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Blackboard Awards 2023

Pamela Jones, Belvoir Park Primary School

Subject or Primary school year: Principal

Your place of birth: Lisburn

Studied at: Stranmillis University College

First job: Knockmore Primary School

What it taught me: If children don't learn the way we teach, then we need to teach them the way they learn.

Family/status: Married with 3 children - Hannah 20, Ben 18, Natalie 15, Pippa the terrier cross and Flora our new kitten

Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: It is exceptionally hard work but the difference you can make to a child's life is worth every second. Always put the child at the centre of everything you do in school. Build connections with pupils and their families and find out as much as you can about the challenges that the children face. Never stop learning or seeking new ways to help a child reach their full potential. Listen to other colleagues and be curious about their methods. Methods that seem quirky or old fashioned can work as well as current ones and every child learns in their own special way. Finally, take some time for you! You cannot pour from an empty cup!

When I was 4 years old announced to my teacher that I was going to be a P1 teacher and that was it! My path was chosen. I wanted to be just like my Auntie Gwen's friend who was just beginning her teaching career. I went to Forthill Primary School and then Forthill Girls' High School, before moving on to Methodist College Belfast for my A levels. I studied for my Bachelor of Education degree at Stranmillis, with Science as my main subject. My first job was as a P1 teacher in Knockmore Primary School. I fell in love with the school, the community and the pupils and I felt so privileged to learn from experienced and passionate staff. I continued to train to ensure I had the best knowledge to meet the ever changing needs of the pupils in my class, completing a PGCE in Teaching Children with Specific Learning difficulties (Dyslexia) and a PG Dip in Early Years. I stayed there for 22 years before being given the opportunity to take up a secondment to Ben Madigan Preparatory School. After returning to Knockmore Primary School for a short time, I applied to be Principal of Belvoir Park Primary School with Nursery and Specialist Provision and started in August 2021. It is a wonderful school with amazing staff who are dedicated to creating an inclusive learning environment and ensuring every child reaches their full potential. I look forward to watching the school grow and develop throughout my time here and beyond.

Blackboard Awards 2023