I studied Classics at Oxford, and towards the end of my time there I found myself having a greater role in the coaching of sports teams and taking on some tutoring, which was my first real taste of teaching others. I then came to Cambridge to complete my PGCE and found myself on a two-term placement at The Perse. I came back to join The Perse in 2006 and in my time here I have held the roles of UCAS Arts and Oxford Advisor, a Middle School Year Head, a PGCE Mentor, Head of Classics and now Head of Sixth Form.
During my own time at school I lived in what had been a Roman town and this sparked my interest in the history of Roman Britain. Having the opportunity to study Latin and then Greek from a young age gave me a passion for the languages of the ancient world too. Studying classics at undergraduate level is when I really began to specialise in ancient history. It has been extremely rewarding to instigate and take a lead in the reintroduction of ancient history to the curriculum at The Perse in recent years.
The beauty of teaching is that no two lessons or two days are the same. At The Perse, you spend each day with enquiring minds who share an enthusiasm and passion for learning. One of the most impressive aspects of Perse students is the way they manage to squeeze all their interests into the time they have. They carry you along with them and many of the most rewarding parts of my role are seeing just what they manage to achieve. The Sixth Form community is a lively, busy and active one, but one where students are proud to share their successes and happy to share their burdens. I am fortunate to be one of the people that sixth formers will come to when they need help, guidance or advice; to see the positive outcomes that can be reached by working closely with such talented and ambitious students is by far the most rewarding part of my own role.
I am a firm believer that as a teacher you learn as much about your students outside the classroom as you do within it. The relationships that you form through engaging with their achievements and helping them to learn skills such as teamwork and leadership are the basis of fostering a positive community. In my time at The Perse I have been an RAF Officer in the CCF, led an exchange to Hong Kong, travelled with PES to Kenya and accompanied two student plays to the Edinburgh Fringe. I have a great passion for sport and I have been fortunate to coach some exceptionally talented young hockey players and cricketers in my time here. In both sports there is always a buzz of excitement as you prepare for a tournament, be it the County Cup or the National Final.
As someone who was educated in a school with an all-round ethos (where I thought I was offered a lot), I find myself incredibly envious of the opportunities that the students have here. It is probably the reason why I find myself so keen to help them make the most of those chances!