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Breaktime with Mrs Hinks

As the Head of PHSE, Assistant Head of Year 8 this past year and one of our Modern Languages teachers, Mrs Hinks is already well-known to our Redmaids' High School community. This September, she will step into her new role as the Head of Year 7, so we took the opportunity to ask her a couple of questions to find out what she's looking forward to the most about her new role and what advice she has for students starting Year 7 this year. 

thumbnail_IMG_06021. Tell us a bit about yourself...

I have been teaching for 11 years and have a degree in Modern Languages and European Studies from Birmingham University. I've taught abroad and at other schools in Bristol. Most of my free time is now spent chasing my amazing 6 and 4 year olds around.

2. How long have you been teaching at Redmaids' High?

I started teaching at Redmaids' High in the midst of the pandemic, in September 2020.  But my actual first day was when I joined the Junior school in 1993. I’m giving my age away now! 

3. What made you want to become a teacher?

I was never someone who always knew what they wanted to be. The careers programme when I was at school suggested I was a mortician (I’d said I liked working with people!). All my university friends had joined graduate schemes in our final year, but I knew that office life was not for me.  I spent several summers running holiday clubs and was a nanny for some time too, so I knew that I really enjoyed working with young people. Teaching suddenly seemed like the perfect idea and after spending time in a secondary school, I knew it would be a great challenge for me.

4. What is your favourite aspect of teaching?

I spent many years teaching Spanish and it’s so exciting to see the progression in students as they build their language skills and grow in confidence. However, the conversations I am able to be a part of in the PSHE classroom are my bread and butter! Our students are so open to discussing varying viewpoints and so excited to learn about the world around them. Their inquisitiveness and enthusiasm is wonderful and I absolutely love being part of their learning journeys.

5. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role as Head of Year 7?

I have spent the last 8 years of my career as a Head of Year for Years 7-11, but Year 7 has always been my favourite. It is such an exciting time for students and their families and I feel lucky to be a part of that initial introduction to secondary school life. Year 7 are always so keen to get involved in anything and that enthusiasm and joie de vivre is totally contagious to be around. 

6. What is your favourite memory from your school days?

My goodness, there are so many! The sense of community that is so strong here today was exactly the same when I was a pupil.  We all got involved in so many different activities and had so much fun doing it.  My best friends and I went on a 3-week exchange trip to Pamplona in Spain when we were in Year 9.  I have such fond memories of that, 3 weeks away with my best friends with no parents was very exciting!

7. If you have to give one piece of advice to your new students, what would it be?

To make the most of every opportunity that is given to you.  You may not find it all easy or succeed at everything you try but you will learn so much by just having a go.  Support those around you to step outside their comfort zone and make sure that you are cheerleaders for every single member of the year group.  You're going to have a blast!

8. Tell us about a surprising hobby/interest you have?

Most people are shocked to find out I have a black belt in judo. Although it’s been a while since I practiced! More recently my hobbies include pottery and making it my mission to find the best coffee at Bristol’s various soft play centres!

If you'd like to meet Mrs Hinks and the rest of our Year 7 pastoral team, join us for our Senior School open morning on 1 October!

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Date Posted: 9 August, 2022

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