Director of Studies and Head of GCSE – Maya Waterstone
Maya Waterstone read Theology at King’s College, London. She taught at Montessori level for four years before joining MPW in 2003. She was appointed Head of GCSE in 2015. Maya is a qualified adolescent therapeutic counsellor.
Your Time at MPW
I am a Director of Studies at MPW London, but I’m also the Head of GCSE. I have been at the college since 2003. I was previously to that, before I went to do my degree, a student at the college as well. When I first started at MPW I was a secretary, then I evolved into marketing – writing the Getting into Guides and organising events – I was also an assistant Admissions Officer and a PA before becoming a Director of Studies. It’s a great place to work and is incredibly people driven – in that, the people that work at MPW give everything they have to the job, it is a very, very rewarding job.
Your Role at MPW
As Head of GCSE, I oversee the Director of Studies (DoS) that work with GCSE students. With GCSE students, it’s important that they are speaking with parents on the phone, communicating with them that way.
It’s important for me to have an overview of the students, to track what’s going on. I see the GCSE students, I get to know them quite well because I do registration every morning and afternoon with them, so we get to be on quite a familiar basis. I will know every GCSE student and I will probably know their parents as well. It’s my belief that in the GCSE school, the thing that creates successful students in terms of grades, is the communication we have with parents. So, for me, communication with parents, particularly at GCSE but also at A level is fundamental.
I will work with the other Directors of Studies to make sure that none of their GCSE students are slipping by the wayside, that we’re all on top of everything. We combine the rigorous high academic standard with being as understanding as we can possibly be and going the extra mile, that’s something that is very special about MPW tutors.
I organise parental seminars, I very much like to have the feeling that the parents are involved because I think it so important, they are trusting us with the education of their young people.
Highlights of Working at MPW
The best thing about working at MPW is the students, working with the students in my pastoral role in terms of being able to support them but also push them to reach their potential. That is the biggest joy of my job, seeing a student who comes in with less confidence or saying: I got a C what are you stressing about’ but saying ‘you can get an A or an A*’ and then them coming out with an A* and them saying ‘I’ve never had an A* before it’s amazing’. That’s the real joy. The other real joy is the people.
Top Tips from Maya for GCSE students at MPW
For GCSE students, if you’re coming in at Year 11, you need to hit the ground running. You need to be on top of your year 10 work so that you can progress. If you haven’t done Year 10, that’s not to worry, but it is going to be a very labour intensive 9 months because it’s such a short period of time that teachers have got to get through the material. If you’re prepared to work and prepared to focus and do the work as it comes in, being strategic, then you will have a really good time at MPW. It’s a friendly place and we consider the GCSE school to be a family.
How would you describe MPW?
Transforming. We are a place that never shuts the door, even if you’ve left MPW, you are still a student of MPW.