Head of Claremont Senior School, Ed Dickie, chats career progression, teaching, and the rewards of overcoming learning challenges with students

What were you doing before you joined Claremont? Before I joined Claremont I spent 13 years at Bedes/St. Bedes School in a variety of roles – starting as a labourer on their Facilities Team and ending up on the Senior Team as Senior Day Housemaster. In between I was a History & Politics Teacher, Head of Sixth Form and Housemaster. 

What are you looking forward to next year? Hopefully spending less time thinking about Covid protocols and more time helping students discover their personal pathways. I am particularly looking forward to teaching History at A Level again, having taught only Politics over the past few years. 

Tell us a little about your school days… Hmm. Perhaps less said about that the better! I happened across the Deputy Head from my old school a few years back. After overcoming his surprise at seeing me he exclaimed that ‘the poacher has turned gamekeeper!’. It’s fair to say that I was a reluctant student until my A Levels when I was inspired by two fantastic teachers who managed, somehow, to instill in a rogue 17-year -old a passion for Shakespeare and 19th Century British Politics. My own experience at school, both the good and the bad, has guided me throughout my career in education.

What was your favourite subject at school? Despite now being a History teacher it was probably English Literature.

How do you hope to inspire the pupils at Claremont? I hope to inspire pupils by providing them with endless evidence of what is possible when you back yourself, work hard and take the opportunities that come your way. Seeing young people discover and develop their potential is why I teach.

What’s been your proudest achievement? It is always difficult to pinpoint one particular moment. Seeing Claremont develop academically and pastorally has been hugely rewarding but, for me, the proudest moments in my career have always been seeing individuals ‘come good’ when the odds were against it. This might manifest in all sorts of different ways – both inside and outside the classroom – but when it happens I know we have really made a lasting difference.

If you could teach anyone from history, who would it be? A very good question! I am not sure that any of the many people I admire from history would have gained much from being taught by me! In terms of someone who I would have been most interested to teach when they were child I would lean towards a political figure such as Nelson Mandela or Adolf Hitler, each for very different reasons!

What’s your favourite place to visit in the Weald? Again, very difficult! Born, and initially brought up, in Sussex I feel very much at home across the Weald. At the moment I am never happier than walking with my dogs through the fields and woods north of Battle, where I now live. 

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