The Lyceum School Headmaster Mike Stanley on his background and educational approach

What is your background?

I grew up in a family of teachers and knew from an early age that working alongside children would be my vocation. In a teaching career, spanning 25 years, I have fulfilled a variety of roles, including teaching History and Sport at Rokeby School in Kingston, being the Deputy Headmaster at Walhampton in the New Forest and most recently the Headmaster at Forres Sandle Manor in Hampshire and I am thrilled to have been appointed as the new Headmaster of The Lyceum.

What excites you most about your role at The Lyceum School?

The Lyceum is a hidden gem in the heart of the City of London; I am excited about helping the school to shine more brightly. There is so much to celebrate at The Lyceum, it is a school steeped in creativity, and the performing arts – such as Music – are particularly strong here. I can see that there is huge potential at The Lyceum in other areas, too and we are exploring ways to improve our Sport, STEM and entrepreneurial provision, as well as developing our children’s skills for the future and helping to develop their inner strength and emotional intelligence.

60 seconds with Mike Stanley | Headmaster of The Lyceum School

What is your educational philosophy?

I believe every child has the potential to shine in their own way. When children are happy, comfortable in their own skin and nurtured by their teachers, they are able to achieve great things. I want our staff to build strong relationships with the children, based on trust and mutual respect, that empowers them to treat every day, every challenge, as an adventure.

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

I spent seven years working at Rokeby. During that time, I attended a friend’s wedding, held at Walhampton School in Lymington, and returned to London after the weekend with a new job, having been offered the post of Head of History by the Headmaster. This changed the whole course of my career. I spent 16 years working at Walhampton, a place where my own children grew up and where my educational philosophy was moulded.

“London is our classroom and our playground. We have a topic-based curriculum – not very common in prep schools – and we also do an enormous number of trips”

What is The Lyceum’s approach and what sets it apart?

Its location – London is our classroom and London is our playground. We have a topic-based curriculum, which is not very common in prep schools. We do an enormous number of trips for a prep school such as our living history trips which bring out curriculum to life. These include our Terrible Tudors trip, when our students live as Tudors in Milden Hall, Suffolk for a week.

We also pride ourselves in preparing our students for the modern world and our location means we are part of that future, surrounded by some of the biggest tech companies on the planet….

What makes a great student?

A child who is naturally curious and asks questions. I like a student who is willing to question the status quo.

From your experience, what makes a great school environment?

A happy and inclusive environment. A school needs to have a culture which values everyone who is part of the community and be a place full of smiles and laughter. It’s an environment where everyone is kind, thoughtful and respectful of others and where everyone can be themselves.

The Lyceum School

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