Jo North - Meet our Teachers - Bangkok Prep

Jo North – Meet our Teachers

As Head of Primary PE, what exciting things do you have planned for your class this year? 

With such a multifaceted department we have so many things happening this year, which allows us to teach a wide range of sports within the PE and swimming lessons. We encourage the students to take risks by trying new experiences, skills and sports; enjoy a range of activities in a fun and energetic way; understand how their bodies move; be willing to help others; be confident within their own ability as an athlete; become a leader within their peer group; and be a competent communicator.

We are focused this year on teaching students about how their body works in different activities so we created a Functional Fitness unit in KS2 which incorporates Fundamental Movement Skills. Our KS1 and EYFS students focus heavily on Fundamental Movements skills throughout the year, as this is the basis to every movement. These loco motor, stability and manipulative skills will be practised in a variety of game-like activities.  Students in every Key Stage are also learning Sports Science terminology and by the end of the year will be able to come home and tell their parents the name of a variety of muscles in their body and how they can stretch and use them. KS2 will also learn about joints and Components of Fitness. In swimming, Upper KS2 students will be learning about Water Safety and Life Saving Skills. The students get really excited about this unit and we are proud to ensure students in our care have the knowledge and practical experience to save someone in water or themselves if the need ever arose.

What were your first impressions when you initially arrived at and started working at Bangkok Prep?

I was lucky enough to already be working at a FOBISIA school before working at Bangkok Prep. Bangkok Prep were hosting the U15 FOBISIA Games that I accompanied, so already had a really good impression of the school, its staff, the children, parents and the surrounding area. When my family initially arrived in Bangkok in 2016, we all knew right away that we would enjoy living in Bangkok. The city is vibrant, the people are polite and respectful, the skytrain system is a blessing and easy access to a beautiful beach. The Bangkok Prep community was warm and welcoming when we arrived and over the years has shown us just how special they are both professionally and personally. My colleagues are as passionate and hardworking as I am and putting the interests of the children first is paramount, so working at Bangkok Prep and having my daughters attend is an easy choice. Bangkok Prep is most definitely The Best School in Bangkok and the right place to be.

What was the reason you initially decided to start teaching?

When I was younger, many moons ago, I was always a good all round sportswoman. I enjoyed and played all sports, and my PE teachers knew that if they asked me to run in an extra event or play in a different position then I was always willing to give my best. I loved sports and was happy representing my school in many sports. There was a time however, when I had to make a choice between playing sports or playing a musical instrument. I was really upset and went home crying as my teachers were not going to let me do what I loved (play sports) and try something new (play the tennahorn). I told my Mum, right there, that I would become a PE teacher and give my students the choice and freedom to do what they love, but also express themselves in many different ways. To this day, it makes me emotional when I see my top athletes also playing an instrument or singing, performing on stage or in a recital.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I love spending time with my daughters. My eldest daughter will be leaving for University in 2022, so I am embracing family time as and when I can get it. You can usually find us at the cinema or out and about in a Bangkok park. During the holidays we enjoy exploring parts of Thailand. I’m not often just sitting still, so when I have the time I go to the gym, workout, run or swim. I have enjoyed over the years taking part in netball, 10k runs and triathlons, although my trainers have been retired for the time being. My daughters, aka my chief taste testers, will also tell you I love to bake – cake, tarts, biscuits, souffles, you name it I’ve probably tried it. I also have a creative side, where I love to create images with a Zentangle pattern, it’s extremely therapeutic.

Please can you give a summary of your qualifications and previous work experience?

My degree is a BA Hons in Physical Education with a QTS. After graduating from the University of Brighton, many many years ago, I taught PE at a Secondary School in Harlesden London, England for 2 years. Whilst there I coached basketball, netball, hockey and athletics. I then got itchy feet and moved to Kuwait in the Middle East for 3 years (I met my husband in Kuwait and had my first daughter), where I initially taught PE in a Primary School, then moved on to a Secondary School teaching PE and coaching JV volleyball.  My next adventure took me to Abu Dhabi in the UAE (I had my second daughter in Abu Dhabi), where I taught Middle School PE and Health for 10 years. I coached JV volleyball, athletics and Elementary School softball, basketball and football. As a family we then moved to Beijing, China for 2 years, where I was Head of Primary PE. This was my first FOBISIA School and Asian culture experience. Which leads us to Bangkok Prep, where I’ve been the Head of Primary PE for the last 5 years. Here I have been lucky to teach and coach a wide range of sports to our Primary students.


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