My father was a maths teacher and I initially saw maths as something quite functional until I went into the Sixth Form. I had to travel to another school two days a week to study further maths after becoming quite good at it. There I had one teacher who helped me see the logical and creative aspects of maths. I decided to study mathematics at Nottingham University, and no doubt with the influence of my father’s genes and recollections of my own Sixth Form maths teacher, I went to Queens’ College, Cambridge to complete a PGCE.
The best thing about teaching at The Perse is definitely the people. The students have a keen interest in developed academic and creative thinking, and show it with the minimum amount of fuss and pompousness. This attitude is carried through to every aspect of their school life. Our staff also naturally share this approach of having an interest in everything– there is a drive to constantly enquire, discuss and challenge. I enjoy the conversations I have with students on the walk to the next lesson, the lively debate in lessons themselves and the spirited discussions at lunchtime with other colleagues.
As a teenager I developed an interest in computer science. Early experiments writing simple programs on the Amstrad home computer turned into a wider interest in procedural and functional programming which a fellow sixth former had introduced me to on the school library’s single PC. I like to pass this enthusiasm onto the students through extra-curricular activities – I jointly run the Programming Society and Digital Literacy clubs, assist with the Christian Union and the Christel House Schools charitable project and also help prepare students taking part in the British Informatics Olympiad and other computing competitions. Each year I also organise the annual Christmas Shoebox appeal, collecting filled shoeboxes from students to send to countries in Eastern Europe through Link to Hope.