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Miss Wygnanska

Each term we ask members of staff a few light-hearted questions about themselves so that friends of St Mary's School, Cambridge can get to know our team a bit better. Enjoy reading about our members of staff by clicking on each link below.

Miss Wygnanska

Junior School teacher of Mathematics and Religious Education co-ordinator

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What was your favourite subject at school? Mathematics! I loved the puzzles and patterns. However I spent all of my spare time taking part in musical activities, so Music would have to be a close second.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? In the final year of my Economics degree, I was looking at finance roles when I decided that I didn't want to work at a desk looking at spreadsheets all day. I volunteered at a primary school and discovered that I really enjoyed the variety offered through teaching the range of different subjects. In a single day I can go from working on poetry or fractions, to studying the Romans and painting with the pupils.

Why did you decide to work at St Mary’s School, Cambridge? I wanted to move to Cambridge because I grew up here and I also wanted to teach in a respected Catholic school. I was very excited to be offered the job as the school’s ethos is so very unique; the school strives for academic excellence whilst making sure that the girls are supported in every way possible. The relationships that I have with my pupils, parents and colleagues here make it a wonderful job that I miss during the holidays!

Favourite things! What's your all-time favourite…
Book:
 Northern Light by Phillip Pullman (or anything else by Phillip Pullman!)
Poem: Please Mrs Butler by Allan Ahlberg – I remember my own Year 3 teacher reading it to me when I was at school
Film: Pirates of the Caribbean
Recipe: I make a Moroccan-style tagine that has evolved from a few different recipes I had – I always make it whenever I have visitors and they seem to like it!

What inspires you? My pupils inspire me every day and I love hearing about how they are getting on as they grow up.

What’s your favourite hobby? I still spend a lot of time taking part in musical activities: I sing with the choir at OLEM and play the viola in the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra. I also love water sports and try to fit as much sailing into my holidays as possible. I recently began kayaking and have enjoyed being out on the river during the summer months. I think that it is important to keep learning new skills.

What is your favourite type of music? I really enjoy live music and can be found at rock gigs, classical concerts and anything in between! I like many different types of music and will listen to Radio 1, 2, 3 and 6 dependant on my mood.

Where has your favourite holiday been? I spent my childhood holidays sailing in the lakes in Poland on my granddad's boat, and I have a skipper licence; I am most relaxed when I am on a boat and have many fond memories of these trips. However, last summer I fulfilled a lifelong dream of going to Africa and spent a month volunteering in Uganda. It was an amazing opportunity to live amongst some of the poorest people in the world and learn about their lives and culture. I worked at an orphanage for three weeks and was able to take out gifts from our Junior School girls, such as picture books and colouring pencils. The children at the orphanage were very touched that pupils from a school halfway across the world had sent them presents and our girls enjoyed seeing the photos of the gifts when I returned to school. I finished my trip with a safari and a trip along the Nile. I had always wanted to see an elephant in the wild and I was able to make this wish come true!

What’s your worst habit? Starting a book and then refusing to put it down – I have lost many Saturday mornings to a long novel that was entirely absorbing!

Team trivia: (without looking it up) what do the British call the vegetable that Americans call zucchini? Easy! It’s an aubergine. [So close! But… it’s a courgette!]

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