Help young people make the grade

Sandra Macfarlane, RE teacher

For Sandra, the teachers who stick in her mind are the ones that gave her their time and effort, and really prepared her for her future. She chose to train as a teacher so that she could provide that same, high-quality education for young people and give something back.

“I see myself as a teacher that helps students and gives them a love for what they have to do, whether they want to do it or not," explains the Head of RE.  

One of Sandra’s proudest moments was helping a GCSE student to achieve an A* in her RE exam, despite having a target grade of D. 

“I always say to them, ‘Ignore that target, put yourself at the target you want to achieve. It’s just a computer somewhere that has calculated that, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to get a D. I think you’re going to get something far greater.

“Giving students that push to get that grade makes the biggest difference to them and then when they get it, it’s just amazing. It makes you feel like you’ve done your job so well. You’ve helped them with something that’s going to make their lives much easier and better.”

This particular pupil went on to study A levels at the school, with her top GCSE grade providing a major confidence boost. 

“Once she got her A*, it gave her everything she needed to see that she could achieve anything,” explains Sandra. “When she got her results, she spoke to me and said, ‘It was your teaching style and it was you who made that possible. You’ve given me the time and energy to help me get what I needed to get.’ That was just a phenomenal experience.”