PUPILS at Magna Carter Primary Academy, Stansted, are preparing to meet their new headteacher next month. Jen Pearce is taking over the role from Marios Solomonides, who is moving on to a new position after the Easter break.
Ms Pearce previously worked at another BMAT school, Cooks Spinney Primary Academy, Harlow, where she has held the roles of assistant head and deputy head over the last five years.
She said: “I am going to miss the children, first and foremost, as we have a really good relationship. I will also miss the staff; it’s a really fantastic team.
“I am really proud of the development in reading, our outdoor learning provision and having moved from marking to feedback to ease the workload on teachers.”
Ms Pearce also prides herself on her involvement in taking the school from Requires Improvement to being very Good and almost Outstanding.
“I am proud of the contribution I have made to enhancing children’s life experiences,” she added.
Ms Pearce was eager to take on the top job at Magna Carta after completing a National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) last year and sees her first job as getting to know her new school, children, their families and colleagues, as well as her new role.
“It is really important for me to be out on the gate and be available to parents, building positive relationships with them and getting them on board,” she explained.
“I am looking forward to further developing the school’s values that are important for the children – having high expectations and ensuring they have a school they are proud of.”
“My philosophy and Marios’ are fairly similar, so I feel confident to carry on in his shoes and take over from where he leaves off.”
After Easter, Mr Solomonides will leave his role as head of school to become the first director of SEND for the BMAT family of schools in Stansted, Harlow and Epping in Essex and Newham in London.
As well as being head for three years, Mr Solomonides was part of the team who placed the bid to open the new Magna Carta in 2014.
He leaves the school with a new curriculum in place for the first cohort of Year 5 students who will move up in September.
“I have been involved with the school for a long time, as well as being head for three years. I had convinced myself I would stay here forever. Why would I ever want to go anywhere else? It’s a terrific school and community with very supportive parents,” he said.
During his time as principal, the school established Phoenix Provision for students who were at risk of exclusion from schools in the area.
As the Trust’s curriculum leader, he was also able to implement the schemes of work he researched and designed.
He said: “Opening Phoenix Provision was a big task. To watch that become a part of our school was wonderful. That has been a big achievement, for them to be integrated. Although it is a separate provision, pupils are a part of the school, which is lovely.
“Being able to implement the curriculum I designed was brilliant. I am very proud of it; it’s an excellent curriculum.
“The thing I will miss the most is also the thing I won’t miss – the responsibility and accountability. It’s wonderful knowing I can make a difference for these children and their families, but the flip side is that’s a huge responsibility. That is what drives me the most. I will definitely be able to continue making a difference in my new role.”
Photo: Ms Jen Pearce (left) and Mr Solomonides (right).