On Wednesday 6th March, boys and girls from both Years 11 and 12 were invited to attend an Assembly, where the new Head and Deputy Head of the Bury Grammar School Sixth Form would be introduced.
When it was announced Mrs Hammond would be taking on the important role of Head of Sixth Form, and that Mr Newbury would take on the vital role of Deputy Head, students gave a very a positive and excited response!
I was invited to attend this Assembly myself and feel confident that my fellow pupils and I will be in capable hands when we reach Sixth Form. However I decided to personally grill the new appointees (!) with a few important questions to which students in the Senior School would like answers, such as which football teams they support.
When I arrived at Mrs Hammond’s office, I was warmly welcomed, although at first I was slightly nervous. As I put my questions, I felt more and more comfortable as the interview went on. Firstly, I wanted to know “What are the 3 most important facts that students should know about you?”, Mrs Hammond was keen to tell me that she cares for every individual and their unique path; this made me feel extremely happy to know that no one would be left behind. In the Assembly she had said, “Your journey is important to us, no matter where it will be to!”
Mrs Hammond also said that it was very important for students and parents to know that she is very approachable and is always happy to help. Finally, she told us she was very experienced with working with sixth formers and she wants students to trust her.
Mr Newbury told me that people should know he is disciplined but also has a great sense of humour, that he gets things done and that he is approachable like Mrs Hammond. In the Assembly, Mr Newbury said “We are here to support you in every aspect!”. This made me feel really confident from a both academic and pastoral view point.
I was also interested to know what are Mrs Hammond and Mr Newbury’s strengths, and how they will use them to their advantage with their new roles. Mrs Hammond told me her main focus and strength is in pastoral matters: she said that she wants to make sure every student feels they have a happy and supportive working environment. Mr Newbury told me his strengths are in leadership, (he is head of CFF), and that he is eager to encourage students to make the most of all the leadership opportunities that Bury Grammar Sixth Form has to offer.
Finally, for the fun questions, I decided to play a little game of ‘this or that’, to get to know our new Sixth Form leadership on more personal level. First I asked “Premier League or Last Night at the Proms”, Mrs Hammond said definitely Last Night at the Proms, as she went to watch it with her son, a trip which she enjoyed thoroughly, however Mr Newbury decided to think out of the box, and chose rugby instead. Next I asked “Michelin Star Restaurant or a cheeky Nandos”, they both agreed that they definitely prefer to treat themselves to a deserving posh meal. “Netflix or Kindle” - they both replied Netflix, as they found they had done enough reading, with marking all those essays! They also agreed with Nike, when I asked them “Nike or Adidas”. Finally, I asked them the BIG question, “Manchester United or Manchester City”. Mr Newbury was eager to tell me, “definitely United”, however Mrs Hammond after deliberation told me she was a City supporter.
While I was interviewing Mrs Hammond and Mr Newbury, it was extremely noticeable that they have a good working relationship and relaxed approach that will benefit every student that spends time in Sixth Form Centre. I tried to find out who would be good cop and who would be bad cop, however they played it safe and told me that they both would be a mixture, so I think it’s up to the sixth formers to find out! I am extremely confident that every student who will get the pleasure of working with either Mrs Hammond or Mr Newbury will receive excellent advice and positive feedback.
I do believe Mrs Hammond and Mr Newbury contrasted well, as Mrs Hammond was extremely chatty and expansive, whereas Mr Newbury was direct but friendly. As I left Mrs Hammond gave me a huge smile and Mr Newbury gave me a firm handshake. I believe they will work very well together even though they do support rival football teams!
By Harriet Lowery, 10A