Penny holds an M.A. Honours in English Literature from the University of Aberdeen which she studied alongside English Language, Psychology and Philosophy. Penny went on to take a PGCE in teaching English Language and Literature, Drama and also Health Education (which is now PSHE). Penny believes that education is not just about teaching “Subjects” but also about helping individuals to be the best they can be.
After teaching in London for some years, Penny went to Greece to teach there. Whilst in Greece Penny added teaching horse riding to teaching English, as well as becoming an examiner for all the suites for the Cambridge English examinations. She was an examiner for more than twenty years.
Penny has for a long time had a mission to “make everyone’s tomorrow a better tomorrow,” and she is passionate about environmental matters. Penny felt she would be able to make most impact on future attitudes to protecting the environment if she designed a Culturally Linked Language Learning course that combined learning English at FCE level and above with education about the environment. The project was financed by the British Council and Arkturos, ( an environmental NGO with a particular interest in the conservation of bears and wolves in Greece) Penny then took two courses at the World Famous Durrell centre in Jersey, and was then qualified to educate people about conservation, particularly of amphibians. She designed a series of walks in the Mountains of Greece- and a guidebook “6 antidotes to technology” for the NGO Arkturos (in English and Greek) which was designed to help adults understand nature better. This book has become a blueprint for other environmental NGOs to use when designing guidebooks and walks for other areas in Greece.
Subsequent to this Penny designed and built a Wildlife garden as part of a project to educate the public in Athens about the importance of the environment and to help people engage with the environment. This work was for a NGO called “Organisation Earth” in Athens, visited by thousands of people every year.
While doing these things Penny worked as a journalist and also travelled more than 8,000 kms on horseback through the wildest parts of Greece. As a result of these travels, and her writing on these matters she was honoured to be made a Fellow Of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Long Riders Guild. Her book about these journeys “Lost in the Wilds of Greece, a love story” is “In Press” at the moment and should appear soon.
Penny does not have a conventional “CV” for an English teacher, but her life has been full of adventure and exploration both in the real world and in the world of thought.
Her philosophy for teaching has developed from her own passion for learning and understanding:
Not to tell people what to think but how to think, not what to learn but how to learn. This, she believes, will provide students with the freedom to make choices and give them the tools to do whatever they choose to do.