Introduction to our new Head Teacher for Whitehall Park School

We are delighted that after an open and competitive recruitment process, Miss Helen Tyler has been appointed as the new Headteacher at Whitehall Park School to start on 1 September 2020.

Miss Tyler joins us with over 20 years Headship experience and is currently the Headteacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Camden. Having been there as Headteacher for 13 years, in that time achieving an Outstanding grade by OfSTED and with the school currently rated as Good with Outstanding features.

Miss Tyler is seeking a new challenge, working in a bigger school, closer to her home . We, at BPET ,are very excited about Helen’s experience and passion that she will bring to Whitehall Park School (WPS).

Helen Tyler will join Whitehll Park as Head Teacher on 1 September 2020

We took the opportunity to ask Helen some questions so the school community could get to know a little about her …

Q: What motivated you to become a teacher?

A: Without doubt my own very happy experiences at primary school inspired me to become a teacher. My wonderful class teachers imbued in me a love of learning, a determination to do well and above all a love of reading for pleasure and for scholarship. These things have stayed with me and influenced all I’ve done as a teacher.

At school and with my family I also developed an early passion for animal welfare, wildlife and the need for everyone to become a responsible global citizen. As a teacher I felt I could influence all the pupils I taught with the same commitments and encourage them to make their voices heard when they had something important to say, whether through writing to the PM or through fund raising, etc.

Above all I have been driven by the need for equality of opportunity for all those I taught. I have always worked to enable my pupils to excel, whatever their starting points and aspirations, and like the young me to develop a love of learning, a determination to do well and above all a love of reading for pleasure and for scholarship.

My teachers knew me really well, challenged me and encouraged me never to give up. They instilled in me a belief that anything is possible. I wanted to do the same for others through teaching. It is a privilege to take part in shaping the next generation. I will leave a wonderful legacy if I am able to do this for every child in my care at WPS.

Q: Looking back to your time as a Head teacher, what are some of the things you are proudest of?

A: I am proudest and feel most privileged that as a headteacher I have been able to influence staff to share my vision for excellence and equality. The quality of learning is only as good as the teaching, so I have tried to appoint the best teachers and the best leaders to drive forward towards excellence and to meet aspirational targets. I am proud that there are many great headteachers, deputy headteachers, subject leaders (and the odd Ofsted Inspector!) dotted across London who started their early careers under my leadership and expectations. I am proudest of knowing that pupils make excellent progress at St Joseph’s because of the outstanding teaching they receive and the additional support offered for those who need it.

I am proud that I know every pupil and their families well and that parents feel I am approachable. I am able to discuss their child’s learning (progress, standards, targets and so on) but importantly I know each child for the unique and special individual s/he is. Knowing pupils’ character, personality, talents, interests, dreams and aspirations, enables the staff to help them achieve their ambitions. I am proud that I have always encouraged pupils to read and helped parents to understand their role in this endeavour.

I am proud that so many children come back to visit – often in their first week of secondary school and regularly for years afterwards and it gives me great pleasure to hear of successes in their new school and their great memories of St Joseph’s. The biggest thank you I could ask for is when they share a great school report, have made it into a sports team, achieve the grades they need to go to university and talk about environmental projects and new friendships.

Music is at the heart of the curriculum and children are given a huge range of opportunities to sing as a class, as soloists or in a choir, in concerts, in assembly and to join different orchestras. This is particularly important in St Joseph’s where family resource can’t run to music lessons. I’m proud that music rings out in the heart of the city.

Tell us a couple of facts about yourself that we would not find on your CV …

  • I love bird watching especially in West Africa.
  • I love watching football!
  • I am a pet patroller for lost pets!
  • I would love to learn to surf!

Q: What attracted you to the role at Whitehall Park and what is your vision for taking the school forward?

A: It was the WPS’s vision that captured my interest. High expectations for all pupils, academic, personal and social resonate fully with my own vision. I also completely agree with a curriculum which is rooted in a whole-school consensus that every child learns, enjoys and succeeds.

During my visit, the vibrancy of WPS was evident in purposeful learning and the creative high quality of the displays. The commitment to a values-based, enriched curriculum, becoming an accredited “Thinking School” and strong partnerships, particularly with parents, was a joy to hear. I knew immediately it was the school that I was looking for in my next post and would love to lead.

As the new Headteacher I will fully embrace the school’s vision to become a centre of excellence for every pupil. I will build on the achievements and strategies already in place and talk to current leaders about their action plans and targets. It will be important that I get to know and understand the school’s community in order to draw up a clear values-based development plan which is understood by all. I will make sure there is a smooth transition to avoid loss of momentum and reassure parents who might be concerned about any possible adverse impact from the change of leadership. I will get to know everyone in our school community as soon as possible.

Safeguarding, personal development and well-being will continue to be at the heart of WPS so that the children are safe, feel safe, and feel really good about themselves and their learning. I will ensure total commitment to the well-being and achievement of every child.

My vison is to establish an exceptional quality of education in every classroom, a broad, balanced and enriched curriculum that is highly ambitious for all and provides the life skills and experiences pupils need to succeed in all areas of life. I will highlight academic rigour and place a strong emphasis on the performing and visual arts and sport. I value the joy of childhood, one that is full of awe and wonder. I will quality assure a curriculum that is highly inclusive, designed to develop each pupil as a whole person and which draws on their gifts and talents so that they acquire the skills, knowledge, understanding and experiences that will enrich their life now and in the future. I want all pupils to be confident, articulate, resourceful, resilient and more than ready to move on to secondary school, and they will be under my leadership.

We look forward to welcoming Helen in September 2020.

READ HERE our Case Study of the online recruitment process for Helen Tyler