Andrew Hammond, Headmaster of Hall School Wimbledon (HSW), discusses his background and educational approach

What is your background?

I have worked in education for 25 years and have served in both the independent and maintained sectors. My roles have included Headteacher, Deputy Head, Director of Studies, Housemaster, Head of English and class teacher. I have also served as a Common Entrance setter for the ISEB and as English Leader for the IAPS. Prior to joining Hall School Wimbledon (HSW), I was Senior Director of Learning & Community at Discovery Education, leading on professional development.  

Outside school life, I have written over 30 titles for various educational publishers and regularly speak on creativity and character education. In my spare time I write fiction.

What excites you most about your role at Hall School Wimbledon?

HSW is a school that aligns with the values I have espoused all my teaching career: namely that we must look at the whole child in front of us and concern ourselves with their personal development as much as their academic attainment.  At HSW, we value health and self-worth above everything, because we know it leads to self-discipline, which in turn leads to students reaching their potential.

School is the arrivals lounge for life, and we need to equip pupils with all the tools they need. One component of that is their academic education, but that is just one component – which is why viewing the whole child is so important.

60 Seconds With Andrew Hammond, Head of Hall School Wimbledon
Hall School Wimbledon Head Andrew Hammond

What is your academic philosophy?

I believe that rather than asking ‘How smart are you?’, it is important to ask, ‘How are you smart?’ HSW pupils make up a lively community of budding scientists, artists, dancers, authors, musicians and athletes and we work hard to enable every child to find their ‘element’ and to feel valued for who they are and the unique contribution they bring to the school. Many pupils will discover talents at HSW which they never knew they had, such is the privilege and pleasure of working here.

What is Hall School Wimbledon’s approach and what sets it apart?

We are proudly co-educational, multi-cultural and non-selective and I believe it is our pastoral care and emphasis on health and wellbeing that defines us. I have always believed the mark of an excellent school is the nature of the relationships between staff and students – and here at HSW we pride ourselves on the good humour and care that exists between everyone in the building.

What makes a great student?

For me, great students have a spirit of adventure, a thirst for knowledge and a kind and caring outlook.

From your experience, what makes a great school environment?

A supportive school culture makes for a great school environment. At HSW, our ethos and values are focused on the health and self-worth of everyone in our community. This ensures our culture is kind and caring, enabling our students to feel happy and valued and able to reach their full potential.

Hall School Wimbledon

Further reading: 60 Seconds With Jody Wells, Head of Wells Cathedral School Junior School