What is your background?

I joined Bishop’s Stortford College in September 2020 from Wolverhampton Grammar School, where I  had been Head since 2013. Prior to that I was Deputy Head at The King’s School, Chester. My background is as a teacher of mathematics and I’m also a school inspector with the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

What excites you most about your new role at Bishop’s Stortford College?

I was drawn to Bishop’s Stortford College, primarily by its reputation for unpretentious excellence; I have been impressed by the academic results and facilities for some time. As I get to know the College community more, I find I like its warmth and openness very much, too. The young people in our schools are the next generation of entrepreneurs, leaders and parents – the future of the world will lie in their hands – I find that extremely exciting.

What is your academic philosophy?

Education must equip young people with the wherewithal to make wise choices and so influence the courses of their own, and others’, lives for the better. Head teachers are in the unique position of creating an atmosphere in which such learning can take place. I find that compelling work.  In a world that is changing rapidly for a variety of reasons, the most important calling for us all is to understand what it means to be human, and to live our lives well. Advances in technology will mean that our children’s lives will probably be unrecognisable from our own. We must equip them with the intellectual dexterity to understand and adapt to that which is new, and the moral strength to make good decisions which are of benefit to themselves and society. Young people with these attributes will indeed have confidence for life.

Can you tell us about one pivotal moment from your career?

I utterly loved mathematics as soon as I started learning it and always knew I would go on to teach. My earliest memories of maths are of my primary days, when I would return home from school and beg my father, a university lecturer, to write sums for me to solve for pleasure! Mathematics continues to bring me satisfaction and teaching it has been a privilege.

“We must equip young people with the intellectual dexterity to adapt to that which is new, and the moral strength to make good decisions”

What is Bishop’s Stortford College’s approach and what sets it apart?

The College takes pride in offering breadth and balance, an approach designed to ensure all-round growth – academically, morally, spiritually, ethically and creatively. At its heart though is community – a community of pupils, staff and parents who collectively strive for excellence in all they do, supporting each other along the way. It’s a lovely place to be.

What makes a great student?

A great student is one who feeds their intellectual curiosity, who is genuinely interested in knowing more, not just about their academic subjects but about the world around them and life in general. That willingness to learn – to understand more and to find answers to questions – makes for a fascinating individual, as well as a great student.

What makes a great school environment?

A great school environment is about more than just well-equipped buildings and great teaching facilities. It is about the people who teach and inspire our young people, who are passionate about their subject and dedicated to sharing their knowledge. It’s also about the outside spaces, fresh air and nature, that will balance time spent in the classroom. A child who is excited and interested to learn and nurtured through their education will develop confidence for.

BISHOP’S STORTFORD COLLEGE is a co-ed for 4-18 year olds located in the Hertfordshire town of Bishop’s Stortford. bishopsstortfordcollege.org