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NEWS > PGS > Lizza Head (nee Mitchell)

Lizza Head (nee Mitchell)

Lizza recalls how strange it felt to have her job interview in what had been the girls' toilets in her day. She wasn't put off her stride and got the job - she was Head of Lower School Science!
Lizza Head (Mitchell)
Lizza Head (Mitchell)

Pate’s for me was always a home from home. I am forever thankful for the opportunities it provided me through CCF, the library and some amazing teachers (Mr Morgan anyone?). I loved being somewhere where asking questions was encouraged and being a bit different was expected. Although several teachers inspired me – Dave Elvidge and Lee Mason for example, both of whom I have been privileged to work alongside, the main thing I took from my time as a student was the assurance that I have the toolkit to tackle any difficulty in life and confidence to try anything new. Some of my most cherished memories are CCF ski trips, conducting a kazoo choir in the Leavers Concert and making so many friends especially in Sixth Form who have had a greater impact on my life than they will ever know.

If I could go back and give my younger self some advice, it would probably be to have spent more time breaking the rules but I take comfort in some select moments that brought a little levity to the day; deciding to all run away from a Geography lesson when the teacher left the room only to discover we’d run the same way as her round the corridor and having to run back, another student jumping out of the window during a maths lesson and coming round to the classroom door only to be told he wasn’t allowed in so he returned to his seat through the open window again and painting the ceiling tiles in the hall with rude messages for leavers day. There have been some surreal moments in my return – sitting the other side of the desk at parents’ evening and being interviewed for the job in what had been the girls’ toilets when I was a student but I have finally fulfilled a dream of putting an inappropriate hat on the statue in the quad.

I feel privileged to have been able to pay forward some of what was invested in me by teaching at Pate’s until the end of 2020. The school still allows students a huge amount of independence and autonomy encouraging learning through collaboration and taking risks and the core ethos that together we can learn and grow is unchanged.

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