13 October 2023
Head of Netball Miss Lauren Hindley, who started in September, is a new face for some but a very familiar one for others, as she is a Woldingham alumna and was Sport Ribbon 2018-2019.
With almost half a term under her belt, we asked Miss Hindley how she’s finding life ‘on the other side’ at Woldingham, her reasons for returning, and to share some advice for students thinking of following in her footsteps to study sport after leaving the valley.
What did you love when you were at Woldingham?
My teachers were a big highlight. Each and every one demonstrated support, kindness and dedication to me, showing their interest in me as a whole person, not just me studying their subject.
My passion for PE and sport was driven through the PE Department, where I was pushed academically as well as practically. The support I was provided with is one of the reasons I wanted to become a teacher and return to Woldingham to give back to such an inclusive community.
Why did you want to become a PE teacher?
I feel that teaching is a privilege - you are part of students’ journey and see their development throughout school. I believe PE is a chance for students to take a break from the classroom and develop their physical, social and psychomotor abilities, providing them with the knowledge to live a healthy and active lifestyle. My aim is to make PE lessons fun, engaging and challenging, for students to achieve excellence.
One of the best parts of teaching is building relationships with the students. I find it really rewarding when they learn a new skill or understand a topic, especially students who have SEND needs. Understanding students’ different needs can be easier in a classroom than in a practical setting. But, as a teacher, if you work hard to understand students’ needs in a practical setting, which can take time, this often leads to long-lasting relationships. Developing these good student-teacher relationships creates an environment where all students can fully participate in lessons.
What made you want to come back to Woldingham?
I am passionate about female sport and want young women to maximise their potential through enjoyment and inclusion, whilst ensuring a nurturing, stimulating and courageous approach. Students also need the right environment, which I knew that Woldingham has. I believe the best way for students to learn is when they are engaged and motivated, whether they are an elite performer or simply turn up because PE is on their timetable.
What are you most looking forward to in your role as Head of Netball?
I am, of course, most looking forward to seeing students playing netball across the entire school, as well as seeing them finding enjoyment in physical activity.
What advice would you have for students thinking about studying sport at university?
Do it! Some people believe that the sporting industry is an easy option, which it’s not. Sport is now a very popular career choice. Studying sport at university enables you to go into a wide variety of careers such as teaching, sports coaching, fitness instructing, physiotherapy, media and business roles. Sports courses help you develop time management, organisational and motivation skills, all of which are highly transferrable.
Even if you don’t want to study sport, playing sport at university is a big opportunity. Being part of a sports team means you will socialise with people from other courses who share an interest with you. It also provides you with a great support network whilst you’re away from home.