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The High School Low Down with...Miss Sutherland

The High School Low Down with...Miss Sutherland

Miss Sutherland joined the Senior School in session 2006/2007 as a History Teacher.

In addition to teaching History, she has been Head of Clyde House since 2019, having previously been a Transitus Form Teacher (TS) and an Assistant House Mistress in both Law and Moore.


Give us the low down: what was your path to the High School?

After completing my History degree at Glasgow University I became a classroom assistant at Cleveden Secondary, which was the first time I worked with Mr Mackay, another History Teacher at the High School!

After graduating, I travelled to South and Central America, returning to do my PGDE at Jordanhill College (part of Strathclyde University). I spent my summer in Camp USA working with young people who had additional support needs, running the academics programme.

Before I joined The High School of Glasgow, I worked at both Drumchapel High School and Rosshall Academy.

When did you know teaching was your calling?

I suspected it at university, when during my undergraduate degree, I had a job promoting Higher Education in Glasgow schools. However, I probably first knew it when I was working as an outreach worker in Maryhill. Working with young people, supporting them in many different aspects of life, and learning from them as well as them learning from me, confirmed to me I wanted a career working with young people.

Tell us your biggest Highlight at the High School so far?

There are several! The first time my whole Higher class got an A is definitely one!

Running a 10 day trip to Hong Kong as part of an exchange programme allowed us to gain a different perspective of what life was like there, so different from what I had seen as a tourist. It gave pupils experiences they will never forget, including a relay run through the mountains around Hong Kong.

Having the opportunity in session 2011/12 to spend a year teaching in the state of New York as a participant in the Fulbright Teacher Exchange programme allowed me to meet some amazing people and see places I would have never visited. It also provided an opportunity to critically reflect on what we do here at the High School and how we can improve.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

On a mission!

Or...boisterous, caring and loyal.

If you could take one movie or song to a desert island, what would it be and why?

I'd probably prefer to take a Kindle as I’m a voracious reader. There’s always a book for any mood.

If I had to pick a song, I'd choose 'It's My Life' by Jon Bon Jovi. The first time I heard it was just after someone close to me had passed away suddenly and every time I hear it, it reminds me that you don't know what's coming next in life so you should try to find the positives and live the best life you can.

Who or what inspires you most and why?

Travelling. It reminds you of who you are and what your values are, makes you question what is important and opens you up to a range of new experiences and perspectives you would not otherwise have. It's impossible to stagnate as a person if you push your boundaries through travel.

What’s one thing you hope to never forget?

There’s good in everyone, you just need to give people a chance to show it.

What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to someone?

All you can do is make the best decision you can, on the facts you have at the time. There’s no point wishing for a crystal ball to predict the future. And listen to your gut, it’s rarely wrong!

And finally, give us your low down of the High School

The High School is a springboard to what you want in life, whether that’s great academic results and/or the extra-curricular side of the School, be it sport, creatively or a different endeavour. The High School gives pupils strong academic foundations on which to build. It provides opportunities to try new things, and crucially, it gives pupils the confidence to achieve what they want in life, whatever that may be.

In life, mistakes are inevitable, but being given the support and space to grow and learn from mistakes is an important part of what we give pupils, both academically and pastorally. Over the years, I’ve had the chance to work with some incredible young people who I have admired for many different reasons and colleagues have become good friends, what more can you ask of a community!