Staff Spotlight ~ Lucy Carswell, Head of Upper School

Posted: 20th March 2024

Staff spotlights give you the opportunity to get to know our staff. Much to the surprise of our pupils, teachers really do exist beyond the school gates! Further, they tend to have many exciting hobbies and interests, which are often used to further inspire and promote their teaching opportunities in the classroom. Miss Carswell is one such teacher…

Miss Carswell joined Sherborne House School in September 2022 as a Year 4 form tutor, as well as a teacher of languages across the school. Since then, she has become our Head of Upper School, overseeing Year 4 to Year 6. 

Why did you become a teacher? 

I wanted to do a job where I felt like I was doing something rewarding and making a difference. Prior to becoming a teacher, I worked in television and in marketing and project management. I remained in project management for seven years and, although I did this for some time, I didn’t feel a sense of fulfilment from the role. I knew that I wanted to feel fulfilled by a new career, which is where my decision to teach came in.

I decided to choose Teach First as my route to teaching; I personally liked the values of Teach First and the fact that it would lead to a career that would be rewarding. It felt like a strong movement and something that I felt proud to be a part of. 

Do you have any particular interests or skills inside and outside of school?

Under the leadership of Mrs Cripps, Sherborne House is particularly good at working with teacher’s skills and interests.

I read history and French for my undergraduate degree at University. My keen interest in history has strengthened my passion for teaching the subject and, this year, I have taken on the role as Head of Humanities so I am looking forward to overseeing the future development and direction of the subject. 

I found maths tricky at school so I think that this shows in my supportive teaching methods and pedagogy. I feel particularly empathetic towards pupils who struggle with areas of maths so will always offer different strategies to solve a problem. I love languages and I teach French and Spanish to several year groups. Previously, I lived and worked in a school in France and, when working for ITV, I lived there again for a period of 6 months. At these times, I considered myself fluent in the language but I would now say that I have strong conversational skills in French and Spanish, which has been brilliant for language teaching.

In my spare time, I love attending festivals, with a particular love for Glastonbury – I have attended this festival countless times!  I enjoy running and keeping active. Also, I love to travel; last summer, I visited Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali and Malaysia. 

What has your teaching experience been like to date?

Varied. The three schools I have worked in have been very different with their own individual strengths. I have been lucky enough to teach in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, gaining experience of working with all age groups across the primary range.

When completing my teacher training with Teach First, my placement school was in Bournemouth, which was a state primary. I then taught at a primary school in St Mary’s, Southampton, where I completed my NQT year. My experience here was in Year 1 and I found that the children here were so eager to learn and the families were incredibly appreciative of the support on offer. I felt very lucky to be a part of this school. Despite serving a deprived area, the school was a very happy place to be. 

I then relocated to Andover, where I worked in a large primary school, which was split across two campuses. I was Head of Year 3, which was made up of 4 classes. It was great to be part of a larger community. 

As a child, I attended a private school and the sense of nostalgia was becoming ever more evident whilst working in a state school setting. The idea of moving to a private school to teach became increasingly appealing so, when I saw the opportunity for teaching at Sherborne House, I applied. I am now in my second year here and, this year, I have taken on the role of Head of Upper School, alongside my form tutor role in Year 4. 

What would you consider to be best practice in a school/ in teaching? 

Putting the children first in all decisions; being prepared to be adaptive and to change your plan; ensuring that all pupils in my class are ready to learn – a strong pastoral system in any school is central to academic success. 

If you could summarise your experience of working with children at Sherborne House, what would you say?

Fulfilling – in this role, you make a difference every day. Even on the days when you just show up, you remain that constant for the children. 

Impressive – I am often surprised at Sherborne House by how quickly the pupils pick things up. I am also impressed by the level of engagement. There is a strong ethos around learning and there is not a stigma around doing ‘extra’. For example, there are children who would choose to write poems for fun, which is not something that I have experienced in my previous settings.

Happy – the children here at Sherborne House are generally happy all of the time – this rubs off on others. Children here simply enjoy being children. 

To find out more about what Sherborne House has to offer, visit us or book a tour. You can speak to our registrar, Estelle Szasz. 


Phone: 02380 252440





Categories: School Blog