Romsey’s newest head teacher will have to remember she’s Mrs Henry now, not Emma- Kate, after coming from a school where pupils were on first name terms with staff.
Mrs Henry, who started this week as the new principal at Hampshire Collegiate School (HCS) was previously deputy head at St Christopher School, in Hertfordshire, a “progressive” private school where there were no uniforms and the diet was strictly vegetarian.
Mrs Henry, 40, says she has no plans to ditch uniforms or allow pupils to call teachers by their first names and meat will remain on the menu.
She was educated at the University of Kent, where she read English Literature and African & Caribbean Studies.
As a 17-year-old, she gained her first taste of life at the chalk face when she spent a gap year in Jamaica, where, despite having no experience, she landed a job teaching French and food nutrition, as well as helping special needs pupils.
“I had a wonderful time,” said Mrs Henry, who says the memories of her time in the Caribbean inspired her to become a teacher after a year in IT recruitment.
She took a post graduate certificate at the Institute of Education in London and has been teaching for 16 years, with English Literature as her subject.
Before joining St Christopher’s, she was a senior member of staff at Surbiton High School, which is, like HCS, part of the United Learning group.
Her experience is extensive, covering inner city comprehensives, a City Technology College, single sex, co-ed, day and boarding schools.
Mrs Henry told the Advertiser that it had always been her ambition to become a head and the she was keen to “piece together the best bits” from each of the schools at which she had taught.
She said she had no plans to make radical changes to HCS and it would be a case of “evolution rather than revolution.”
“We have a broad intake and I want each pupil, whatever their ability, to reach their potential,” she said.
She was keen to establish closer links between the prep and senior schools at HCS and also to boost the numbers of the sixth form.
“We offer a very different kind of sixth form, which suits particular types of pupil. We have great strength in pastoral care and can offer one-to-one tutorials,” said Mrs Henry.
Mrs Henry, whose great-grandparents lived in Stockbridge, will be relocating to the school’s campus at Embley Park with her husband, Tony, and her eight year old son, who will be joining Hampshire Collegiate Prep School.
Tony, a former fitness instructor and PE teacher, is a former international sprinter and long jumper.
Mrs Henry succeeds Hector MacDonald, who, after more than five years at HCS, has moved on to become principal of the English School of Kyrenia, in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
He announced his resignation to governors last January.