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About

My name is Tom Sherrington.  I am a Headteacher and a teacher.  I am interested in developing new ideas in teaching and learning and regularly contribute to conferences and CPD sessions locally and nationally.  I work at @KEGS_Chelmsford, a Grammar school in Essex where I have seen learning activities that I’ve never seen anywhere else; these ideas would work anywhere and I am on a mission to encourage and challenge teachers to take more risks and release the full creative potential of the learning process. KEGS is an extraordinary school – and, having been a committed comprehensive teacher for many years, it was an unusual career move.  However, in these pages, I hope to capture some of the experience of making the journey;  after five years I still regularly have jaw-dropping, eye-opening moments where firstly I think ‘wow, that is incredible’ and secondly, I think ‘ but surely this could be happening in every school; I wish I’d tried this back in London’.  Although it is a highly selective school, I regard KEGS as a genuine beacon, illustrating what is possible in learning if we have enough courage and confidence. Every day at KEGS is a joy and I feel genuinely privileged to work here with such extraordinary students and members of staff.  Most of the best lessons I have ever seen, I have seen at KEGS.

Update March 2014: I’m delighted to announce that from September 2014, I will be the Headteacher of Highbury Grove School in Islington. Although I feel very attached to the staff and students at KEGS, the time has come to move on, to return to London and take on a new challenge. Highbury Grove is a very exciting school with an amazing track record of improvement over the last few years; I’m very much looking forward to getting started.

Previous Jobs:

I’ve been a teacher since 1987 and owe a great deal to all the schools I’ve worked in.  Each of them has been extraordinary in some special way:

Winstanley College, Wigan:  A Sixth Form college with 900+ students.  Learned a lot about independent learning, teaching Physics properly and seeing a great education as being much more than just subjects and lessons. Met Tom Billington – the first huge influence on me as a teacher; it is all about passion, commitment and integrity.

Holland Park School, Notting Hill.  Seven extraordinary years from Teacher, Head of Year to Assistant Head. The flagship comprehensive of the 1960s, now up against it in the 1990s.  Struggling to break 30% 5A-Cs, (nevermind inc EM) – 1500 students, big, chaotic, a roller-coaster every day.  The inclusive spirit was fabulous but we used to say it was 90% ethos, 10% achievement.  A baptism of fire in terms of behaviour management and eye-opening in terms of the scale of the challenge facing kids from the full range of inner city families.  We laughed a lot and cried quite often too! It was frustrating and challenging but we all loved the place. So many stories and I owe it so much..

Alexandra Park School.  Haringey. Joined Headteacher Roz Hudson as Deputy Head to open a new school in 1999. Starting with Year 7, we set out to create the ultimate community comprehensive. 10 years on, it is doing really well and I’m very proud to have been part of it.  The early years were an amazing learning experience; appointing all the staff, shaping the ethos and being absolutely committed to our simple ‘success for all’ tagline.  We believed in it and were determined so set the highest possible expectations.  I felt out of my depth with some of the challenges at times, but surrounded by the most talented bunch of teachers and support staff, we pulled through and put the school on the map!! (Roz Hudson remains my greatest inspiration. ) Twitter ‘big hitter’ @TeacherToolkit was one of my colleagues in those early days.

British International School, Jakarta.  A fabulous, unforgettable  three-year adventure for me and my family.  I learned to appreciate the power of an almost total achievement culture; how to sustain it and use it to good effect.  Wonderfully eclectic staff and students from around the world; facilities out of this world.  I also learned about the IB Diploma and all that it brings; a narrow 3 A level diet really can’t compare.  I also became Head of Secondary and developed a taste for the joy of Headship.  The holidays were pretty good too- from Bali and Kalimantan to Sydney and Queenstown.

‘Saya Guru’ means ‘I am a teacher’ in Bahasa Indonesia. I am only a guru in the sense that it means ‘teacher’; all teachers are gurus!

Discussion

11 thoughts on “About

  1. I was wondering if you might be interested in having more details of a forthcoming report by a charity on a literacy crisis. They are keen to see bloggers helping them to raise awareness.
    If this is of any interest at all, please email kateonthinice@gmail.com and I can tell you more

    Posted by Kate on Thin Ice | May 22, 2013, 4:49 pm
  2. Dear Mr Sherrington,

    My name is Michael Martyn and I am currently working as an intern at The Education Foundation, the UK’s Education Think Tank.

    We are currently preparing a Report on ‘The Rise of Teacher Blogging’ and its importance when it comes to Education in the UK today.

    I would be grateful if you you could send any views you have concerning EduBlogging. One way in which you could frame your views would be to answer the following questions as a reply to this email…

    What are the reasons why you started to blog?
    What aspect do you blog about: a) policy b) CPD c) life as a teacher ?
    What impact do you want your blog to have?
    Do you follow other teacher blogs? If yes, which ones and why?
    Where do you see teacher blogging in the UK going in the future?

    Many thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Michael Martyn

    The Education Foundation

    Posted by Michael Martyn | August 7, 2013, 3:23 pm
  3. Hi

    I’d be grateful if you could email tsherrington@kegs.org.uk outlining the terms etc.
    Thanks
    TS

    Posted by headguruteacher | August 13, 2013, 4:08 pm
  4. Dear Tom,

    Although we are miles apart and come from different cultures, the essence of teaching- being a guru- is the same.

    I live and work in Alexandria, Egypt. I have been a teacher for years. Now I am into staff development. I find your blog very interesting; will be visiting more often.

    Best regards,
    Rawya

    Posted by Rawya | December 16, 2013, 1:34 am
  5. Hi Tom
    I’m interested and inspired by your comments about teaching abroad! I’m just applying for DH and HT posts in Dubai, I wondered if you had any advice!

    Thanks
    Ann

    Posted by Ann | February 9, 2014, 9:24 am
    • Hi Ann

      My main advice is to do it! It’s worth it. Most schools operate on the same basis as ours so you need to talk about leadership in the same way: maximising student outcomes, improving teaching, using data, CPD, celebrating achievement etc. On top of that there is a crucial role for schools being a community hub, providing extra curricular opportunities, a focal point for expat parents and so on. Also there are issues and opportunities around languages, international mindedness, students that come and go, EAL and so on. Hope that helps.
      Good luck.

      Posted by headguruteacher | February 9, 2014, 3:05 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  5. Pingback: New Challenge Ahead. I’m moving on. | headguruteacher - March 22, 2014

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