23 November 2023

Sophie's Blog: Talking to students

Sophies Blog: Talking to students

Currently in her third year at the College, Sophie moved to Ealing from a large state school. Specialising in Sociology, Sophie has also taught History and Religious Studies at the EIC, and is very much enjoying her time here. A hard-working and dedicated member of staff, Sophie sees the College as a place where she can grow as a teacher, and enhance her capabilities as a practitioner, both academically and pastorally. 


Briefly Introduce yourself: 

“My name is Sophie Waring and I teach Sociology, History and Religious Studies. I moved to London two years ago and in my free time I enjoy going to the gym, watching shows at the Theatre and most of all trying out new cafes to see where I can find the best slice of cake and rooftop restaurants where I can get an amazing view of the city!”


How does working here differ from previous school/ colleges you have worked at? 

“It's much smaller! But as I said before, it focuses much more on students' individual needs and doing our best to meet them.”


In Sophie's last blog, she describes her previous school as an educational environment with some positive aspects but several challenges; she admits that while she enjoyed the structured group discussions and the room for group work in big classes, it was almost impossible for her to get to know the students personally, since GCSE classes had up to 30 students. - Sophie was teaching 600 students at the same time. Sophie adds that most teachers did not even know the other staff members. Because of the numbers, one would probably not cross paths with them all. As a result of the small classes and individualised support offered by Ealing Independent College, teachers can build strong relationships with each student. 

Sophie is confident that every teacher would "go the extra mile" to meet the needs of their students. In addition, she feels strongly connected to the EIC community, where everyone is working together to make the College successful. She feels a strong sense of security knowing that teachers and staff are invested in the student's success. Sophie also knows she can count on her colleagues for support when needed.

You can find Sophie’s Teacher Tuesday here. 


What do you enjoy most about your job?

“I love teaching and the thing I enjoy the most is the interesting discussions with students I have in the different subjects I teach, such as whether the idea of meritocracy (where everyone has the same chance of success) is a myth in Sociology, who the best husband would have been for Elizabeth I in History and whether all animal testing should be banned and the religious views on this in Religious Studies. Students never fail to impress me with their ideas on these issues and sometimes come up with excellent perspectives I hadn’t even thought of.”


Religious studies is a new subject being offered this academic year, during Sophie’s staff appraisal last year she mentioned introducing the subject as an extra way for her to contribute to the college, and sure enough the idea came into action in September. She believes it is an important subject for students to learn, as it helps to broaden their worldview and increase their critical thinking skills. As previously mentioned Sophie enjoys discussions with the students and RS is a great subject for that. 

In her previous schools it is usually the head of department who chooses the units but at EIC she enjoys selecting the topics herself. She often alternates the course content in Sociology to keep class discussions fresh with each academic year. 


What impact have you made that you are most proud of? 

“Whenever I help a student to believe in themself to see they have the potential to do well in my subjects and as a result they change their attitude and approach and want to do well and as a result become more interested in the subject itself because they have the knowledge to question ideas and join in with class discussions.”


How would you like to impact our college community more? 

“By helping students to achieve the best they can and build their confidence as an individual. I want to help all students to realise that if they try their best then whatever grade they get is a massive achievement that they should be proud of and they shouldn’t compare it to others because everyone has different strengths.”


In your opinion, what is the best thing about the college?

“The best thing about the college that sets it apart from others is that all students are treated as individuals. A great amount of effort goes into meeting students' individual needs and making sure they feel comfortable, confident and happy in the college environment as well as the time spent encouraging them and adapting lessons and teaching methods to help them achieve the best they possibly can.”


Can you share an interesting fact about one of the subjects you teach?

“There’s too many interesting facts in sociology, history and RS to pick one!!”


Sophie studied sociology at university. She often thought about studying History, but Sociology took the winning spot in the end. When Sophie embarked on her teacher training, she believed that pursuing a career in History would open up a wider range of job opportunities for her. This decision was not made lightly, as she carefully considered her interests and aspirations. However, Sophie’s first teaching role was A-Level Sociology and KS3 RS so when she came to Ealing Independent College, the position was for a History and A-Level Sociology teacher. This was so fitting for her. As Sophie had taught GCSE Sociology previously, it was easy for her to add this to the curriculum as well when she joined in 2021.


Finally - Tell me a fun fact about yourself!! 

“I tried surfing when I was in Australia and absolutely loved it - so I would love to go on a surfing holiday one day!”


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