Nicky takes the reins
The new boss at St Michael's is excited by her new role.
I'm delighted by this challenge. Says Nicky Phillips, St Michael's new principal.
Ms Phillips (49) takes over as principal of St Michael's Primary School, Figheldean in January 2017.
You are a major part of a child's life, which is both a privilege and huge responsibility.'
Nicky was previously the Deputy Head of St Mark's Junior School in Salisbury.
Originally from Lymington in the New Forest Nicky moved to London aged18. She trained to be a teacher at Goldsmiths, University of London, and later completed a master's at the university.
Nicky explained; After completing my teacher training in London, I could see how teaching made a difference. You are a major part of a child's life, which is both a privilege and huge responsibility.
But, to be honest, there was a time when I wasn't sure about teaching. I had a bit of a wobble about whether I had made the right decision and decided to go travelling. I visited India and lived in Paris. Going away made me realise just how committed I was to serving others and getting it right in order to improve life chances for children, something I've always felt strongly about, its a moral obligation and what makes me passionate about what I do. Children get one chance at education and it has to be the best - that's my mantra!
With her first teaching placements in South East London under her belt, Nicky moved to Salisbury went on to teach at Woodlands First then Primary School, Landford School and Wyndham Park Infant School.
Applying to St Michael's has been another positive move for Nicky.
I love this school, and this community - there is so much opportunity here.
And, the time is right for me, personally and professionally to take this position - I know that I can make positive differences to children's lives and the fabulous new build in Larkhill will be the icing on the cake.
It really is a new era for St Michael's. In 2018 we will take delivery of our fabulous new school and as a multi academy trust we have more exciting developments coming on line.
Pupil numbers at St Michael's are set to increase because of the Army's rebasing. Increasingly we will be seen as serving Larkhill and beyond, so our small village school in Figheldean will become a state-of-the-art 420 place school with nursery.
Importantly, it's not just about the environment, or the resources that we will have at our disposal; it's about culture. I know that there is a great team here already, who are important to what the school is achieving. But, this is a small school and we're going to grow.
Other than the expansion of the school, there is a real feeling of professional growth; the staff here are constantly striving to improve in a supportive and collaborative atmosphere and being part of Salisbury Plain Academies, the bar is set high.
Success is very important to me, for both the children and staff. I'm a strong believer in collaboration and sharing best practice. Getting together and working together - looking outside of your own setting, making links and seeing what good teaching looks like in other schools - this mindset enables us to ensure that our children receive high-quality teaching and support at every level.
Nicky lives in Salisbury with her husband Martin and their 14 year-old twins, Maisie May and Dylan.
60 second interview with Nicky:
* What do you do in your spare time?
Reading, gardening, I love the cinema and art galleries, traveling, walking and doing these things with my family/friends
* If you were a biscuit, which one would you be? Why?
I've nothing personal against biscuits but I much prefer cake!
* Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people?
I used to keep bees! Although I have no hive at the moment I'm still enjoying the honey!
* Tell us your favourite joke:
Tricky, I can never remember them!
* Dog or cat?
Definitely dog, in fact black greyhound!
* How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I suspect more than I need.
* Favourite book/film/music/food
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, I love her writing, particularly her characters who walk off the page/ The Danish Girl at the moment, it was both beautiful and moving/ from The Levellers to Tavener, huge range! With both parents as classical musicians, I grew up in a home surrounded by a wide range of music/ North African food, the Moro Cookbook is my favourite, although I'd rather not be the one to do the cooking!
* If you could have a dinner party with any three people alive or dead who would you invite?
That's easy, Tony Ben, David Bowie and Ernest Shackelton. All inspirational leaders.
* Which animal would you be?
I think I'd rather be a tree, having grown up in the New Forest Beech trees are a favourite, especially at this time of year!
* What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?
Sheep's unidentifiable parts (eyes and brain I think!) when travelling in Yemen!
* Pet hates?
* What qualities do you admire in others?
Passion and determination and respect for others!
* If you could choose a superpower, which would it be?
Conjure up meals at the drop of a hat! Why? I hate cooking but love eating!
* What do you do in your spare time/to relax and unwind?
I enjoy Hot Yoga, gardening and walking up hills; I have challenged myself to climb a mountain a month in 2017.
* If you could time travel would you go back or forward in time and why?
I would stay in the present, there's more than enough to excite, interest and challenge me now!