Ms Hussey's #teachereffect at St Mary's

Ms Hussey's #teachereffect at St Mary's

We want to spend this year celebrating some of our teaching staff who help make St Mary’s School, Cambridge such an inspiring place for girls to learn and flourish. We call it the #teachereffect.

Sadly, we can’t cover all our teaching staff; however, we will be showcasing several over this year in many diverse areas and from across the school, from our Junior School to our Sixth Form. We continue our series with Ms Alicia Hussey.

When did you start at St Mary’s?

I started at St Mary’s School in September 2019.

What did you do before you joined? 

This is my first year of teaching. I gained my PGCE qualification at Homerton College, Cambridge last year.

Were you always interested in teaching Classics? What fuelled that interest?

I developed a deep love for Classics during my GCSEs and consequently opted for Latin and Classical Civilisation at A level. I began learning Ancient Greek at an afterschool club, supplemented by independent work in my own time. My school Classics teacher fuelled my enthusiasm for the subject and a keen appreciation of the themes and ideas in ancient literature and mythology, which are still extremely pertinent and prevalent today. I went on to study Classics at Cambridge, where I became immersed in Latin and Greek literature, cementing my desire to share my love of Classics with others.

What have been your highlights of working at St Mary’s?

I immensely enjoy working at St Mary’s amongst so many inspiring staff and pupils. One particular highlight, which made me extremely proud to belong to the school, was the Sixth Form Revue at the end of last term, celebrating the St Mary’s community in a fun and creative way.

Why do you enjoy teaching?

I cherish the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for the ancient world with my pupils. Teaching enables me to enjoy Classics every single day, which is a huge privilege. It is exceedingly rewarding to see pupils being empowered with knowledge and becoming confident and compassionate individuals, traits that the St Mary’s environment fosters so well.

In your opinion what are the benefits of teaching Classics in an all-girls environment?

Classics, in any environment, really is an all-encompassing, cross-curricular and multi-faceted subject. Classics equips pupils with the skills and confidence to debate, analyse and explore language, literature, history, religion, philosophy and a plethora of other topics, including, at its very core, what it means to be human.

In an all-girls environment such as St Mary’s, although no doubt in co-ed schools also, fruitful and thought-provoking discussions arise particularly concerning the roles of men and women in the Classical world, which may seem rather controversial to modern minds. These discussions are hugely important in allowing pupils a platform for questioning and responding to ancient ideas and beliefs and enable them to recognise their privilege of being able to access an education, unlike for instance, girls in Ancient Greece, and of course many others still today.

What do you like to do in your free time when you are not teaching?

In my spare time I hugely enjoy theatre and performing. I recently acted in the Cambridge Greek Play, Oedipus at Colonus at the Cambridge Arts Theatre, and performed with other Cambridge students in Euripides’ Bacchae at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last summer. I am also a keen musician, and play the violin and piano.       

What advice do you have for all the students you have taught – past and present – to help them on their journey in life!

Do not compare yourself to anyone else either academically or otherwise: you are all wonderfully unique and no one else can be a better you!

Classical Civilisation GCSE

Classical Civilisation A Level