I am Suzanne Garroni, acting head at Newark School. I graduated B.Ed (Hons) in 1988 and I have never stopped teaching since! Throughout my 30 year career, I got the opportunity to teach mostly early years (namely years 1, 2 and 3) in government, private and church schools. People who know me will tell you that when it comes to young kids, I have all the patience in the world, and they’re right: Teaching young children has always been my favourite activity.
I started teaching at Newark School seven years ago and was promoted to acting head after four years, this being my 3rd year in this position. I believe education is a lifelong endeavour, and with this in mind, I recently completed my Diploma in Educational Management and Administration which I followed with OTHM Qualifications UK.
Newark School is a unique school which has made a name for itself with foreign students in Malta. In fact at the moment we have students from over 46 different countries. With such a diverse cast of students, our greatest challenge is to teach students with often drastically different levels of English. Some children join Newark with a solid foundational knowledge of English, some have an adequate command of the language, yet others join our school not knowing a word in English. This discrepancy in fluency can sometimes be overwhelming for the teacher let alone for the children; however, the rate at which students pick up the language never fails to delightfully surprise us. The younger kids start, the quicker their learning is.
Another challenge we invest ourselves in tackling at Newark School is when sometimes the students enter school in the middle of the scholastic year, missing months of schooling and thus starting ‘behind’. Thanks to our great team of teachers and staff we have always overcome these problems and I must say we are very proud of the milestones we have reached.
Even though Newark is an independent school we follow the national curriculum framework and our year 11 students sit for their MATSEC exams together with London GCSE’s in which they perform brilliantly. As you can imagine we only speak English at school however we do offer Maltese as one of the taught subjects and have students who choose to study the language, something we encourage for families who would like to make Malta their home.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to highlight the Erasmus+ projects the school takes part in. I strongly believe these projects and meetings have a great impact on the child’s education. I have taken part in a number of meetings abroad and have accompanied many students on these trips. Needless to say these projects widen the child’s horizons, boost their self confidence and teach them to live independently for a week. I always encourage parents to convince their children to go on these educational trip. It is a big responsibility taking charge of a number of students in a foreign country however I truly enjoy seeing the students enjoy themselves and observing first hand the growth they experience over such a short time.
I consider myself lucky to be part of this school which is continually receiving new applications from parents to enrol their children here. It is a great pleasure to be of assistance to all the stakeholders. At Newark School, I know all the students by name and have a relationship with the parents; moreover, we have the benefit of keeping very small classes so the teachers can give the students individual attention which – to my mind – is vitally important to a child’s educational process.
Attention is our most valuable resource.
A/ Head of school