School should be built on 'love and respect'
The new headteacher of a Bury St Edmunds school has spoken of his ambitions for the town centre primary.
Andrew Hammond, who has 20 years’ education experience, has taken the leading role at Guildhall Feoffment Community Primary School.
The 46-year-old said: “I’m excited about the opportunity and I’m looking forward to being here for a good few years. I want to be forward thinking in a traditional setting, Guildhall is a lovely building, when I looked around, it had such a happy atmosphere.”
Mr Hammond predominantly worked for independent schools at the start of his education career and his last role was director of research, innovation and outreach at Holmewood House School, in Kent.
Before that he was headteacher at Glemsford Community Primary School, which was placed in special measures before he started and he helped lead it to a ‘good’ Ofsted rating.
He said: “The main focus there was raising aspirations and re-building trust and confidence in the school.”
On his goals for Guildhall Feoffment, he said: “Above all, the most important thing of any good school is to be built on love and respect. This school has it. Kids are very happy here.”
Mr Hammond, who is in a blues band, also wants to make music a big part of the school.
He said: “Another reason why I like it here is because of the choir group and guitar group. Playing music around the school is something I’d like to do, this is already a vibrant school.”
Mr Hammond says he is in touch with local businesses and companies in order to try and expand children’s outdoor learning.
He said: “Every decision we make and everything a child hears at school is for the benefit of the children and their families.
“The staff’s well-being has become more and more important to me – I’ve got to know staff in the past really well
and learnt what motivates them.”
As well as being a teacher, Mr Hammond, has also written more than 30 educational non-fiction books and a fictional children’s series called CRYPT.
He regularly holds conferences on creativity after completing a masters degree in Creativity in Education from King’s College, London.
He said: “Creativity and character development in the curriculum, are all the important things in schools - above SATs.”
Mr Hammond, who is the younger brother of former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond, lives in Wetherden with his wife, Andie, and four children, Henry, 18, Nell, 15, Edward, 13 and Kate, 10.
Born in Solihull in the West Midlands, he moved to Yorkshire before going to university in Bath. He then moved to Suffolk which, he says, he loves.
He said: “I love the history, I’m really interested about local history, and this school has beautiful buildings.”
Mr Hammond has also appointed a new deputy headteacher to the school, Kirsten Steele, who previously worked at Abbots Green Primary, in Bury.