Perhaps the greatest asset the school can offer is its staff. These people work long hours to look after children. It takes a special kind of dedication. The day starts at 7.30 a.m. and finishes at 9.30 p.m. Supervision must be exhaustive and therefore the workload on the Staff is correspondingly high. Members of staff often spend at least ten hours a day at school. The classroom is only a part of it, albeit the most important part. The staff serve as mentors and confidantes of the children. Everyone is a carer: teachers, domestic staff, maintenance staff, matrons – all can be glimpsed spending time with children and helping them. There is a familial feel to the relationships between adults and children; the proportions are strikingly similar to those of a family, and Headfort has always managed to attract and retain a devoted staff.
Academically, children at Headfort benefit from the fact that they are taught by specialists. Unlike in most primary schools, where children are taught mainly by just one teacher, at Headfort each subject is taught by a different teacher. Consequently, teachers are able to teach to their own strengths, with concomitant results on the part of the pupils.
Further, this system means that children get the opportunity to relate to a range of adults in the course of their daily lives, rather than spending a whole term or year in the class of one individual teacher with whom they may or may not have a rapport.