CROOKHORN College has just welcomed its new headteacher into her first week of term.
And Sarah Bennett is already a familiar face at the secondary school in Waterlooville, having worked there for 13 years.
Taking the reins from Grahame Sammons, the 45-year-old is thrilled to now be educational leader at the Stakes Hill Road institution.
She said: ‘It’s a cliche but I’m really excited about my new role. I know the school, I know the parents and I know the community so I’ve grown with the students and the school over the years.
‘I’ve been deputy head here for 10 years and am relishing the opportunity of now being the head and driving forward some of the ideas that I strongly believe in, to enable the school to excel even further.’
Mrs Bennett, from West Sussex, has over 23 years’ teaching experience, starting as a history teacher in 1993 and previously teaching at schools in Lincoln, Worthing and Bognor Regis.
It was her passion for history, along with an inspirational teacher she had growing up, that cemented her desire for a career in education.
She said: ‘I went to school in Singapore and my history teacher was one of the reasons I got into teaching. His passion was contagious and he really brought life to the subject.
‘I 100 per cent believe that great teachers bring great passion to the classroom, along with a little bit of organisation and structure.
‘The teaching at this school is already excellent and one of my visions is to take standards even further.’
Mrs Bennett is keen to take a hands-on approach at the school, and still regularly takes religious education classes.
As the new school term kicked off last week, Mrs Bennett is eager to see what the year will bring.
She said: ‘As a school we are really looking forward to the year. To make progress, it’s about evolution not revolution, and my aim is to build on the fantastic base we already have.’