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An interview with Chris Jarmain, Headteacher at St Mary's Primary School, Saffron Walden

We’re really grateful to Chris Jarmain, Headteacher of St Mary's Church of England Primary School in Saffron Walden, who found the time to talk to us. We asked Chris for a glimpse into being a Headteacher and to comment on how SVST has been of service to the school community over the last year. 

Chris, how long have you been a headteacher? 

I have been a headteacher since 2017 - so around 4 years. 

What would you say has been your greatest challenge of being a headteacher? 

Very good question! Multitasking and time management I would say have to be two of the key skills that are absolutely vital as a headteacher. Also, the ongoing demands posed by pandemic cannot be underestimated and have thrown up new challenges - many that I have not experienced in over 20 years in Education! It has certainly been an interesting year or so! 

What has been the greatest reward? 

Being able to work with such a fantastic and talented group of people here at St Mary's and also our wonderful children who never fail to amaze me as they work hard and learn new skills; they never fail to make me proud of them and our school. 

As a Headteacher what are your thoughts on faith? 

So important - particularly during these challenging times. I think it is crucial to retain a sense of spirituality, whatever your own personal beliefs and I feel that the sense of community that you get from being a person of faith can provide that extra strength that we all need. 

Can we ask, how you feel the work of SVST has been of use to the school? 

KT Haynes has been absolutely invaluable to us since she has joined us from SVST. The deeply personal support that she has provided to both pupils and members of staff has been so beneficial. She has shown herself to be a great listener, whilst also offering encouraging words of advice and great wisdom. We simply could not be without her! She has certainly brought a bright ray of sunshine into our school! 

And finally, how can our supporters best pray for your school? 

I would ask supporters to pray for all of our families who have gone through such testing times over the last year and a half; and also to pray that soon we can get back to socialising together and meeting one another face to face - which I think everyone desperately crying out for.

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