Head of Sixth Form Boarding



Emma Brailey

I’m Emma Brailey, the Head of Sixth Form Boarding at Prior’s Field. I took on this role in January 2017, having been the Assistant Housemistress of the Junior Boarding House for the previous 2 years. I work both in my role in boarding, but also as a Teacher of Science, mainly Biology, and absolutely love my job as I get to stretch the girls’ (and mine!) minds academically in lessons, but come back to the house in the evenings and weekends to spend time with the students in a completely different way. Outside study time we might do some baking, sit and eat dinner together, have a chat over tea or watch a film. For me it’s the perfect mix and what being a whole rounded educator is all about. I have a degree in Zoology from Durham University, and after graduating, I worked in Brighton in an International School doing marketing and admissions, before deciding to go back to University to do my PGCE. Prior’s Field was my first teaching position, and strangely I knew on the day of my interview that I had picked this school just as much as they had picked me for the job; I remember feeling like I had found home.

Best part of the job?

No two days are the same, it’s hugely busy and I love getting to know the girls as individuals – they make this job wholly worthwhile!

What is it like in Sixth Form Boarding?

Sixth Form Boarding is slightly separate to the rest of the school, it is in its own purpose built Sixth Form building, and as such, it is slightly different to the rest of Prior’s Field; still the same warm welcoming atmosphere when you enter, but you can tell the young women here are independent and are learning to get things done for themselves. Girls have their own rooms, some their own ensuites, they do their own laundry, can cook for themselves at weekends and are responsible for keeping the kitchens and common spaces tidy. I am so proud of the young women I work with; when I walk around the house, I see them studying hard, looking after one another or just having fun and it makes me think that they are becoming ready for the next step in their lives after school. The house and the girls must try to get a good balance between work and relaxation, my role is to ensure that they get that balance right.

If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?

I would love to be able to travel back in time. There are so many people and places I would love to have seen for myself; ancient Egypt would be one on my list, as would be the Roman Empire. I love History nearly as much as I love Science!

Where is your favourite place to be and why?

I am sure I have the wanderlust gene in my DNA and love to go travelling in my holidays from school. Favourite places I’ve been so far have to be Cape Town for sheer beauty, Barcelona for Gaudi’s incredible natural architectural design, Siberia for the odd feeling of being outside in sunglasses but its minus 20, but right at the top must be Verona for all the delicious food and gelato. I used to live in Italy before I went to University, so I am a little biased.

What book is on top of your pile to read?

I love historical fiction, so anything by Ken Follett or Hilary Mantel. Currently reading ‘The Blind Assassin’ by Margaret Atwood, but only a few pages in.

Where can you be found when you are not at work?

I have a little place of my own in Devizes, Wiltshire, with a view over the Kennet and Avon Canal. I love to sit in the sunshine and look out at the ducks and canal boats that pass by.

Priorsfield Road,
T: +44 (0)1483 810551
E: Office@priorsfieldschool.com
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