Head of School Appointment
Another significant step has been taken towards the opening of our school after Marie O’Rourke was confirmed as Fox Grove's first head teacher.
For the last 15 years, Marie has been teaching at Linden Bridge school in Worcester Park, another member of the LIFT Partnership, and she said this would help her enormously as she faces the exciting challenge of being in charge of a brand new school.
“The pupils, families, and staff at Linden Bridge have taught me so much about special education needs and I feel ready to use this knowledge and experience in this wonderful new opportunity,” she said.
“One of the biggest things I learnt there is that sometimes it is the pupils themselves who can be the greatest teachers. They have inspired me to provide the best teaching and support to enable them to reach their potential. I can’t wait to put that into action for everyone we will be welcoming to Fox Grove.”
Our school will have 152 students ranging in age from four to 19, so it will be teaching a wide-ranging curriculum, something to which the new head said she was looking forward.
“What excites me is being able to design a curriculum that enables our pupils to become successful independent learners,” she said. “The challenge will be ensuring the learning environment is right for the wide variety of learning styles of our school body will take in.”
Not only is our school being built on land next door to sister school West Hill, but, Marie said, being part of a multi-academy group, with the support that provides, would provide invaluable back-up in doing her new job.
“When setting up a new school, having the expertise of both special and mainstream schools within a trust is such an advantage,” she said. “The best ideas come from discussions with others and being part of a successful trust will help ideas to become a positive action for our pupils.”
The importance of collaboration is something that has been brought to the fore by the shared experience of the pandemic, she added.
“What it has really shown is the importance of having a strong school community,” she said. “Good relationships enabled schools to provide the best education and support for all pupils through such challenging times.
“Being part of a group of schools that includes Linden Bridge and West Hill provides a wonderful support network for me,” she added. “I know anyone in the school communities will help and support me when I need it.”