Heyford Park Free School


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English

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.

Plutarch

The Mission

The English team at HPFS is a forward thinking, motivated, ambitious group of professionals. We have an uncompromising drive to excel in our practice and are committed to working tirelessly to improve achievement in English language and literature over a sustained period of time. We want all learners to be resilient; to be enthusiastic; to be opened to new ideas; to take pride in their work and the work of others; to seize leadership opportunities and, most importantly, to share our love and passion for English.

We will offer a range of extra-curricular opportunities throughout the year such as: public speaking workshops, debate clubs, creative writing sessions, theatre/ cinema visits, research/ HW clubs, etc.

Pen portrait of staff in the department

Miss Catalina Marin (Director of Learning for English)

My happiest memory as a child has to be long summer days and nights spent engrossed in the magical universes created by Dickens, Austen or Bronte. I began to develop a fascination with British culture and started thinking about a career in teaching. At university I studied English, linguistics and Spanish as well as completing a teaching degree therefore gaining not only subject knowledge but also an invaluable insight into how children learn. The thing I love most about my job is working with young people in the classroom every day and celebrating their ‘wow moments’ in their learning journey. I deeply believe all students have the potential to be successful and I am committed to helping them realise they can overcome those “not yet there” moments.

Some of my favourite writers are Angela Carter, Paulo Coelho, Simon Armitage, Seamus Heaney, W.H. Auden, F. Scott Fitzgerald. One of my favourite books has to be The book thief by Markus Zusak.

Miss Sian Gibson (trainee teacher with SCITT at the Cherwell School)

Before I started at Chesterton Primary school aged 4, my mother had already taught me to read, write and spell and I credit her with my love of and success in English. From then on, I clung to my head start, devouring everything I came across, whether it was novels, magazines or cookbooks. I am a long-time fan of Bicester library, where I would spend many holidays squirreling books back to my Grandma's house. I adored school, the experience, social aspects and learning and could not think of a place I would rather work now. Having worked at Heyford Park Free School since its inception I am delighted to see the students grow up into hard-working, kind and productive young adults. I find my past experience as a journalist and in marketing give realism to my English classes and love approaching the subject from a different perspective.

Writers I am passionate about include Louise Rennison, Freya North, William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, Jane Austen, Stephen J. Dubner, Chris Horrie and Lee Child.
 
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