Skip To Main Content

Latest news...

Ten things about our Head

Mrs Harrison, Head of Fettes College - pictured with her family - was asked ten questions by our Heads of School, Jayden A and Pippa K, and here are her answers:

1. ​Which university did you go to and what did you read?

I went to Jesus College, Cambridge and read Geography. 

2. What sport did you enjoy at school or university?

I loved all sports at school and at university and still do. At school I played hockey and lacrosse with athletics in the summer. Growing up, my family loved sport and, whilst I never had the opportunity in those days to play either, having two older brothers means I have watched and enjoyed rugby and cricket throughout my life. Dad was an international rugby referee and a cricket umpire so I’m pretty good on all the rules. At university, I played hockey for my college and I continued to play in mixed teams and staff teams as a teacher. My major sport at university, however, was rowing. I rowed for my college as a beginner and loved it. In my third year, I ended up trialling for the Blue Boat (University boat) but unfortunately sustained an injury that enforced my retirement, but I continued to coach it at university and in my first job. Mr Harrison and I both love sport and watch a lot of it. My marriage has introduced me to the ‘joys’ of supporting Norwich City Football Club with a trip to Carrow Road an early gift from my husband and regular trips to away fixtures in the north of England. 

3. Did you always want to be a teacher?

In my immediate family and the generation above, we have a large number of teachers and I really wanted to do something different. I looked seriously at joining the police. However, a year teaching English in Portugal after my degree showed me that I loved teaching, even if I did find the intricacies of teaching English language baffling and I returned to the UK to do my teacher training. 

4. Do you and Mr Harrison have any children?

Yes, we do! Both our daughters went through Fettes as Arniston girls though they’ve been away a few years now and most students won’t remember them. Kate is 22 and in her final year of an Art and Design degree at Leeds University. She takes after her Dad, is a brilliant chef and is pursuing this after graduating. Our younger daughter, Connie, is 21 and on the year abroad of her Languages degree at Durham. She spent the first half of the year in Estonia improving her Russian and is now in the South of France as a Language Assistant in a primary school. 

5. How do you unwind and look after your wellbeing?

We enjoy spending time together as a family and head off to our cottage in the hills outside Moffat to really relax, spend time outdoors, walk the dogs, chop wood (Mr H), play cards and watch a good box set in front of a roaring fire. I would say I am most at peace immersed in a challenging jigsaw there with my family.

6. What is your favourite thing to eat?

If it is a meal, then it would have to be a roast chicken supper with Mr Harrison’s legendary roast potatoes and a fresh salad. But if it’s a single item, then I can’t look further than hot buttered toast with Marmite, I’m afraid.

7. Where do you most like to go on holiday?

Currently, the South of France with our girls and two other families: great company, French markets, good food and wine, sunshine and a pool. 

8. What is your most used item?

My pen. Although I use a lot of technology, I write piles of notes and lists by hand and I try to write a good thank you letter or well-done card. I love receiving a letter or a card, so I try to make sure that I send them too. I get through a lot of ink in a school term.

9. Do you have a favourite piece of music?

I love listening to music and am so spoilt at Fettes. But I think the piece of music that comes to mind was listening to Kate and Mr Harrison perform Kacey Musgrave’s Rainbow at Kate’s Founder’s Eve concert. That was very special indeed. 

10. What is your favourite book or film?

Being married to an English teacher, I have so many recommendations of excellent books to read and I struggle to pick one. I’ve recently enjoyed Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead and I read a lot of Kate Atkinson’s work which I mostly love. I devour historical fiction but, to tell the truth, I’m just as happy with a really gripping crime thriller!

We don’t make it to the cinema as often as we’d like so naming a favourite film will sound very dated! But for viewing pleasure, you can’t beat a good box set and we are loving the two we have on the go at the moment: Better Call Saul and The Marvellous Mrs Maisel.