Ask Your Principal Anything
Last week, we invited students to get to know their new Principal by asking him anything they wanted to know.
What toothbrush do you use?
A blue and white one.
How many girlfriends have you had?
According to me not enough. According to my wife too many!
Two. I was not a confident person growing up so found I had lots of friends who were girls but hardly any ‘girlfriends’. What I did learn was that the happiest relationships I've been in and currently am in are the ones where I am treated with respect and where I treat others with respect.
Which football team do you support?
There is only one football team that’s worth supporting. That’s because they ensure, ‘You'll Never Walk Alone' – Liverpool.
What subjects do you specialise in?
Accounts and Business
What grades did you get at GCSE and A Level? What did you do at University.
I was not very good at studying. I got 2 B’s in English Language and Literature, a few C's including maths and some D's and lower at GCSE.
A level’s, I did Accounting, Law and Psychology and got a C,C, and E. I really wish someone had advised me to do a vocational course as I was so much better suited to that style of learning. I studied Accounts and Finance at University.
Interestingly, I let my grades become my measure of success. Some people thought these were good and others thought they were not (especially my Mum and Dad). However, whatever grades I got, I still worked hard to follow my dreams. I look back now at my grades and realise that good or not, without them I may not have been as happy as I am today.
Why did you choose newvic surely could of gone some place else ?
SP: Why did you choose NewVIc? Surely you could have gone somewhere else?
I lived in and around Barking/Ilford for ten years so I know the area and have very fond memories of being here.
I also know that at NewVIc and around East London, many people do not believe they are awesome. I am here to try and show as many of you as I can that you are.
can we get a bigger lunch allowance please i can barely fill my stomach great induction speech btw
SP: Can we get a bigger lunch allowance please? I can barely fill my stomach. Great induction speech by the way.
The allowance is set by the Government. However, let's see if we can work on a way of providing more nutritious meals for the allowance you have.
Can you change A Level subjects in the first year of sixth form?
Yes, in the first few weeks of teaching if there is space on a course. After the first few weeks of teaching, it becomes very difficult to catch up with missed work. So to ensure you are successful we allow a change, if possible, very early on.
What aspired you to become a head teacher and did you face any career changes along the way of becoming a principal?
SP: What inspired you to become a Head Teacher and did you face any career changes along the way of becoming a Principal?I was an accountant before I became a teacher and then eventually a Principal.
I was surprised with how many schools and colleges focused on a student’s education, education, education and not on students being happy, being happy and being even more happy. I want to change this. Yes, education and studying are important, but I firmly believe that a happy person will always achieve more.
If you would have the chance of going in the past in order to make something different to what you had actually done what would have been and why ?
SP: If you had the chance of going back to the past in order to change something, what would that be and why?
Apart from making Stephen Gerrard lead Liverpool to a Premier League Title…
The time that I really want to go back to is when I was about 14 and was being severely bullied for several months. I wish I had spoken to someone about what was happening to me and more importantly about what I was feeling. I’d tell myself that there is help and you don’t need to suffer this on your own. I would also tell myself that when things do not go to plan, it's ok. Learn from whatever has happened, talk to people about it and then aim to make your next day better than the one before.
How do you think youâ€™ll cope with this college ? Do want any changes in this college? And if you do what are those ? Thank you
SP: How do you think you’ll cope with this college? Do you want to make any changes in this college? And if you do what are they?
Coping is a mind-set. I know I have to cope, as I have to give you all, staff and students, a college and future you are proud of. So, to cope, I ensure I have a strong team with me and we support each other and I spend time away from work doing things that I enjoy. I know that everything won't go according to plan but I do have a plan and I will keep working towards it. The biggest change I to want make is for you to all believe in yourselves.
What are your goals for the next year a head???
SP: What are your goals for the next year ahead?
This is my first time being a Principal so my goal is to do the very best that I can while ensuring I spend time with my family and friends
How can we give opportunities to other students to have there future come true?
SP: How can we give opportunities to other students to have their future come true?
By each and every one of us, staff and students, supporting and encouraging each other to do better than we did yesterday.
What are your thoughts on the idea of happiness?
My number one priority is to make people happy. If I reflect on the time that I’ve been at my happiest, it’s when I have been able to make other people happy. The more happiness I give the happier I seem to get. Maybe if we all tried to make each other happy, we’d all achieve far more.
What do you think about Marijuana? And countries like the United States and Canada legalising it for medical and recreational use?
SP: What do you think about Marijuana and countries like the United States and Canada legalising it for medical and recreational use?
There is a lot of evidence that shows marijuana can be very useful for people with certain illnesses. So using it for medicinal reasons under medical supervision I can understand. Many drugs are addictive – caffeine, alcohol, tobacco – which have caused so many social and medical problems. Marijuana is also highly addictive with many side effects and I am very concerned about adding another drug to the list.
I'm doing 4 A levels; Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Italian. My dream is to do Medicine and become a Doctor. As you already know for studying Medicine, having good grades is not enough. For this reason I was interested in taking part in the gifted and talented activities, how do I sign up to these?
We have an honours programme for gifted and talented students. The programme includes unique trips, lectures with university professors and workshops with leading universities. The programme is designed to develop your academic skills and wider learning of subjects. You can find out more about this and other opportunities at the Enrichment Freshers Fair on Tuesday 25th September. For more information you can also speak to Carina Ancell, who organises the honours programme, by emailing: email@example.com