Meet the course staff | Portsmouth High School

Meet the course staff

Who is the course for?

If your daughter is between the ages of 15 and 18 in May 2021, she will be eligible to join the course.

She will need to have been learning English for at least 4 years and be proficient in reading and writing in order to access the course effectively.

This is the ideal course for any girl who wants to gain a prestigious qualification and develop her English skills from the comfort of her own home. It is perfect for those who intend to study in an English-speaking country or whose future career may require evidence of proficient English skills.

Meet the staff

Portsmouth High School’s virtual IGCSE course is delivered by highly experienced teaching staff with many years’ experience of teaching and preparing students for examinations.

Please scroll down for short profiles of the staff involved on this course below.

Virtual English IGCSE staff

Virtual English IGCSE at Portsmouth High School

Course Director

Sarah Parker MA (Oxon) PGCE

Sarah Parker is the Academic Deputy Head at Portsmouth High School. She studied English at Oxford University and then went on to qualify as a secondary school English teacher at the University of Durham.

Sarah has worked in a variety of independent schools over the past twenty years, having previously held roles as a Head of English, a Head of Sixth Form, and a Deputy Head in charge of pastoral care and boarding.

Sarah brings with her an extensive knowledge of many examination specifications, with particular experience in delivering the Cambridge IGCSE course to international pupils for many years. Working closely with pupils who have English as a second language has given Sarah insight into the unique strengths they possess, as well as the challenges they face when learning English. This has allowed her to oversee a rigorous but supportive course which is specifically tailored to cater for the needs of international pupils working remotely.

Virtual IGCSE English at Portsmouth High School GDST

Course Designer

Duncan Williams MA (Cantab) PGCE

Duncan is an assessment consultant specialising in English Language and Literature at GCSE and GCE A Level.

With over 20 years’ experience as an English teacher at secondary school level, Duncan has held senior examining positions at Key Stage 3 and A Level with UK awarding bodies and with the International Baccalaureate Organisation.

Duncan has worked on a wide range of projects for Regulatory organisations, including NFER, Ofqual, the Welsh Government Regulator and the Scottish Qualifications Authority. He is also joint author of two recent textbooks for A Level English Language published by Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press.

Duncan has worked extensively on syllabus design, question-paper writing and vetting, training and monitoring of assistant examiners, and on creating teaching materials for teachers in the UK and overseas. He has delivered training for teachers of IGCSE English First and Second Language in many parts of the world, including India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Tanzania and the USA.

IGCSE virtual English at Portsmouth High School GDST

Course Teacher

Lizzi Wright MA PGCE

Lizzi is a languages teacher at Portsmouth High School specialising in teaching GCSE and GCE A Level.

Lizzi has also spent a number of years as Head of Year 10 and 11 where she was responsible for the students’ emotional wellbeing and academic progress. She has lots of experience in teaching GCSE students about how to strike a balance between serious study, cocurricular activities and rest and recuperation.

Lizzi studied Spanish and French at undergraduate level and then went on to teach English language abroad. She has taught English in Spain and the Czech Republic to secondary school students and in Chile she taught English to undergraduate students.

Lizzi did her PGCE and MA in Education at Durham University. Her dissertation looks at the benefits of teaching in the target language. Lizzi has been teaching languages in the UK since 2011. She is a languages enthusiast and enjoys studying Mandarin in her spare time. Lizzi completed a GCSE in Mandarin in 2018 and achieved A*.

Virtual IGCSE English Course Tutor at Portsmouth High School

Course Tutor

Amanda Dempster MA Cantab PGCE

Amanda is a qualified teacher with experience ranging from teaching the youngest children in Early Years to assisting students at undergraduate level.

At school, Amanda gained four straight As in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Further Mathematics at A Level. She then continued her education at the University of Cambridge and, after graduating, went on to work on research projects at the University of Oxford.

Amanda then went on to complete her teaching PGCE course in Oxford, followed by a move to Basel in Switzerland, where she taught at a bilingual school. During this time, Amanda also undertook some private tutoring, helping Swiss children from the local secondary school with their English.