- Teacher Tuesday
Name: Lisa Seward
Position: York Houseparent
Welcome to Stonar! What attracted you to join the School?
Thank you! Stonar encapsulates everything I believe to be important in our lives. Outdoor space, fresh air, beautiful surroundings, a wonderful community, pupils and staff who are all so passionate to bring out the best of themselves and those around them. The kindness of community radiates throughout the school and before I joined, I had only ever heard wonderful things about the school which fuelled my desire to become a member of Stonar community.
Can you please tell us a little about your background?
I have always lived and worked in and around Bath and however far I travel, my heart is always brings me back to the area. I was a gymnast for many years and studied Sports and Exercise Science at university in Chichester. Chichester I would describe to be a miniature version of Bath but a little closer to the coast.
What role does a Houseparent play for a boarding pupil?
Being a Houseparent is by far the most rewarding role I have ever had the privilege in taking responsibility for. I am lucky enough to enjoy facilitating young people on their journey in not just education but in life. The role of a Houseparent extends far beyond supporting a student academically whilst living at school. The development of life skills such as managing finances, time, how to cook, preparing for a driving test, knowing how to navigate relationships and knowing how to plan good House social events are just a few examples of the evening chats we have on many occasions. Of course simply being there to talk to through all of the highs and lows, twists and turns and uncertainties that life can bring is one of the most important roles a Houseparent can play. This coupled with making sure hot chocolate, comfort food and a good film is always at hand make boarding at Stonar the place to be.
How do you established trusting and respectful relationships with boarding pupils?
These relationships build over time. We are all role models for each other, we lead by example and aim to be our best selves showing compassion and care. Allowing each young person freedom and ownership to take responsibility and make mistakes, builds the strength and resilience that young people need before moving forwards beyond life in a school environment.
Boarding in the Sixth Form is excellent preparation for university and adult life, how do you help prepare our boarders for life beyond school?
Life brings with it so many challenges. The boarding community for Sixth Form is a perfect stepping stone for life beyond school. Cooking, hosting and entertaining other day students and boarders along with taking charge of their own laundry. Not always providing solutions but encouraging students to find the answers themselves, from returning post to financial planning along with all of the other life skills that are needed on a daily basis. Often the feeling of uncertainty is coupled with the feeling of unease. I try and teach those young people under my care to accept that we do not always know what is right or wrong but we are on a journey and Stonar can open doors in so many directions. The saying we learn from our mistakes as well as our success is often very true, as long as we take time to for reflection; which is something I encourage every young person to take time to do.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I love being outdoors. Whether it be in the garden, riding my road bike, walking my dog or spending time with my family; if I am outside I am happy!