In our latest Northgate News Team interview, Milo and Emma talk to Mrs Kaufmann Ward, who has been at Northgate since 2011. Having been Head of the English Department since 2018, she has recently taken on a new challenge as Assistant Headteacher – Standards and Outcomes.

What is your favourite season of the year to teach and why?

I love to teach around spring time – I like to look out of the window to see the light coming in from the field with warmer weather. I do love the summer term too but it can get a bit hot and sticky in the classroom.

What is your favourite breakfast cereal? 

Oreo-o’s, an American cereal that I discovered as a teenager…it isn’t overly healthy!

What was it like to be head of department? 

Amazing. It was amazing to work with a team that believes passionately in our subject, and all believing so strongly in bringing out the potential of our students. There were some struggles however, particularly with covid. Trying to give students the best education possible was challenging being apart, but so was everything in that time for everyone. Being head of department and working so close to, well my second family really, was incredible and it still is.

What is your favourite and least favourite Shakespeare play and why? 

It alternates between Macbeth and Othello. At the moment, probably Othello as I just saw it with Year 13. Although generally, I am really not a fan of Shakespeare’s comedies.

What are you looking forward to in your new role within the school? 

I’m looking forward to making even more of a difference to more children and staff amongst the school.

What is your favourite literature text? (A-level and GCSE) 

An Inspector calls 100%. It hits home personally for me, and even though it was written in 1945, its themes are (sadly) still just as relevant today.

What hobbies do you have?

I like reading, watching films, swimming, cooking, singing and dancing around my house singing karaoke.

Did you always want to be an English teacher? 

Definitely not. I loved performing as a teenager so thought I would train to be an actor or perhaps join a band. I only decided upon being an English teacher after realising my rockstar dreams would be short lived. After university, my passion for helping children was properly brought into life and I began teaching English.

What topic area is the hardest to teach? 

Without a doubt, English grammar.

What do you enjoy most and least about your job?

I mostly enjoy connecting with students and being able to help them with anything they need, not just English. I also love connecting with parents and working with them to support their child. In terms of what I enjoy least…probably giving instructions 3 times and still being asked what the task is!

A big thank you to Mrs Kaufmann Ward for taking the time to answer Emma and Milo’s questions. It’s always interesting to find out about the staff at Northgate. We look forward to the next interview.