Zoe Williams Year 6 Form Tutor Head Of English

Zoe Williams

Year 6 Form Tutor, Head of English

Qualifications: Final Year PhD in English and Creative Writing at Brunel University, M.A English Creative Writing (Distinction), P.G.C.E, B.A Single Hons English (First Class), Dip. Humanistic Counselling, Dip. RSA Counselling Skills. 

What did you do before you came to teach at Oakwood? 

Many, many different adventures! Amongst other things, I was the owner of a vintage clothing business that traded at festivals through the summer months, a black belt karate instructor, a copy editor of various academic and non-fiction texts, a mother to two boys, and a practising counsellor.

What qualities are important for a teacher?

Having a passion for your subject, an ability to convey that excitement to pupils and bringing the subject to life in a tangible and relatable way.

What are the best ways to encourage and motivate children?

Providing stepping stones in knowledge, skill and understanding; giving precise and targeted praise and constructive criticism to enable progression along those stepping stones; and by making learning relevant, interesting and fun.

As well as teaching, what other activities and roles do you get involved in at the school?

I have oversight of English within the school, liaising with staff on policy, strategy, intervention and practice.  Additionally, I am a Year Six form tutor. 

What do you think makes Oakwood special?

Oakwood is a close and caring community with exceptional staff, a thorough knowledge of our pupils and exceptionally high expectations for them.  

Tell us about someone or something that inspires you?

Too many people to name, and too many reasons why they are inspirational.  However, seeing someone perform at their peak, no matter what the discipline, often brings tears to my eyes. 

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at school?

Squandering hours on reading, writing the critical commentary for my doctorate, being with family, friends and of course Notorious Nell, the wonder dog.

What is one of your favourite Oakwood memories?

An abiding memory is when a member of staff arrived in full regalia as Fantastic Mr Fox, for Roald Dahl Celebration day, a full week early. Warms my heart each time I think of it. 

What is your favourite time of year at Oakwood?

The summer term is a golden one defined with both joy and melancholy at seeing our Year Six become ready to fledge the Oakwood nest.