The Spotlight shines on Gillian Walmsley, our science, charitable and apiarist colleague.

Gillian was born in Scotland and was educated in Kent. Whilst at University she worked during the holiday in the local hospital Pathology Department, it helped develop and shape her dry sense of humour. Gillian has been teaching for nearly 25 years, both in the state and independent sector. She has a teenage daughter who regularly keeps her busy, mainly as a taxi service. Astounding herself and everyone around her, Gillian recently found herself tackling the London Landmarks Half Marathon, a brand new, closed road central London run. 

How long have you worked at Warminster?

This is my third year.

What’s the best thing about your role?

No two days are the same. I enjoy working with young people and I love teaching. Working in Ivy House in the evening and weekends is a delight, it's a nice dimension to the job. Creating an idylic family home environment for the boarders. Chatting to the girls, enjoying the gardens and weekend shopping trips. Nicola Rogers and I are known as the ‘Dream Team’ and our craft skills have really developed… 

Tell us about the Charity Committee.

The Committe is made up of pupils from all different year groups – we meet monthly and have a charity focus each term. We have helped the local Foodbank, Macmillan Cancer Support, Sports Relief and Just William. I am proud of the Year 12 pupils who organised the recent Swimathon for their Cambridge Technical Course. They had to plan, organise and execute and event, which they did brilliantly. 

Describe a typical day?

Science being a practical subject makes life busy. I am often grovelling to Mrs Wheatley for extra bits of kit for practical lessons.

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

Warminster is a happy, welcoming and calm place to work and live. I have recently joined the WSPA and love that extension to the Warminster family. Staff and parents together, volunteering for the pupils. It’s great.

What would surprise us about you?

I can surf.

London Landmarks Half Marathon – will there be more Marathons on your horizon?

Not any time soon. My sister was already signed up to the LLHM and when her running partner fell pregnant, she asked me at Christmas if I fancied it. I agreed thinking, well, I have probably got twelve months to prepare. I had twelve weeks! It was completely insane. All I wanted was to complete it – before the organisers packed up. We ran for Make-a-Wish, a fantastic charity who grant wishes for seriously ill children. 

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

As I love food it would have to be in the kitchen. Although the Headmaster has already beat me to it! Although I fear if left to me the healthiness of meals may suffer as I am a total chocoholic. Alex Rall would not be impressed with what I might serve!

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

I first wanted to be an explorer. When I was about 6 I was slightly obsessed with Egyptian Tombs. As I grew older my passion for science developed and I fancied myself as a kind of Marie Curie the second.

What did your school reports say about you?

Predictably the usual sort of thing- hard worker but a bit chatty at times. It wasn’t really until the sixth form that my tutor wrote “Gillian is a firm believer in fairness and thankfully is learning to make her views known in more diplomatic ways” read between the lines on that one!

Your note/advice to teenage self?

“Putting toothpaste on spots doesn’t work” or “You don’t fail you just carry on learning”.

Your mantra/motto or favourite quote?

Chocolate is the answer.

Hidden ambitions still to achieve?

Other than world peace… I haven’t been to a Sprinkles Gelato Parlour yet…. and more fun with the Warminster Bees – we have a new batch due to arrive via post in a couple of weeks. Maybe to be invited to take part of a bee project by Dragonfly?

A favourite possession you would you save from a fire?

My photo albums.

Biggest bugbear?

Non-teachers telling me how easy my job is.

Favourite musician/group?

Any…..but not anything that promotes a headache as I am getting old now.

Guilty pleasure?

Crème eggs – the Cadbury shop in Street Shopping Village stocks them all year round I am told…

Signature dish if you were on MasterChef?

Gin and Tonic Lemon Drizzle cake… does that count?

Favourite TV programme?

Any kind of investigative Drama or I loved “Mr Benn” and “Bagpuss” as a child.

Last book you read?

Currently re-reading a childhood favorite “Swallows and Amazons”.

Last movie watched?

Pitch Perfect 3.

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

Dawn French.

Favourite tipple?

Gin and Tonic.

Favorite place/city in the world and why?

Barcelona –  the architecture… the climate… the food…

Twitter or Facebook?

Facebook – I can’t work any of the others really and a bit of Twitter.