Frome College: Deputy Assistant Principal Andrew Marshall
Interview with Deputy Assistant Principal and Head of Faculty for Science, Andrew Marshall by Naomi Corp in Year 11
What made you want to be a science teacher?
Initially I wanted to be a doctor. I trained to do medicine, and looked at the medicine side. As part of the medical course I had to work a lot with A-level students, which made me realise I enjoyed working with students more than medicine. This made me want to become a teacher. My mum is head teacher of a primary school, so teaching was always there. I looked into teaching secondary school as I felt you could go into more detail and get across more than with younger students.
Why are you a good Head of Science?
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This is my fifth year of being in charge of a science department. I would say that I know what I am doing, as I've had experience in two schools and developed both the science departments. I have a good understanding of how to create an interesting curriculum. I like to listen to what students want and then try to make lessons as fun and interesting as possible. I also encourage the staff to make science as exciting as we possibly can.
What are/would you change about the science department?
In particular I would like to change the style of lessons, I want to make the lessons more hands on and student led. It is important that students lead the lessons, so they find out how things work and the answers to questions. I don't like workbooks and I don't like worksheets. There should be much more student discussions and practicals. There will definitely be less sitting down and reading books. Students don't need to be sat in their seats to know what they are doing.
At a previous school you took all the workbooks away for a term, would you do this again?
I would, if there came a time where I felt teachers were relying on books more than teaching to the needs of the students. If I felt that some teachers were just more interested in getting things written down, and if I didn't feel as if the students understood it then I would take the books away. The books aren't needed to learn, and it was proven they weren't. Just because you have written something down in a book, doesn't mean you understood it.
Which is your favourite boy band?
I don't really have a favourite boy band but I do really like Olly Murs. I listen to him in the car on the way to work, only because his music is upbeat and chirpy which means it wakes me up in the morning, as I have a long drive.
Would you want to be any other type of subject teacher?
I'm quite sporty, so I wouldn't mind being a PE teacher, if not PE then languages. I speak French, so I wouldn't mind being a French teacher.
What is your favourite takeaway?
Got to be Chinese. It has got to be a chicken curry. I love Chinese chicken curry.
Have you ever bought a happy meal just for the toy?
Yeah, happy meals are good, the toys can sometimes be disappointing but the happy meal is very nice.
Have you done it recently?
Not recently, but if the toy was good enough then I wouldn't say no. It's just the burger isn't big enough to fill me up.
Do you have a favourite pair of socks?
I don't have a favourite pair, but I do make sure that my socks match what I'm wearing. If I had a red T-shirt on, I would have to wear red socks to match.
Out of biology, chemistry and physics what is your favourite?
I am a biologist, but more of a human biologist. It's because of my medical background, as it was more human biology that I went into.
How are you enjoying Frome College so far?
It's very different from my old school, because I had younger students there, but obviously Year 7s and 8s aren't here. The campus is massive and can be a bit daunting when I am out on duty, but it is very good here. I really enjoy it and the students are a good mix of students who are really friendly. I'm just very busy at the moment trying to find my feet and get to know who is who.
Naomi Corp writes: "Mr Marshall is obviously a very intelligent man who knows what he is doing. School only started three weeks ago and there has already been a noticeable change in science lessons.
"You only have to talk to him once to know that he takes his role in the school very seriously and is happy to make changes. It is also nice to find out that not all teachers are aliens and that he does enjoy a nice Chinese or happy meal if the toy is good enough.
"I think students will be happy to know that they can count on Mr Marshall to always have a colour co-ordinated outfit, and that their education is in good hands."