The Great School Showcase: St. Werburgh’s R.C Primary School
In the first edition of our brand new blog series, The Great School Showcase, we had the pleasure of interviewing the Head of one of the Wirral’s finest schools, Sarah Murphy of St. Werburgh’s R.C Primary School.
A charming and passionate school at the heart of Birkenhead, St. Werburghs has always stood as a bastion of diversity and acceptance in the community; working hard to cultivate a warm, happy and hospitable environment in which all feel safe and respected.
With St. Werburgh’s being hi-impact’s first ever school, we thought it only fitting to begin where it all started.
Read what Sarah had to say about both herself and her school below!
First off, tell us a bit about yourself!
“Pretty much a mad, busy lady most of the time! When I’m not at work, I love reading, rugby (spectating), beach walks with my enormous hairy hound and spending time with my family.”
How long have you worked as Headteacher at St Werburgh’s?
“This is my fourth year as Head but I’ve been at St Werburgh’s for nine years in January. I started out as English lead and Year 2 teacher and then became Assistant Head.”
How long have you worked with hi-impact?
“I’ve worked with hi-impact since I started at St Werburgh’s – from aliens to space balloons, it’s been great fun!”
What advice would you give to any young person aspiring to be a teacher?
“Do it! It is genuinely a great job and a total privilege.”
What made you get into teaching?
“I don’t tend to go about anything the conventional way, so unlike most I can’t say I always knew I wanted to teach. My first job was selling very substantial ladies’ underwear in Littlewoods, followed by a few other random jobs.
I qualified as a nursery nurse and nannied for a while. I was then offered a job as a 1:1 SEN teaching assistant in a brilliant school in Bootle called St Joan of Arc Primary School. It was a central part of the community and I worked with amazing people who went above and beyond for their pupils. That’s when I decided teaching was for me.”
You once referred to your school as “a little oasis at the heart of Birkenhead.” What do you believe makes St Werburgh’s so special?
“We’re very much a school family and all the staff, pupils and parents are integral to our distinctive ethos. We work very closely with St Werburgh’s parish and our Parish Priest and his dog Finn are part of our school family too.”
There appears to be a real sense of togetherness amongst both students and staff at St. Werburgh’s, was this difficult to cultivate or was it a happy, natural occurrence?
“There really is and it’s nice that it is felt by visitors too. I think we are all very proud of our school and what we achieve. We have a very diverse school community with families from all over the world. We respect each other and enjoy working together. We have a lot of fun too.”
“It’s been highlighted that you not only aim to assist children in the growth of their academic prowess, but also their development as human beings.
What do you do to ensure the students of St. Werburghs are set on the right path?
“This is very much part of our Catholic ethos. It is extremely important to us that our pupils grow up to be responsible, global citizens. We teach our children that they can be a positive influence in the world and that this is what they should aspire to.”
And finally, what effect do you believe hi-impact has had on your school? Do you have any stand-out memories?
“As a school we love working with hi-impact. Hi-impact tech support brings us great peace of mind and when things do occasionally go wrong with the tech, it’s always good to know that we just have to pick up the phone and somebody will make sure things are back up and running.
“In terms of curriculum support, hi-impact are continually evolving and I am glad that our school gets to benefit from the enthusiasm and innovative approach of your team. We have participated in many projects but highlights have definitely included launching our own balloon into space, Santa Skype and freezing my feet off at Tranmere Rovers!”