The Spotlight shines on Amy Rankine, Head of Geography and Finch Tutor

Amy was born in North Wales and after a mere 16 house moves (including New Zealand, Cyprus and Lebanon) is now settled in Warminster. She married her husband in 2012, their son was born in 2013 and their daughter in 2016. Amy spent most of her childhood in Oxfordshire and then went to Hull for university followed by a year in New Zealand as a Graduate Gap before returning to Hull for her PGCE. Amy has also completed a Masters in Education from University of Exeter, like so many, juggling it with lockdown and working. Seemingly drawn to boarding schools, Warminster is the 4th boarding school Amy has worked in. She has been an Assistant Housemistress as well as teacher, Head of Department, Head of House and Head of Year. Always one for imparting knowledge, Amy was thrilled to be introduced to the University of Buckingham by Mr Kirby and now works with two cohorts of trainee teachers. Amy and the family enjoy skiing and spending time with friends and the wider family scattered across Oxfordshire, Lancashire and Germany, usually with good food and good wine.

How long have you worked at Warminster?

I started in April 2023, so coming up for a year.

Describe a typical day at Warminster?

I start with dropping my children at the Prep School then hotfoot it over to the Robert Hope building (the home of Warminster Geographers!) to get ready for my tutor group. I’m in the middle of changing all the work for Yr7, 8 and 9 and bringing in a new GCSE so I have a lot of preparation work to do which I squeeze in around lessons. I have a number of Yr11 pupils who come to my room at breaktime and lunchtime which is great. On Wednesday afternoons during EDGE, I go to a local primary school with a group of our older students which is lovely. The young ones love having ‘the big kids’ there and I can see our pupils getting more confident. No day would be complete without a quick leg stretch and coffee stop at one of the local coffee shops. At the end of the day, I dash back over to Prep for pick-up then home for evening routine before doing work for school or my teacher training role.

What do you think makes Warminster a special place to live and learn?

The community. I was welcomed with open arms by staff and pupils alike.

What other Warminster role would you like to try for a day and why?

I think I’d quite like a role where I can go and watch what’s going on around school – maybe our Digital Content Creator, Mr Osborn’s role (although I couldn’t make the content afterwards!) or someone from Admissions. In Celebration assembly in the Prep School, Mr Titley has talked about spending time with children in Reception and that sounds quite joyful – so maybe that too!

We noticed some epic dance moves from you and pupils at the Year 11 Snowball, any plans to introduce a dance club?

No immediate plans. Hopefully some more HIIT next term after a successful club last term.

What would surprise us about you?

My family and I were in the Beirut explosion in 2020. Fortunately we weren’t hurt but our apartment had ‘a slight glazing’ issue – all the windows, including the floor to ceiling ones, were blown out!

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was very young, I wanted to be a teacher but as a teenager I decided that wasn’t cool enough and wanted to work in Law or advertising. But I came to my senses while at university and doing outreach work in some local schools.

What did your school reports say about you?

That I coasted and if I applied myself I could do very well.

Your note/advice to teenage self?

You can actually work a bit harder without sacrificing your social life.

Your mantra/motto or favourite quote?

The pupils might say, ‘stand behind your chairs, bags on, mouths closed’ but it’s actually ‘practice makes progress’.

Any hidden ambitions still to achieve?

I’d like to maybe get involved with publishing but also more in teaching training, thinking about how to strip away the myths associated with teaching and how to embed skills and fieldwork within the Geography curriculum. I’ve also got an eye on SMT positions in the future.

A favourite possession you would save from a fire?

As long as the family are ok, everything else can be replaced.

Biggest bugbear?

Oh, the list is quite long! Laziness, apathy, rudeness, sniffing!

Favourite musician/group?

I’m told my taste in music is not great, but I think Meatloaf, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Lily Allen are great choices.

Guilty pleasure?

Probably my daily trip out for coffee and action films like Kingsman, Marvel films and new Ghostbuster films.

What is your MasterChef signature dish?

Poached or fried eggs on grated, fried halloumi, on guacamole and sourdough with bacon, chilli jam and beans

Favourite TV programme?

I love Silent Witness, Death in Paradise, And Just Like That and Call the Midwife.

Last book you read?

I’ve recently finished The Girl in Seat 2A and Year of the Locust

Last movie watched?


Which actor would play you in a movie about your life?

I’ve been told I look like Natascha Mcelhone. But if it wasn’t based on similarity of looks, maybe Margot Robbie?

Favourite tipple?

Amaretto Sour is my current favourite.

Favorite place/city in the world and why?

I love being with friends and family, so it’s probably wherever they are. We loved our time in Lebanon – great wine and food and skiing and beach in the same day, without being as far away as New Zealand.

Is there a Geography Instagram account?

Yes there is! We are a recent Insta convert. The Geog Insta will show what we get up to on our fieldwork, including the residentials, and share ideas for wider learning. A useful insight for those considering Geography at GCSE or in Sixth Form. Please head over and follow us on warminster_geography