What was your favourite subject at school and why?
Geography was thoroughly enjoyable, especially physical geography. As I grew up in South Africa, the opportunities for field work were numerous, with extensive fold mountains not far from school. It was wonderful to get out of the classroom and learn in the environment, where the subject genuinely came to life.
Did you always want to be a teacher? If not, what other jobs did you consider?
Yes, it was something I always wanted to do. My father was a school chaplain and teacher; as such growing up in a school community probably led me to teaching.
What is your favourite day in the school calendar?
It is difficult to pick out one day, the school calendar is full with many different and valuable events which makes each day special for its own reason. It is the joy of being in teaching that each day brings with it something different. That said, I really do like the return to school after the holiday, welcoming everyone back and seeing the school as one again.
Which school teacher, would you say had the greatest effect on your early life?
It would have to be my English teacher, Miss Baws. She was a fearsome lady, who had a passion for all things literary and she had a remarkable ability to instil this into her pupils. I have little doubt that my enjoyment of literature is down to her influence.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
As a family we like spending time in the outdoors, being from South Africa this is important to me. We have a good time walking and cycling. I enjoy taking my son swimming and always try to squeeze in a round of golf during the school holidays. I have a commitment to wildlife conservation and enjoy getting involved in this both here and when I visit Africa.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
I have a real soft spot for the Masai Mara, I love the tranquillity and the abundance of wildlife one encounters without the feeling of being overcrowded by others is very special. I also love the stark beauty of Death Valley National Park, the physical features are incredible, particularly the Artist’s Palette and the sailing stones.
What is your greatest achievement?
This has to be my conquering of Kilimanjaro, seeing the sunrise from the summit was an incredible experience and something I will never forget.
Tell us one interesting fact about yourself that your pupils would be surprised to know!
I am an avid cross-country skier, especially in Norway.
- St Bede's School www.bedes.org Upper Dicker, East Sussex, BN27 3QH 01323843252
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