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15 June 2022

Teacher Tuesday: Laura

Teacher Tuesday: Laura

Numerous students see her as their “rock” or point of reference at the College, she is always available and happy to help, and she is not only the Vice Principal, but also a Business and Economics Teacher, the School’s SENCo, and Careers Advisor and UCAS Coordinator. Meet Laura Bellerby, an extremely caring and loving person who loves her job, and is a passionate advocate of always supporting every student in the best possible way. 

Laura joined the Ealing Independent College as Vice Principal in September 2020, thus she is nearly concluding her second year here. What first attracted her to the position was the fact that the role available at EIC seemed to be tailored-made to her needs and her career progression, as she was keen to take on the pastoral leadership of a school - “especially a very inclusive one”. 

When she first visited the College for the interview, she thought that:

“The students and staff were fantastic, and I was also very inspired by Allan's vision for the college. I am still here because I genuinely enjoy every day, and I still feel that I have both a lot to give and a lot to learn.”

Indeed, Laura’s role definitely provides opportunities for continuous personal and professional development, thanks to her being so close to vulnerable and neurodiverse students.

Laura unquestionably enjoys working in such a diverse and inclusive environment.

Another reason why Laura believes that EIC is different from any other school she has previously worked at is because it offers an environment with very few rules. Laura believes that EIC is the “living proof” that a school can have students with excellent behaviour and motivation without having a uniform or having the students address us as "Sir" and "Miss". Due to this, Ealing Independent College provides a welcoming haven for students who are neuro-diverse and, as someone who has a strong interest in this area, Laura finds this very rewarding. 

"Having a minimum number of rules means that we can focus our energies on more important areas like pastoral wellbeing and encouraging achievement, rather than discussing tie length."

As long as students work hard and behave in a respectful manner towards peers and staff, they are free to be themselves.

Although having fewer rules is an incredibly fascinating aspect of our College, without a doubt, the aspect of her job that Laura enjoys the most is working with the students. Many of our students have had a difficult educational journey before arriving here, whilst others come from very modest financial backgrounds and have their fees paid by the local council due to them having an EHCP. This means that our institution can offer the advantages of an independent education (for example small class sizes) to those who aren't suited to a mainstream school but who could otherwise never have afforded to come. It is so rewarding to be able to help these students to flourish by developing friendships, attending regularly, and achieving academically.

Another rewarding aspect of what Laura does concerns her input in the extra curricular activities. She runs the Student Council, and she is always amazed to see the students taking the lead on projects and initiatives.

She also has the role of supporting the students through their UCAS applications; this involves running a weekly session for those who are preparing to apply for Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine or Pharmacy. During her classes, she discusses current topics with her students in those fields and holds mock interviews, which allows her to see how the students’ knowledge and confidence progresses. This year, our students have achieved Medicine Offers from St George's and Queen Mary, Dentistry from Queen Mary, and Pharmacy from UCL, Birmingham, and Nottingham, which made Laura incredibly proud. 

Outside of school, Laura is an avid reader with very diverse tastes. She also enjoys vegan cooking, and has a whole bookcase filled with international cookbooks, as she feels that food is one of the best ways to get to know another culture. She also spends time meeting up with friends, walking and eating out, and  has two pet birds, a sulphur crested cockatoo and a cockatiel.

A fun fact about her: Having parrots is comparable to having a dog in terms of the amount of interaction they need - they are certainly not cage ornaments. Therefore, a lot of people who visit Laura at her house are surprised to find that her birds are free range in her flat when she is home. Laura says: they are very friendly and inquisitive, and I'm often to be found cooking dinner with a bird on my shoulder!

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