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Nikki Upsall

Nikki James Upsall s

Assistant Head of Secondary -  Curriculum and Operations, Mathematics Teacher

In my role as Assistant Head of Secondary -  Curriculum and Operations, I bring my analytical skills to the Secondary Leadership Team. My speciality is in the field of data and how to use that to improve student learning, enabling them to reach their full potential. In the curriculum role, I will bring my experiences developed in Dubai, where I ran whole school academic mentoring, pupil tracking and coordinated Teaching and Learning initiatives for staff.

I graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BSc (Hons) Mathematics in 2001 and went on to train and teach in the same city. In 2007 my wife and I decided to move on to international teaching. We spent 10 years working in Dubai at an international British school. There I led a Mathematics Department through a period of growth, being recognised by the UAE Government as one of the most successful schools in the country in the Mathematics PISA tests.

I have been teaching on the IB Diploma Programme for over 10 years at all levels of Mathematics, although I specialise in Standard Level. I have a wealth of experience with the Internal Assessment aspect of the course and enjoy sharing that with all of our Year 12 and 13 students.

Having a young family and living away from my UK support network has put my interests on the back burner for the last few years. My eldest son has such a fascination with dinosaurs that I sometimes think my interests include palaeontology and collecting fossils! Dinosaurs would definitely be a contender for my specialist subject on Mastermind at the moment.

I like to keep fit and active and will have a go at any sport; playing football with my colleagues is a great way to let of steam even though my workmates constantly seem to get younger and fitter. I am a willing member of any sports team, from tennis and rugby to dodgeball and dragon-boating.

Since university I have been interested in martial arts and have trained in various disciplines.  My specialism is Muay Thai and I trained up to instructor level before becoming a Mathematics teacher, areas that are not in fact mutually exclusive.  I have furthered my interest in this with IB students in the ‘Activity’ element of CAS; joining them at different classes and have even run training sessions with senior students aimed at healthy study habits and stress relief based on striking drills.

To relax I like to get into the kitchen and cook. It is definitely my domain in my family home.  I am more of an experimenter here; I take recipes as guidelines and try to tweak and adapt them to suit my family’s needs.