With bouquets of flowers and at least 50 welcome messages, Dr Emily Haddock, new Headteacher at Kisharon Noé School has been taken aback by the warmth of the London Jewish community. “I’ve never experienced anything like this before, she says.”
At just 33, Emily has risen rapidly through the ranks. Drawn to special educational needs, even her teacher training was in a SEN school, she rose to deputy head aged 24 in her third year of teaching.
At 27 she became the youngest headteacher in the country, taking her school through its first OFSTED inspection. Next came an even greater challenge. She took on a school in special measures, achieving success by turning it around to ‘good’.
Executive headteacher at a school for children with emotional and behavioural issues was her next move up the career ladder. But after four years she came to an abrupt halt, realising that she was too far away from where she wanted to be, and that was working with children.
She gave it all up for time to think, and went travelling. She made it to Australia and New Zealand before the pandemic brought her travels to a premature end. Back in her native Cheshire, she became an educational consultant, marking time before the perfect opportunity cropped up.
The Kisharon post is the first to take her away from home during the week. But full of ideas for the future, it’s clearly exhilarating enough to warrant the upheaval.
One idea soon to come to fruition is a plan to spread kodesh learning across the entire school curriculum.
“It will flow through in a unique and exciting way, in addition to dedicated lessons,” she said.
Much needed opportunities for families and the community to see pupils’ work and the new building, impossible earlier because of the pandemic, are on the agenda too.
“We also have volunteering projects coming to aid reading and literacy,” she said. If first impressions of the warmth of the community are anything to go by, Emily will fill these slots easily.
“What struck me early on is how dedicated and caring families and staff are. Everyone is committed and goes above and beyond the achieve the outcome, doing whatever it takes.”
She added: “I am excited and happy to be part of the school and on its journey.”
Although Emily says she can’t put her finger on why she decided to teach special needs, we’re very glad she did.
Interested in becoming a school volunteer? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org