Helen van Dyk

What led you to teaching? After University, I worked in the boarding house of a music school in Edinburgh organising extra-curricular events and activities. I hadn’t really considered teaching before,  but I had the chance to accompany some of the younger children on trips and help out in the classroom: I loved it! Since then, I have taught lots of different age groups and have even been lucky enough to work in several different countries working with children from all over the world- at one point I had a class containing 22 different nationalities!

What inspires you and what you do? At Skippers, we are very lucky to have many resources and opportunities available but I continue to be impressed and learn from the pupils everyday: they are of course my main source of inspiration! I love seeing the children inspired by their own experiences and taking ownership of their learning. I also believe the mental health of children is of paramount importance and think wellbeing and enjoyment of learning must be a priority in every school.

What do you love most about Skippers?  I love lots of things about Skippers. Working primarily in the senior part of the school, I particularly love seeing the relationship between the older and the younger children: watching them all working together on sports day, reading together in the mornings and going on book-fairy hunts in the woodlands is a real highlight!  The children at Skippers have so many wonderful and unique experiences that they will look back on fondly….  I also love spotting the deer frolicking on the cricket pitches in the morning!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself   I love travelling and worked at an international school in Cairo for several years. I adopted a cocker spaniel while I was there and she came all the way back to the UK with me; her name is Cleo after Cleopatra, the famous Egyptian queen!