Richard Thomason is the Head of Secondary at Avenor starting from this academic year. We are pleased to have him with us in a dual role, also serving as a teacher of History at the Secondary School. After two months of active engagement within the school, we invited him to participate in an interview where he could share his experience at Avenor, what pleasantly surprised him, what areas we still need to improve, insights about the future Class of 2024, and the British values he found in the school.
During your two-month experience as the Head of Secondary and Teacher of History at Avenor, have you come across any aspects of the school or its students that have pleasantly surprised you? If so, could you share some of these experiences with us?
R: These have been two intense months during which I got to know the school, the students, the teachers, and gradually, the parents as well. I am convinced that there are still many things I will discover, but what has impressed me the most up to this moment are the opportunities offered to our students, especially the off site learning opportunities and the trips.
In addition, the expertise and support our students get with university applications to different corners of the globe is a very important aspect and I am pleasantly impressed by the quality of the Career Counselling Programme.
I am also pleasantly surprised daily by the thinking skills and creativity of Avenor students and I should also mention the dynamic lessons that allow the students to showcase these skills.
Last, but not least, the tracking of student progress is also the most thorough I have seen and any rise or dip in student performance is noticed straight away.
Avenor is dedicated to uphold British traditions and values. Have you observed these values manifesting in everyday school life or in different projects at Avenor?
R: I certainly have, I saw these through the recent student elections and the work of the Students` Council. We hope to further empower the Students` Council and have students influencing change more and more at Avenor.
I have also seen a commitment to British values through the various debating competitions and not least the Armistice day activities and Remembrance assembly and service the students were involved with.
With our primary goal of preparing students for admission to the world’s top universities, what is your assessment of the potential of our Class of 2024?
R: Unfortunately I do not teach the grade 12 students and it is my loss as I don’t have the chance to know them as well as I would like to. They are mature, driven, reflective and courteous. I am excited at the opportunities that await them and I have seen all their university plans and aspirations and have no doubt they will be successful.
I am confident they will surpass the 2023 results but the bar is high. They have to do the hard work to support the obvious potential. We are all behind them and wishing them every success for 2024.
Juggling dual roles as both a Teacher of History and the Head of Secondary, how does your perspective of Avenor differ between these two positions?
R: As Head of Secondary, I am extremely proud of all the secondary school students. Behaviour is very good in lessons and the attendance of students is superb. However, we can improve and should strive to be better. I think in terms of punctuality and uniform we can be better. Middle school students need to ensure they do not run inside at break time! High school students need to be better with wearing the correct uniform – the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement!
I really enjoy my History lessons and I am super proud of my grade 9 class who have started IGCSE to a really high standard and are heading towards excellence. My middle school lessons are vibrant and lots of fun. The students here have a passion for History and want to succeed and attain well. In fact, some of my Middle School students are super passionate about History and ask for extra homework.
I am proud to be a member of the Humanities team under the excellent leadership of Prof. Dr.. Căpățînă. In History throughout Secondary school we are very skills focused and I have outstanding colleagues in Mrs. Socoliu and Ms. Dăscălescu to share ideas and inspiration.