Meet our new Head and Deputy Seniors

It’s time to get to know Tosin and Poppy who will be leading the School community over the next twelve months.

19 June 2020

Get to know Tosin and Poppy

After submitting their applications along with teachers’ references, interviews with the Headmistress and a whole-School vote during the Lent term, we are delighted to introduce our new Head Senior, Tosin, and Deputy Head Senior, Poppy.

Here, Tosin and Poppy tell us about their new roles and their plans for the coming year.

Why did you apply for a leadership position?

Tosin: I have certainly enjoyed every minute of my time here at Downe and have been presented with lots of opportunities and insights that have changed me for the better. As a result, I applied for a leadership position as my way of giving back to the School and helping to replicate and even improve that experience for other girls here at School.

Poppy: I have so much to owe to Downe House; I certainly wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. I wanted to be appointed to a position of leadership to give back to the School and ensure that it stays the same happy, positive and nurturing environment that I have loved so much.

What does leading the School community mean for you?

Tosin: I feel it is a privilege to have this responsibility and for me, it means setting an example for the younger girls and having the platform to enact positive changes within the School. It is also a chance to be the medium between the teachers and the students, ensuring not only that their voices along with their concerns are heard, but also that there is a feeling of inclusiveness amongst all.

Poppy: Apart from anything else, it’s such a huge honour to be leading the School community! I remember being in the Remove and looking up to the Seniors as role models, so to be in that position now really is quite something. I hope to be able to make positive change and ensure that everyone’s School experience is something they will cherish forever.

What are you most excited about?

Tosin: I’m looking forward to coming back to School and seeing everyone and also being able to actively fulfil the goals that the seniors and I have set for this year.

Poppy: I’m really excited to get to know everyone more! I hope people will see me as someone they can come and talk to if they need help or even just for a nice conversation. I’m always happy to have a chat and I’d very much like to dismantle any notion that the Sixth Form are these terrifying, untouchable ‘older girls’- we’re all just like you!

Do you have any specific aims for whilst you are in leadership?

Tosin: Yes, there are lots of things that I’d like to achieve. The main goal for the year was to build on the School’s approach to mental health issues and how we can support people within our community as well as educate them on this. Other things that we are focusing on is how the School can be more outward looking and supporting those in the wider Downe House community, such as our alumnae working on the frontline in our hospitals or those who live in the local area. Lastly, an emerging goal on our agenda is our response to the tragic events that have been happening in the US and the ways in which the School can help create a more racially-aware society.

Poppy: As a year group, we would like to forge more links with our local community, namely by inviting them to our performances and lectures. We’d also like to increase social awareness about diversity by having a wider range of speakers talking about issues such as race and culture, and have seminars on unconscious bias and microaggressions to prepare ourselves for what will surely be a very diverse workplace in the future.

Any words for Arah and Tilly, the outgoing Head and Deputy?

Tosin: I would like to say that they did an amazing job this year and led the School gracefully and to greater heights. They have made really positive changes to the School and it is a shame that we cannot be together to fully celebrate all that they have achieved, but their effort has not been in vain and we have really appreciated their leadership.

Poppy: Thank you so much for being so brilliant at leading the School. We could not have hoped for a better pair for the job; we have learned so much from you. We certainly have very big shoes to fill!

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