28 February 2022

'I love the children'

Louise Anderson is the new Head Teacher of Marykirk Primary School.

She succeeds Isla Mann who was a dual Head Teacher at Marykirk and St Cyrus Schools. Mrs Mann is currently Head Teacher of St Cyrus School.

Speaking about her reaction to finding out her application was successful, Mrs Anderson said: “I was very excited. I spent the rest of the night pinching myself because I couldn’t quite believe it. Obviously, I was delighted because it was something I have been working towards for a while.”

Learning for sustainability, outdoor learning and learning digital skills are the items currently top of Mrs Anderson’s priority list. Longer-term, following the Covid-19 pandemic, she would like to build relationships with families and make the school the centre of the community again.

Reflecting on what attracted her to the Head Teacher vacancy, Mrs Anderson said: “I was Acting Depute at Laurencekirk Primary School and I’ve worked at Mearns Academy as well, so I’ve been part of the cluster for about 11 years. It just seemed like the next step in my career. It’s great to be still involved in the same cluster working with the colleagues I have been working with before.”

Mrs Anderson began her teaching career as a secondary school music teacher at a secondary school in Cumbernauld. Her husband got a job in Aberdeenshire, so after taking time to start a family, she initially taught at Mearns Academy as a supply teacher and then transferred to the Additional Support Needs (ASN) department. As part of this role, she provided ASN support to primary schools which prompted her to want to know how to better support younger children, so she retrained as a primary school teacher.

She then taught at Laurencekirk Primary School for five years and became Acting Principal Teacher and then became Acting Depute before taking up the Head Teacher post at Marykirk School.

When considering what attracts her to teaching, Mrs Anderson said: “I love the children. What we learn from the kids on a daily basis is just fascinating. How they play with each other, and how they interact with other people, and how much they want to learn. They are so kind. Being in school is a lovely place to be each day because it is usually a happy environment.”

Recently, Marykirk School launched a Kindness Cube which allows the children to spot examples of kindness such as saying good morning to teachers and staff each day or playing with each other outside. “These are the skills we want the children to have. We can teach them the knowledge but if you don’t have these baseline skills: to look after each other, to be able to communicate with each other – then you will struggle,” Mrs Anderson said.

She wanted to thank all the staff who given her support and encouragement over the years. Mrs Anderson gave a special mention to Jill Smith, Head Teacher of Laurencekirk Primary School, who has pushed her to be where she is today. “She is a great leader herself so it will be great to follow in her footsteps moving on here,” she said.

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “Congratulations! Welcome to Marykirk School Louise Anderson! She has a wealth of knowledge and experience of both primary and secondary teaching which will be very useful for her current role. She also has a great knowledge of the cluster which will stand her in good stead too. I am delighted to see she is already introducing a caring ethos and wants the school to be in the heart of the community it serves.”

Committee vice chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “I am really pleased to hear about the Kindness Cube and the positive impact it is already having. I am looking forward to seeing other initiatives of this type be rolled out under Louise Anderson’s leadership. Well done Louise on becoming Head Teacher of Marykirk Primary School! I am sure you’ll be a great success.”