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A Catholic Independent Day & Boarding School for Girls years 7 - 12

Debbie Gaggin

Research Librarian and Ancient History Teacher

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In her unique role as a Research Librarian and Teacher of Ancient History at Stuartholme School, Debbie Gaggin works with students to enhance their critical thinking, research and writing skills.

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What do you think makes Stuartholme special?

I love teaching at Stuartholme because I feel the School is technologically advanced as well as advanced with the curriculum. In addition to that, the School empowers the teachers to be innovative in the classroom. The result is that our students are involved and love learning.

How do you keep your students engaged and interested in the classroom?

Engagement of students is the most important thing. But I’m lucky that I have a passion for Ancient History and so I hopefully pass that onto them. In the classroom, I set-up it up in a circle or a forum so that we all look at each other and we’re involved in intellectual discussion.

I also like to immerse the students in the culture of the civilisation, and food is a great way to do that. I bring in food from the civilisations we’re studying and videos to make them familiar. I tell the story of what’s happening before we start so they feel part of the journey we’re about to take together.

You’re very passionate about Ancient History, why is it such a good subject to study?

The skills that students learn through Ancient History are researching, critical reading, critical thinking and writing. Not everyone is trained in these skills, and once learned they can be transferred to University and into the workforce to be applied to any profession.

If you could give students one tip on study techniques what would it be?

One tip for every student is that each night they should go over what they’ve learnt in class that day. No matter what the subject, whether it be practising maths questions, or reading for ancient history, something has to be done to reinforce what you’ve learnt in class.

As a Research Librarian what is your favourite book?

I’d have to say that Robert Harris is my favourite author. He wrote books such as Imperium, Lustrum and Pompeii, all focussed on Ancient Rome, which is of course my favourite area. So you might say I’m a bit obsessed with Ancient History! I also look forward to the school holidays when I can read other fiction as well.

Debbie Gaggin
B ACS, GradDip AppSc LibInfMgt, M AppSc LibInfMgt, GradDip Ed (Middle School)


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