Holywell High School welcomes trio of new teachers
A Flintshire high school welcomed three new members of staff to the teaching team at the start of the new academic year.
The newly qualified teachers have joined the Science & Technology, Geography and Humanities (RE) Faculties at Ysgol Treffynnon and are settling in well to their new roles.
Matt Hobbs, teacher of design and technology, graduated from Bangor University with a BSc in the subject.
While at university, Matt spent most of his time on placement at Ysgol Eirias in Colwyn Bay. He also worked extensively as a tutor for four years and, as part of his degree, he worked on real-life design projects with leading companies from across Wales and the UK.
Originally from Buckinghamshire, Matt moved up to North Wales for university and is delighted to be starting his career here too.
It was his own positive experience of school life that led Matt to want to become a teacher.
Being naturally creative and always making things, DT quickly became his favourite subject at school. He was inspired by his DT teachers to follow this career path and it seemed the perfect fit with his interests.
He said: “I’m enjoying getting to know all the students here at Ysgol Treffynnon and planning new projects and activities for them to complete as part of their courses. The staff body have been overwhelmingly supportive and I’m looking forward to working with everyone to develop new and exciting strategies for learning.
“I’m really hoping to encourage students to develop their problem-solving and design thinking skills, to help them see the world differently and have the confidence to put forward their ideas to make the world a better place.
“I also hope to be able to enter Ysgol Treffynnon in regional competitions to give students experience of working on different projects and having the chance to represent their school in the community. In addition, I have plans to start up extra-curricular activities and help develop whole school student voice.”
It was a fascination with the world around us, both physical and human, that inspired Taylor Burns to study for a BA in Geography at the University of Liverpool. After graduating in 2019, Taylor worked as a long-term supply teacher for a year at Rhyl High School and, having thoroughly enjoyed it, she decided it was time to enrol on a Geography PGCE course which she studied at the University of Chester. During her course, she was on placement at Connah’s Quay High School.
Taylor said: “As a newly qualified teacher, I am looking to make a difference to the lives and education of young people.
“My main objectives are to help students to make sense of the world they live in and inspire them to make a positive change, becoming good citizens of Wales and the World.
“I am enjoying my time at Ysgol Treffynnon and looking forward to developing as both an educator and a role model for young people. The students and staff have been very welcoming, and I am very excited about my future here.”
Sioned Owen, teacher of RE and wellbeing, very nearly didn’t go to university had it not been for her RE teacher who encouraged her to aim high.
Sioned went to Ysgol Syr Thomas Jones, Anglesey, where RE soon became her number one subject largely thanks to her teacher, Angharad Lloyd-Derham, who persuaded Sioned to stay on and study for A Levels after achieving an A* in RE at GCSE.
Initially Sioned went to the University of Manchester but soon realised it wasn’t for her and dropped out. She then worked for a year in a supermarket and decided to give university another go, enrolling at the University of Chester where she graduated with a BA in Theology and RE with Philosophy and Ethics.
Sioned worked as a teaching assistant in Anglesey for a year to gain experience and it was during her time there that she decided she did want to teach. She went back to Chester to study her PGCE in secondary education and subsequently worked as a part-time temporary teacher of RE at Bishop Heber High School in Malpas, before taking up her new full-time role at Ysgol Treffynnon.
She said: “Teaching in Wales is what I wanted to do, and I am thrilled to be working at Ysgol Treffynnon. The level of support from staff is absolutely incredible and the welcome I have received is overwhelming.
“I understand many students maybe disillusioned when it comes to RE but I hope to deliver an engaging curriculum that they will find interesting and stimulating. The subject offers an opportunity to explore world current events and I want to encourage debate about societal issues.
“I have my RE teacher to thank for not giving up on me and believing in me when I wasn’t sure where my future was heading, and I hope I can offer the same support for my students.”
John Weir, head teacher, said: “We are extremely excited to have such talent join our school. Their fresh ideas and enthusiasm will ensure our students continue to develop as creative and successful young people, who will be equipped with the skills necessary to take an active role in the world around them.
“All our new staff have made a fantastic start to their vocations as teaching professionals and there is already frequent praise from students for the quality and enjoyment of their lessons.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com