The first ever headmistress of Bradford’s top school has spoken about how she is thrilled at the chance to take part in what she describes as the most “wonderful opportunity”.

Kerry Howes took the helm at Bradford Grammar Junior School after Neil Gabriel retired at the end of summer 2016. She is leading the Junior School in a school that counts David Hockney, team GB cyclist Abby-Mae Parkinson and the Brownlee brothers as former students, and sees it as an honour.

“I’ve been in the teaching profession for 18 years and gathered a wide range of experience. I think what stands out for me at BGS are the inspiring children, staff and parents. We also pride ourselves on the fact we offer a truly holistic education where children develop into unique, creative and confident young people.

“The Junior School is such an impressive place with a wealth of opportunities available to our children. The range of co-curricular and outdoor activities on offer is incredible, and our children are encouraged to take full advantage of them, which also puts them in good stead for their transition into the Senior School.”

Kerry Howes joined the Junior School, near Lister Park in Manningham, in 2003 as a class teacher and progressed to subject coordinator, then director of teaching and learning, deputy head and now headmistress.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to take on the new role and I’m particularly passionate about the Junior School’s strong and proactive pastoral support that lies at the very heart of the BGS community and is an intrinsic part of school life.

“Social and emotional learning is just as important as academic achievement and we provide a nurturing atmosphere where children can develop as individuals in a safe and caring environment. In our aim for happiness our children achieve fantastic results and at BGS the two go hand in hand.”

Although she enjoyed her role as junior school deputy head, her promotion means she will get more opportunities to interact with the local community and schools, to which she is very much looking forward.

“The children are continuously encouraged to see themselves not just as a part of the BGS family, but the wider Yorkshire community. Supporting charities like Wear it Wild, Macmillan Cancer Support and JCI Bradford aids in helping us to develop happy, contented and socially aware children, which is essential.”

Kerry continues, “The happiness of the children is of the utmost importance to all who work at BGS – if the children are not happy they can’t thrive in their studies and beyond the classroom in sports, the arts and clubs. I am excited and consider myself privileged to take up this new position and look forward to ensuring that BGS continues to offer excellence in all areas of the curriculum and extra-curricular provision.”

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