Meet Mrs Jardine ...
Hello, Mrs Jardine, tell us about your role at Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School
Hello, I'm one of the Reception Teachers in the Pre-Prep department.
Tell us about your educational background
As a mature student, I took a degree in Social Psychology at Sussex University, followed by the Post-Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) at Brighton University. I completed this as a fully fledged NQT Primary Teacher in 2005.
Can you tell us about your career experience and any special educational interests?
I decided to become a teacher later on in life when I was in my thirties. It's definitely the best decision I've made. Before that, I had a varied career. I was an Area Manager with Strutt and Parker; a fashion buyer, and a booker with a modelling agency and worked abroad and in the UK.
Once I embarked on my teaching career, I gained teaching experience in different schools. I worked as the Year 1 teacher at St Wilfrids Catholic Primary School in Burgess Hill and while there I completed a case study on children with learning difficulties and this area became my field of interest.
I went on to work as a special needs assistant at Portslade infant School and expanded on this in the run up to my PGCE when I trained to be an ABA Therapist [Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapists work with autistic children and other patients with developmental issues, either in a clinical setting or a patient's home]. I completed my NQT year in 2007 at Deepdene School in Hove,
When did you join Sompting Abbotts?
I took up the position of full-time Reception Teacher at Sompting Abbotts Prep School in 2007. And I have happily remained for the past ten years. Ten years! That's a long time to stay in one place by today's standards you might think. So what keeps me here? Well it's a mix of factors.
The grounds and the environment are beautiful and make a wonderful teaching resource. There are few schools where you can take children into an apple orchard, collect the fruit and use it for a numeracy lesson; create art through the experience; carry the apples back to the kitchen, make apple pie together, and then have the children use what they've learned for a writing project.
Plus the standard of education is high and the Pre-Prep team are dedicated and wonderful colleagues. I also love the fact that in the independent sector we're not hidebound by bureaucracy and targets.
We can teach as we believe is best. So if it's a frosty day outside, for example, we can be spontaneous, drop everything and go outside and study the ice that's formed on the pond and adapt that knowledge to the children's understanding of the world around us.
But what for me really make Sompting Abbotts a wonderful place to teach is the overwhelming atmosphere of caring, nurturing and individuality – to which the teachers, parents and children all contribute. Children here really do become life-long learners. Every day here I'm all the more passionate about my teaching.
Tell us something we don't know about you?
I worked in Kenya where I made a TV commercial for a tea brand. I also have four pet Dachsunds.