Victoria Park resident, Claire Murdoch, is the new Head Teacher at Faraday Prep School at the iconic Trinity Buoy Wharf. Here, she offers insight into her new role.
What is the best thing about working in primary schools?
I have been lucky enough to work in some really remarkable schools; ones that have lead the way in their educational beliefs and creative approaches to learning. Faraday is no exception. It is packed with eager, bright and interested young children who are encouraged to follow their own path whilst exploring a knowledge-based curriculum. As a teacher, the best thing is seeing the progress made by the pupils and witnessing their successes when the hard work pays off!
What are you particularly looking forward to at Faraday?
Everyone at Faraday has been incredibly welcoming and the staff team has a clear drive and common goal. Working in an environment with passionate educators is vital when providing a first class education and being surrounded by diverse, engaged children ensures that this is possible. I feel very privileged to be joining such a supportive and close-knit community.
Faraday School must have one of the most unusual locations of any primary in London, with a rooftop playground and views to the O2, what inspires you about the location?
The location truly is awe-inspiring. I recently ascended the steep, spiraled staircase of the lighthouse at Trinity Buoy Wharf with my young niece – what a unique experience! It has spectacular views across the docks and is currently filled with the enchanting sound from the Longplayer art installation. Like many places in and around the wharf, it is like stepping back in time and offers a great juxtaposition between the old and the new. You can imagine why the scientist Michael Faraday chose this space for his famous experiments all those years ago, and with regular scientific investigations taking place at Faraday School, we hope the area will inspire the new, young scientists of the future!
What is your favourite book/story for primary school children?
A good book can be a really fantastic tool for discussion, investigation or debate. Stories such as Dandelion by Lizzie Finlay for example, can help to empower very young children to embrace who they are and support them in exploring their feelings. Alternatively, The Girl with the Ponytail by Laurence Anholt, remains firm favourite of mine and I would happily recommend this series to parents who want to share stories of artists with their little ones.
We hear you have an arts background. How important are the arts in schools?
The arts allow children to explore all areas of the curriculum in a practical and ‘hands on’ way. You can teach discrete technical skills alongside the importance of freedom and experimentation, allowing the pupils to experience how these skills work together to drive creativity and success. Finding links between art, maths and science can also be really exciting. At Faraday, they have a very popular animation club after school, mixing technology and art, where the children make fantastic short films. There is one about Michael Faraday and his lighthouse that is really worth a watch!
Faraday School, Old Gate House, 7 Trinity Buoy Wharf, London E14 0FHTel: 020 77199342 | faradayschool.co.uk