Dan Crossman is the new Headteacher at Marlborough St Mary’s CE Primary School. He joined the school in January following the retirement of Anne Schwodler. Dan was previously Headteacher at Collingbourne Primary School.
Dan told Marlborough.news, “I’ve had a really warm welcome from staff and parents. St Mary’s is fantastic school with brilliant facilities and a brilliant staff team. My hope is we can finally put Covid behind us so that we can hold, enjoy and celebrate all the community events we have planned.”
Dan grew up in Wiltshire and attended St John’s for the Sixth-Form. After a degree in Education Studies with English at the University of York, he initially went to work for a computer design company which helped consolidate his plans to become a teacher. “I wanted to do something that made a difference to people’s lives.”
Most of Dan’s teaching experience has been in Wiltshire and before Collingbourne Ducis he was Deputy Head in schools in Devizes and Trowbridge. He is a keen sportsman and has played for Marlborough Hockey Club for many years. He will be cheering on the St Mary’s Hockey Team who will be participating in the county finals.
Woody, the school dog, a Red Fox Labrador, has moved with Dan from Collingbourne to St Mary’s. “The children and parents love him,” commented Dan. “Any child who’s upset or having a tough time can take him for a walk. He greets and meets the children with me at the gate every day and regularly visits classes. The children have been trained how to approach him and stroke him.”
Dan’s plans for the future at St Mary’s include a big emphasis on sport which will involve re-designing the lay-out of the school field to maximise the use of it all. Communication with parents is also a focus. There is already a school blog and soon parents will be able to access a daily bulletin on their phones.
This week St Mary’s is busy with Red Nose Day. “We are dressing to express ourselves, holding a joke-athon competition, a table cricket tournament and an indoor cricket tournament. Everything we do is inclusive,” explained Dan.
The school has also collected for Ukraine and sent items to Tesco’s who have linked with a Polish charity in Swindon.
St Mary’s plans for the next few months include a Sports Tournament, gym festivals, participating in a school and Devizes Eisteddfod, tree planting and a tea party for the Queen’s Jubilee as well as a Braeside Residential for Year 4. “Many of our community events are organised by our wonderful PTA team.”
Dan believes, “St Mary’s places kindness and wellbeing at the heart of everything we do. We believe that together we can achieve great things and we make no secret of our ambition to be one of the very best primary schools in the country! This is a place where we expect everyone to be happy and we expect everyone to succeed. Oh, and we expect it to be fun too!”