Sacred Heart Boys’ Primary School
School website: www.sacredheartprimaryschoolbelfast.com
Your place of birth: Belfast.
Studied at: Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School, Belfast Metropolitan College, Stranmillis University.
First job: Harry Ramsden’s fish and chip restaurant.
What it taught me: How to cope well under pressure and how to work as part of a team.
Best advice anyone ever gave you: Feel the fear and do it anyway!
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Just go for it! Working with children is a very rewarding job and no two days are ever the same.
I had always worked in admin and while off on maternity leave 11 years ago, I realised that I wasn’t happy in my job. I had always wanted to work with children and thought now was the perfect time to do it. I contacted Workforce, enrolled to do my QCF Level 3 in Children’s Learning and Development and did my placement in Sacred Heart Boys’ PS. At the end of my placement, they offered me an SEN classroom assistant post and I haven’t looked back since. Four years ago, our principal, Joanne Smyth, recognised the need for a Nurture class within Sacred Heart PS. I applied for the job, completed the accredited Nurture programme training, and now work alongside an experienced Nurture teacher, helping children with social, emotional and behavioural needs. Our school was recently awarded the Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark Award, in recognition of our school’s dedication and hard work, with Nurture being at the heart of our school. I really enjoy working with children and decided that teaching was the next step for me. I went back to college, completed an Access course, and I am now in the first year of my degree at Stranmillis University College.