletter or Twitter?
Both. I think it is important that schools communicate with parents and families in a variety of different ways. Newsletters are good for celebrating the breadth of activities and events that have taken place within a term. However, Twitter is a fantastic platform for sharing regular snapshots of events and activities.
How do you relax?
I enjoy travel. I love nothing more than jumping on a plane and exploring somewhere new. I enjoy learning languages, trying different foods, and experiencing the culture of different countries. I have got a list of places I’d like to visit which I’m working my way through – however, each year the list seems to get bigger rather than smaller!
What is your favourite film?
I am a child of the 1980s so my film choices tend to be ‘retro’. My honest answer would be Back to the Future 2, one of the first films I saw ‘on the big screen’.
Why have you chosen to return to Saddleworth School?
It is an honour to be returning to Saddleworth School as Headteacher. The school has a very strong sense of community and has enormous potential. It’s the people that make Saddleworth School Community so special. Students at Saddleworth are hardworking, ambitious, and caring. They are an absolute joy to work with. I will also be re-joining the fantastic team of staff who consistently work with dedication, always going above and beyond to support Saddleworth’s young people.
If you could be Prime Minister for the day, what’s the first thing you would do?
I think all politicians should focus their efforts on ensuring modern Britain is a fair and equal society for everyone. If I was Prime Minister for the day, I would focus on ensuring all young people, no matter what their starting point or personal circumstances could succeed and achieve their full potential.
Your Desert Island Disc(s)?
If sent to a desert island I would rather take a good book than an album. I would struggle to pick one book to be stranded on an island with but after much deliberation, I would go for the ‘Complete works of Arthur Conan Doyle’. I am sure the adventures of Sherlock Holmes would keep me entertained until I was rescued or give me some clues about how I might escape!