|MA in Primary Education
|Primary Headteacher (retired) and former Associate Lecturer
|Large business (250+ employees)
More about John
Like this profile?
Add this profile to your favourites so you can return to it later from your account.
A day in the life of a Primary Headteacher (retired) and former Associate Lecturer in the United Kingdom
Research the school you are applying to and tailor your application.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
Background: I trained as a teacher at Ripon College (1969-72), which became York St John University, and later gained an MA in Primary Education (1994-96) at the University of York.
My teaching experience has been in primary and secondary schools and in April 2009 I retired after twenty-one years as a primary headteacher. Following my early retirement from teaching, I taught part-time with the Open University, tutoring EA300 (Children's Literature) and, from 2016, E103 (Learning and teaching in the primary years). As a Research Associate with the National College for School Leadership, and with their sponsorship, I completed my Doctorate in Education. I retired in 2020 after ten years with the Open University.
Special areas of interest:
* Rural primary schools and communities
* Children's literature
* Multi-cultural exchange projects
* Developing pottery within the curriculum
* Outdoor Education
Doctoral thesis 'Directed routes or chosen pathways?' takes a view of teachers' CPD and teachers as professionals. I was a NCSL Research Associate and my Research Associate's report, 'Teachers' Continuing Professional Development within two clusters of small primary schools', was published in October 2011.
What do you do?
I was head of a village primary school (1988-2009) with a substantial teaching role alongside the responsibilities of headship. The role became more challenging as the school grew and we eventually moved into a new building (2005) and pupil and staff numbers increased. Now that I am fully retired I enjoy the things I dreamed about when I was a teaching head including cycling, sailing and volunteering with the National Trust.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
I taught in a variety of schools before completing my MA in Primary Education. The course allowed me to draw from my personal experience and take an informed view of education. I was fortunate to receive funding for a doctorate which developed my professional knowledge and understanding.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
Teaching and headship have changed drastically from the days of my initial teacher training (1969-72) due to the introduction of testing, inspections and increased accountability, however I have always found teaching to be a very rewarding experience.
Describe your most memorable day at work
This was probably the day we moved to our new school building with all its facilities, including a large hall, floodlit sports area, well equipped classrooms and playing field.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
As a student teacher at Ripon College I was involved in a wide range of extracurricular activities including kayaking, folk singing, the college chapel committee and running a youth club.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
* Research the school you are applying to and tailor your application.
* Prepare a clear, strong professional CV that isn't too long.
* Apply widely and be prepared to move to another part of the country.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
I am happy to offer support in the following areas:
* Teaching and support roles in the primary school
* Job applications and interviews for primary posts
* CPD and career development opportunities
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
For additional information please see my Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-ridley-61845323/
If you like the look of John’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send John a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask John to be your mentor.