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Teacher moves from Bangkok to Babraham

Mark Verde is the school's new head Babraham Primary School.

Mark Verde is the school's new head Babraham Primary School.

A school head is still getting to grips with his new role after moving to the village from Thailand.

A school head is still getting to grips with his new role after moving to the village from Thailand.

Mark Verde had been living in and teaching at an international school in Bangkok, but is now the head of Babraham Primary.

He moved back to Britain in the summer and began at the Cambridgeshire school at the start of this term.

“It’s quite a fantastic little school – we have 86 children from reception to year six who are very well integrated,” he said.

“It’s very different from what I’m used to as I was at a British international school in Thailand before coming here and there were 1,500 children there from nursery to year 13.

“I covered nursery to year six.”

Before heading to the far east his first teaching job was at Lewisham in London a decade ago.

Mr Verde has family in Stapleford and Duxford, while he and wife Jane live in Pamisford with their eight year old daughter, who studies at William Westley Primary School in Whittlesford, and 11 year old son who studies at Sawston Village College.

“We originally went to Thailand as my wife and I decided to take a challenge and do something different, so we went there and were still teaching the national curriculum.

“We went there for two years but then had a child so soon that became another two years and then that became ten, and then recently we were thinking about coming back.”

Now Mr Verde is in his first head teacher’s role and is enjoying running the school.

“It’s definitely very good to be a head – it’s a challenge and I’m learning every day.

“I’ve been very fortunate here in having excellent staff and children here that are incredibly supportive.

“I had a good handover from the last head (Suzanne Berry) as she kept things in order in her post just beautifully and also got on well with the governing body.

“Headship is a challenge to anybody as there are lots of roles to do and plenty of work to deal with but it’s going down quite well.”

Mr Verde is also teaching for one and a half days a week, which helps to familiarise him with the children.

He is now aiming to implement his own ideas while maintaining the school’s high standards – it was rated ‘Good’ in its last full Ofsted report in 2006 and given ‘Outstanding’ for a number of categories.

“Every new heads wants to change and develop things and I have been really fortunate that the school was left in a fantastic state and that my biggest challenge is to maintain the already high standards, the caring feel and the strong sense of community.

“I need to ensure that the school is of an excellent standard and continues to move forward.”

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (December 6) Echo.

 

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