Getting to know the new headteachers

Photos of Philip Winterburn, Nicola Antwis and Janet Dickson.

No fewer than three primary schools in the local area have welcomed new headteachers this year. Wheatfield Primary School, Holy Trinity Primary and Stoke Lodge Primary all enter a new chapter of leadership, and we got in touch with them to find out a little more about their new heads.

Philip Winterburn is the new headteacher for Wheatfield Primary. He says the “warm atmosphere, friendly staff and polite children” impressed him when he first visited the school. He was previously headteacher at Cherry Garden Primary School in Bitton. Mr Winterburn says he views Bristol as home, having worked in Bristol schools for over 21 years. He spent his childhood in Merseyside and Buckinghamshire, but he has been settled in this part of the country since 1992.

Recalling his own experiences of school, Mr Winterburn says he loved going to primary school, and specially enjoyed English and creative writing. He has even written a children’s book, which remains unpublished despite encouraging letters he received from the publishers he sent his manuscript to.

Mr Winterburn likes to keep fit, running 10ks and half marathons, with the aim of doing a full marathon someday. He also has an interest in music and enjoys the variety of new bands and venues Bristol has to offer. His free time is spent with his wife and two daughters, aged 9 and 11.

Speaking of his new role at Wheatfield Primary, Mr Winterburn says: “My first job as the new headteacher is to get to know the children, staff and families really well and to learn about the school’s many strengths. It takes time to build relationships and trust, but this is an essential foundation for a new school leader. As we move forward, I want to see Wheatfield grow and develop into an outstanding school for its children and community. I have had very positive start at the school and am really looking forward to the months and years ahead.”

The new headteacher at Holy Trinity Primary School is Janet Dickson. She is currently getting to know staff and students, “learning all the new names” and says she feels very welcomed by how friendly they have all been.

Ms Dickson lives in the Warmley area, having grown up in Keynsham. She says she loves Bristol and has three grown-up children who all went to schools around the local area. Her interests include a love of nature, and being a member of The National Trust, she enjoys visiting different places. In terms of her background in education, Mr Dickson has taught in every year group of primary school and has been headteacher in two other primary schools before joining Holy Trinity.

Janet Dickson has high hopes for her primary school, having been impressed by the children’s behaviour and eagerness to learn. She says: “I have high expectations for all children and believe that every child deserves the chance to shine. At Holy Trinity, along with a fantastic staff team, we will endeavour to give children a varied, stimulating education and instil in them self-confidence and a love of learning.” She also reminds readers that Holy Trinity has Open Days on 2nd and 8th November.

Stoke Lodge Primary has also welcomed a new head: Nicola Antwis. Ms Antwis says she has felt very welcomed with lots of smiles and handshakes in her first week. She is currently very busy with school events, but she did give us a few details about her background and interests. Ms Antwis is originally from Edinburgh, Scotland but has lived in the Bristol area for over 11 years. She is married to a fellow headteacher, at a school in Porthcawl, Wales. She also has three teenage children who keep her busy with sports events and concerts. She says she is “very impressed by the many talents young people have”.

We wish all three of the new headteachers all the best at their new schools!

Photos (l-r): Philip Winterburn (Wheatfield), Nicola Antwis (Stoke Lodge) and Janet Dickson (Holy Trinity).

This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 20). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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