10th January 23
This week we are excited to welcome our new Principal, Severine Collins to Claremont. Mrs. Collins joins us from CATS Canterbury, part of CATS Global Schools where she was Principal. She has also held leadership positions at Brighton College and Haut-Lac International Bilingual School in Switzerland. Mrs. Collins is passionate and ambitious about education and with over 20 years in leadership roles, she is very well placed to ensure Claremont continues to go from strength to strength. Here’s what Mrs Collins had to say when the marketing team asked her about her own school days and her priorities as Principal.
I am passionate about working with young people. Their creativity, their thirst for knowledge and for a brighter future are contagious. I became a teacher 27 years ago and during that time, I have had the privilege to teach and be in Leadership positions in British, bilingual and international schools. I am a passionate believer in the transformative power of education, and all that I do always has students and pupils at the heart of my decisions. You have to work hard to achieve success, and I am honoured to be supporting students in developing those attributes that will help them now and in the future. I also am a very proud mum to two successful daughters. One of them is working in the Care Industry as a Quality Assurance Manager, and the other is a Chemistry teacher. I also have a little Chihuahua named Charlie who, as small dogs do, follows me everywhere! So, you will see him around on campus.
I am excited to be joining Claremont as its principles align with my own belief that every child is an individual who needs to be nurtured, developed and challenged to become the best they can inside and outside of the classroom. The young people who will be shaping our future must learn to be agile, to be empowered with a deep love of learning that enables them to take risks, be creative and innovative, solve complex problems and drive societal change. I believe that Claremont is able to offer all of these opportunities and therefore is the ideal setting for young people to thrive and achieve their dreams.
Focusing on the quality of education, pupil experiences and boarding will continue to be our top priority so we remain at the forefront of the educational landscape. Raising standards and maintaining excellent practice is paramount, and I will work tirelessly to drive improvements in the quality of learning, pastoral care and boarding provision so that it provides the best experiences and outcomes for all pupils. Exam results and destinations are important, and I hold these in high esteem, but I also regard character development as highly as academic achievement. Examinations results, value added, good inspection reports and league tables are essential in assuring quality, but these must be achieved alongside developing those attitudes and positive dispositions that enable our pupils to lead a fulfilling and satisfying life.
Outgoing, passionate and reflective, I am committed to developing cultures which enable pupils and staff to excel, be creative and emotionally intelligent. And I can’t keep to a word count… clearly!
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I loved school. My favourite subjects were languages and Maths. People may find that strange, but actually Maths is a language of sort, isn’t it? English and Spanish were my two Modern Languages that I learnt from age 11. I continued studying English language and Literature at University in France before coming over to study in the UK where I did a degree in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Sciences. My final year project was on Optical Character Recognition; basically a prototype for handwriting recognition software widely used nowadays on tablets and number plate recognition software. In the days of my degree though, it took my little Mac 5 minutes to recognise the letter A! It might have been my programming skills more than the fault of the computer though…
David Attenborough. Not only has Sir David had a huge impact in recent years on conservation, he actually is a legend. Earlier in his career as an explorer, famous for immersing himself in the life of the tribes, he was an early advocate for diversity. Through his passion for nature and his drive to capture animals in their natural habitats and share his discovery of new species of plants, animals, insects and wonders of the deep sea, he was a pioneer in new technologies and innovative camera techniques. And finally, he was a real advocate for comedy. Perhaps a less known fact, he commissioned Monty Python’s Flying Circus, a cult sketch show which made stars out of John Cleese and Michael Palin, to name but a few. Sir David Attenborough is therefore part of the nation’s DNA, an eccentric with a huge heart and passion.
Other than education, my other passion is for interior design. So I periodically redecorate my whole house! It confuses my husband no end, and I am ashamed to admit that I own more Christmas decorations than you would ever find in a John Lewis Christmas advert!