Meet the Head

Dame Brad­bury’s head­teacher, Tracy Hand­ford

Essex Life - - INSIDE -

If you hadn’t be­come a teacher, what ca­reer would you have cho­sen in­stead?

Orig­i­nally I was go­ing to study ma­rine bi­ol­ogy af­ter A Lev­els, but I de­cided to take a year out and I worked at an in­de­pen­dent board­ing school in Chel­tenham – I just loved the op­por­tu­ni­ties I had to teach. I was de­lighted to be able to find a course that al­lowed me to com­bine teacher train­ing and con­tinue with my love of sci­ence and the sea.

Who would you most like to have as a pupil, if you could pick any­one?

I would have Brian Cox as a pupil.

His en­thu­si­asm, en­ergy and pas­sion en­cap­su­lates the char­ac­ter­is­tics we strive for in all of our pupils.

Was there any type of school din­ner that you couldn’t stand?

Se­molina. The mem­ory of the tex­ture and smell still lingers on.

What was your least favourite les­son?

My least favourite les­son was French. I was a very quiet pupil and I re­ally needed some help to get go­ing in lessons that re­lied on oral par­tic­i­pa­tion. Once I left school and started us­ing the lan­guage on my trav­els, the sym­pa­thetic and pa­tient help I re­ceived gave me the con­fi­dence I had lacked in the class­room. This is my per­ti­nent re­minder that the best teach­ers no­tice ev­ery child and recog­nise that of­ten a lit­tle time spent in­di­vid­u­ally reaps great re­wards.

If you were Prime Min­is­ter for one day, what would be the first thing you’d do?

I would pri­ori­tise the de­vel­op­ment and pro­mo­tion of clean en­ergy tech­nolo­gies and en­cour­age in­no­va­tors in this area.

Which record would you want with you if you were ma­rooned on a desert is­land?

Rather sheep­ishly, my most played al­bum, es­pe­cially in the car, is The Very Best of Dolly Par­ton.

If you could choose one thing, what would you want to make dis­ap­pear from this world?


Is there a tele­vi­sion pro­gramme that you make sure you never miss?

Strictly, it has to be Strictly!

What is your favourite film of all time and why?

The orig­i­nal ver­sion of The King and I with Yul Bryn­ner and Deb­o­rah Kerr. Apart from the beau­ti­ful cos­tumes, chore­og­ra­phy and mu­sic, the tale of the im­por­tance of un­der­stand­ing one an­other is as poignant to­day as it was in 1956.

How do you re­lax away from work?

Time away from school is pri­ori­tised as fam­ily time and we love re­turn­ing to the north and walk­ing the hills and dales of North York­shire and Cum­bria.

What is spe­cial about your school?

Tra­di­tion and com­mu­nity, hand in hand with fos­ter­ing a love of learn­ing, cre­ativ­ity, re­silience and con­fi­dence.

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