Laura Stack – Head of Maths

As we reach the end of the summer term, we are sad to be saying “Good Bye” to some of our wonderful staff and one of them is Mrs Stack, Head of Maths.

We just couldn’t let Mrs Stack go without asking her about her time at Downsend and what are her plans for the future. Thank you so much for being an amazing and inspirational teacher, we wish you all the best and we will miss you.

How do you remember your first day at Downsend?  

I remember feeling nervous about starting my new job. Everyone was so helpful and kind. I was struggling with my new laptop and Mr Silva saw my first day panic and helped me. Also, I had never backed or decorated a noticeboard before.. and I remember Katie Howard, Ali Grimmer and Anna Mercer, realising that not only was this new to me.. it probably was never going to be a strength of mine…! And kindly helping me. I was so grateful, but that is truly the spirit of Downsend and it’s that ethos which makes the place so special.

I remember meeting the Maths Team, Mrs Mercer, Mrs Grimmer, Mrs Temlett and Mrs Brunt and being made to feel so welcome.

How much Downsend has changed since then?  

It has changed so much! Physically, the school has changed greatly, I remember Mr Thorpe taking some of the keyworker children on a tour of the new building, complete with hi-vis vests and mini hard hats. They were all so excited. The classroom has changed and the way in which we work has changed. All the children have devices now, we are all au fait with Teams and One Note, thanks to Mr Silva!! And we work on devices together with great effect. The lovely nurturing environment is very much there yet Downsend has very much become a secondary school and my gosh the children are so much taller!

What are your favourite memories from your time at Downsend? 

  • Almost choking at lunch when Dr Kirby made me laugh so much I inhaled my glass of water!
  • Mrs Mercer introducing me to The Pirate Game (a game of Maths, strategy and luck) and playing it at the end of Term with my classes, quizzes on Fridays in lockdown.
  • Seeing how many of the children attended the Maths lunchtime club!! When the lunchtime duty staff were looking for the Year 9’s and I hadn’t thought to say as I didn’t realise nearly the whole year group would attend. It made me feel so happy.
  • I always heard about the children’s pets and lockdown was made so much better when I got to meet them. I remember we started one lesson with our pets on our laps. Cameras were ON that day 😉
  • Mr Newland who joined us in Online Maths lessons and was a great support as we rolled our Break Out Rooms.

What will you miss most about Downsend? 

The Downsend Community is a very special one and I will dearly miss it. We have all been through so much together. Sadly, many of us have experienced bereavement in our families during this time. My father was diagnosed with cancer in December and sadly passed away just a few months later. The support I received from you all during that time will stay with me forever, thank you. I will miss my amazing colleagues, the wonderful, inquisitive and eager to learn children whom I have been privileged to teach and the parents who have always been so supportive.

Any exciting plans for the months and years ahead? 

YES! I have a summer holiday ahead with my children. We are heading to Ireland with our puppy, Luna. I eagerly signed the boys up for two hour daily surf lessons in Ireland thinking that would definitely tire them out .. but they won’t take my youngest without an adult… so I will also be learning to surf (everyday… ) I think this is what is called an own goal?

A fun fact we might not know about you and you can’t leave without telling us?! 

I asked my classes this as I wasn’t sure what to put:  Once, in a Year 8 lesson in lockdown, my car was stolen from the driveway. The tracking system had been pulled out but I found out that it could be also tracked through the SIM card. So during lunchtime, I popped out and took it back. I made it back time for my Year 9 lesson.

I will miss Downsend so very much.

Thank you everyone xxxx

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