Mr Sam Strickland has joined Brooke Weston as Vice Principal with responsibility for student guidance, standards and expectations. Mr Strickland, who has been in the profession for 11 years, was previously an Assistant Headteacher at an all-girls school, where he was in charge of the Sixth Form. At Brooke Weston he will take over pastoral support for students in Years 7 to 11.
After studying history and politics at university and gaining a Master's degree, he taught in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, progressing to head of department and then senior management level. With an aptitude for both humanities and science Mr Strickland was initially tempted by a career in medicine but knows that he made the right choice of profession:
‘It sounds really clichéd but teaching is about making a difference, to know that you have helped someone, either turned somebody around or helped somebody reach their full potential is incredibly rewarding. That, for me, is why I have gone into this profession. I had two history teachers who were just phenomenal. I would hang on to every single word, they were captivating and I really looked forward to their lessons.’
Mr Strickland is a third degree black belt in three different martial art disciplines, goes to the gym and runs in his spare time. He is looking forward to combining the Vice Principal role with teaching for a couple of sessions per week: ‘The role that I have demands a lot of time but I don’t want to lose touch with classroom teaching.
‘My impression of Brooke Weston is really positive. The first thing that struck me is that the expectations here seem very high. It is a very driven school and there is a very strong ethos, shared by all, which is a real strength.
‘The ethos and expectations at my previous school were very similar so, in many respects, it resonates very well. Hopefully I will settle in quickly and blend seamlessly into the way that Brooke Weston works. In terms of what I am going to bring to the role I am an energetic person, not just a starter, I am a finisher with ideas. I won’t just get something going and then let it drop; it is about bringing people on board and working in partnership, not in isolation.’
His remit will be to support students through different challenges as they progress through the school: ‘Every year group has different needs. There are certain key crunch points for each year group where they need advice about option choices, exams, behavioural issues etc. My door is open to any student who wants to come in and talk about any issues or difficulties they are facing.’