Steph Swift, head teacher at Nicol Mere Primary School, Ashton in Makerfield, Wigan. Picture by Paul Heyes.

A former Edge Hill student is leading by example and using her Headteacher role to develop passionate educators at her primary school in Wigan.

Hot on the heels of achieving her headteacher status last year, Steph Swift, who graduated from Edge Hill in 2000, channelled her energy into supporting teachers as they start their careers and building a strong team of staff who inspire young minds at Nicol Mere Primary School in Ashton-in-Makerfield.

‘I enjoy all aspects of my work, but I get huge satisfaction from helping new teachers looking for direction at the start of their careers,’ said Steph, who lives in St Helens and currently employs a workforce made up of over 75% Edge Hill trained teaching staff.

Steph continued: “The last 18 months has presented many academic, social, financial and mental health challenges for my staff and students alike – and whilst providing the best learning experience for children has been my number one priority, it has been great to explore new, innovative ways to support and develop teachers of the future.”

Steph Swift, head teacher at Nicol Mere Primary School, Ashton in Makerfield, Wigan. Picture by Paul Heyes.

Whilst restrictions put a halt on in-person work experience opportunities, Steph provided virtual workshop opportunities for teachers in training at Edge Hill to allow them to get valuable experience planning lessons and interacting with the children – a mutually beneficial idea which led Steph to recruit two Edge Hill students taking part as newly qualified teachers. 

Prior to heading up the teaching team at her Nicol Mere ‘family,’ Steph spent four years as Deputy Headteacher at the same school and a further 16 years in teaching roles at a school in Leigh.

When asked about how Edge Hill supported her in her chosen career, Steph said: “I could put everything I learned from lectures and placements into practice quickly. The course and lecturers were a really high standard and gave me a solid grounding which helped me to perform well in interviews and of course, in the classroom. And because of my own history with Edge Hill and the good quality teachers, the University continues to produce, it’s been great to give something back to the institution by working in partnership to offer support to new and upcoming teaching talent.”

Offering her top tip to anyone looking to get into teaching, Steph said: “Be open to learning – it never stops. Much like other jobs, the world of teaching is constantly evolving and there’s always new skills and knowledge to learn, so make sure you grab hold of every opportunity to develop yourself into the best education professional you can be.”

Edge Hill University offers a wide range of Education and Teaching courses. Visit our dedicated pages for further information.