What’s your earliest memory from the classroom?

I remember my first teacher in primary school and her telling me to sit still. After one term my parents moved me to our local prep school. It was quite a transformation. Miss Jones (no relation) smelt nice and had a welcoming smile. I loved school thereafter!

Which aspects of school life do you look back upon fondly?

I could not get enough sport and music. As a Cathedral choirboy I was kept busy and came to love the music we sang and enjoyed the sense of performance. In South Wales, my favourite sport was rugby. I also enjoyed the mischief of being a boarder.

Did you have a favourite teacher?

At prep school, Mr Phillips was my housemaster. He had a great sense of humour and clearly understood young children. We trusted him knowing that if we were caught for a misdemeanour then punishment would be fair. He was also a good teacher.

What was your favourite lesson?

The lessons taught by my favourite teachers! I loved History when it was taught by Mr Jones (still no relation!) who brought the Middle Ages to life through stories and Maths with the Headmaster who kept referring to his schooldays in Victorian times (I still have no idea whether he was exaggerating).

Is there anything you wish you’d studied at secondary school?

I dropped History and Latin early on for other subjects but wish now that I had carried on with them. Both subjects I have come to love since then.

How has your own experience of school sculpted you into the head teacher you are today?

I never liked the petty rules of school that seemed to exist just to make life difficult. C.S. Lewis, referring to the Narnia chronicles, once said that he wrote the kind of stories he would like to have read as a child. Echoing his sentiment, I now run the kind of school I would like to have attended.

Spring Grove School is an independent prep school in Wye for boys and girls aged two to eleven.

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