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Helen McCann

20 August 2019

Learning is for life and life is for learning. It is this belief which Helen embodies through her commitment to continually improving her pedagogy. Awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Youth Work by the University of Brighton, she then studied a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with Goldsmiths, University of London before completing her Master of Arts Degree in Education at the University of Nottingham. Inspired by her dissertation topic on improving reading comprehension in preparatory students, she decided to undertake her Doctorate in Education with the University of Glasgow which ensures she is conversant with the prevailing global educational developments and adopts and adapts these to meet the desideratum of the students in her classes. Helen has had the privilege of working in the international private education sector for five years since gaining her Qualified Teaching Status from the University of Reading. The opportunity of working in culturally diverse countries has given Helen an appreciation for celebrating different cultures as well as developing her understanding of being a global citizen. Initially Helen worked in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands as a primary teacher and international school trip leader. A strong believer in holistic education, Helen worked with the students and their parents to fundraise for the trip, ensuring they were consulted on key decisions related to this residential experience. This is important to Helen as she believes the role of educators is not simply to teach academics, but also to prepare students through heuristic experiences with the confidence, transferable skills, resilience and knowledge to enable them to become successful, active citizens in the world of tomorrow. Helen moved to Bangalore, India to teach in an international boarding school as a Mathematics Subject Leader, a role which she thoroughly enjoyed. In this position she re-wrote the Maths curriculum for the primary years, as her research into the inherited regime demonstrated the outcomes being taught to the students were not sufficiently challenging. Helen believes the teaching of Maths needs to include a significant amount of problem solving, reasoning, and real-life contextual work from a young age so students are able to connect what they are learning inside the classroom to the world in which they live. In this role Helen also placed a large emphasis on dialogic marking, providing students with the opportunity to reflect upon their work and give their teachers a greater understanding of what they feel about different concepts, enabling teachers to be able to tailor work to meet the epistemic needs of each individual student. In this position Helen also had the opportunity to organise and participate in extra-curricular activities and events for the boarding students during evenings and weekends. In her spare time Helen thoroughly enjoys running, partaking in charity running events including one recently in India to raise money for dementia. She also thoroughly enjoys travelling to new countries, exploring different cultures, and scuba diving. Helen is very excited about joining the Wellington College Hangzhou team with its values and mission whilst continuing to develop her professional practice in an environment which encourages and advocates a love of learning.

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