Meet Our Staff
Hi I’m Anna Durcan, Teacher of Religious Studies, part of the EBACC Faculty. I joined Tolworth Girls' School & Sixth Form in September 2018.
I had lived in Tolworth when I first moved over to London from New Zealand and was working in another school in the area. I always heard of what a great school TGS was and how great the students were, so when a job came up I jumped at the chance to work here.
My team are amazing! I’m in the EBACC Faculty which is History, Religious Studies, Geography and Modern Foreign Languages. There’s such a range of teachers and experience, it’s so nice having people to talk to and bounce ideas off of. The wider staff team are really friendly and social. I always feel really supported and that there are always people around that I can ask for help or advice.
It is such a calm and welcoming environment. I am teaching lessons to classes that are ready and willing to learn which is a great feeling. No two days are ever the same and I genuinely do love getting up in the morning to come to work as the girls (especially my form!) make me smile every day.
You will genuinely be more relaxed than any other job you have ever had! This the first time in my career that I am able to go home on the weekend and not have to spend my whole weekend marking or worrying about what might happen on Monday. You will spend your first half term waiting for the other shoe to drop and waiting for the stress to roll in... and it never does.
I fell in love with the ethos of Tolworth Girls’ School from the moment I toured the school before I interviewed for the post of Director of English. The dynamism of the students was infectious and the welcoming office staff made me feel comfortable here straight away: I knew I wanted to work here. My impressions only grew stronger as I started getting to know my team and working more closely with members of the Senior Leadership Team.
I consider myself privileged to lead, and work with, an excellent English and Drama faculty whose constant dedication to the school truly embodies the school’s motto of Let Your Light So Shine. One of my favourite things about working at TGS is that your team are not just your immediate department or faculty, but the whole staff body, from the reception staff, to the cleaning staff, and members of other departments. Everyone works together as a team and you will always find a friendly face greeting you when walking down the corridor.
I have been so fortunate to progress in my three years at TGS, being seconded onto SLT, forming the Teaching and Learning Collegiate, and subsequently becoming AHT of Teaching and Learning. Along the way I have worked with inspirational colleagues both in, and out, of TGS and benefitted from being a Pixl school. I also had the pleasure of being part of the team that helped secure our World Class Schools Status.
To date, my most treasured moment is being in the room and hearing Ofsted feedback to us about their visit here. The way in which they spoke of our school was truly career-affirming and I will never forget the feeling. To have the hard work of the whole community recognised was a special moment.
No day at Tolworth Girls' School is the same. In one week we can jump from the classroom discussing William Shakespeare, to a Whole School Curriculum Day on performance poetry, to making campaigns for This Girl Can with year 9. Picking TGS has been a fulfilling career move for me and I am grateful for the opportunities it continues to provide.
A typical day at Tolworth Girls' starts off with “Good morning, Mat” from my colleagues in the Maths department, then it is the delightful members of my year 7 form. Having made the change to become a teacher, I thrive on the opportunity to be in front of the classroom full of students knowing that I have an impact on their learning. I make the most of this with the five periods in the day whether I am teaching, or using my time away from the classroom to contribute to the school positively.
In my weekly NQT meeting's, my mentor ensures that I am on track with progression as a new teacher as well as meeting the teaching standards each week, which contributes towards completing the NQT programme. Meetings also include my personal wellbeing – My mentor gives me solid advice and plenty of support on managing my workload and how best to reach the goals I have set myself in the workplace.
I was attracted to TGS when one of my university peers was enjoying her PGCE placement at the school, which definitely drew my attention to teaching at Tolworth. The main attraction was how she spoke about the Maths department. She wasn’t lying when she said that they are friendly and supportive. One of the reasons for me settling into teaching so well is a result of how welcomed I felt across the school. The OFSTED rating of Outstanding also helped with my decision on choosing to teach Maths at Tolworth Girls' School & Sixth Form. I have high expectations of personal career progression and to join an outstanding rated school matches the ambitions I set for myself.
What makes Tolworth Girls' School & Sixth Form unique? Siobhan Lowe. At schools I trained at during my PGCE, I did not feel supported as a teacher and did not find the headteacher or members of the SLT approachable. Siobhan surprised me when I bumped into her in the canteen once within my first few weeks at Tolworth - Not only did she ask how I was settling at the school but she knew my name. When I needed to meet her about a personal matter, she came across as warm and welcoming and we had a friendly chat. Her genuine love for the school and its pupils is clear to see in her assemblies and in the weekly staff meetings and I find her a true inspiration in terms of the expectations of an aspiring teacher.
Members of the of the senior leadership team, pastoral and department leaders have been supportive with decisions I have made in terms of managing wellbeing for students and behaviour in the classroom which boosts my confidence as a new teacher.
Golden lesson week takes place every term at Tolworth. This is a week where selected teachers have volunteered a lesson of good practice of certain aspects of CPD and TLC and colleagues can drop in and observe. I make the most of this, observing three lessons in the last golden lesson week, just to compare and improve my teaching having seen excellent practice around the school.
I think the highlight of my time at Tolworth has been the Staff Christmas Pantomime for students. I was involved in the opening male dance and played a small role in the panto. Rehearsals with colleagues was a massive laugh. I wasn’t nervous at all performing in front of the students – I enjoyed every second of the experience.
Hi I’m Daniel Haines, Assistant Network Manager at Tolworth Girls’. I joined Tolworth in February 2016 I live local to the school so I have always known Tolworth to be an excellent school so when the opportunity arose to join I was more than happy to.
Going straight from education into a full time job was a big adjustment for me at first but I was very lucky to have such a supportive and friendly team around me from the start. My first memories of Tolworth would be my colleague Tracey taking me round the school and introducing me to all the staff members, I was nervous at first but everyone here at Tolworth made me feel very comfortable and welcome right from the start.
Working in IT you never quite know what to expect from each day, but we in IT have a great team and we always do our absolute best to get the job done as quickly and as efficiently as possible. I joined Tolworth as a IT Technician, but as of last year I was fortunate enough to be promoted to my new role as Assistant Network Manager, my three years of experience and learning my role paid off and I’m very happy and thankful to be in the position I’m in now.
I’m always trying to learn as much as possible every day and I feel Tolworth is the perfect place to accomplish that, I’m very thankful for all opportunities that are presented to me and hope I can continue to progress in my career.
A big achievement for everyone here at Tolworth was receiving our outstanding Ofsted report, this shows that hard work truly does pay off and it was a great feeling to hear all the excellent feedback we had as a school. My role means I get to work all over and there are many different characters here and I’m lucky enough to get the chance to meet them all and see how their day is going. Everybody here has the same goal of helping the students in any way possible and it’s great to work all together as a team to try and achieve that.