In Taking the Lead, we talk to school head teachers and heads of department. Paul Borrows, Assistant Head Academic at Vinehall School, tells us about his work and his own school days

Favourite subject when you were at school

When I was at primary school, my favourite subject was undoubtedly maths. As I approached my GCSEs, I was beginning to  appreciate English more and more, thanks to an inspiring teacher called Mrs Jarvis. I found choosing my A levels very difficult because I liked learning about most things.

Most inspirational teacher when you were at school

I was incredibly fortunate to have a number of wonderful teachers but it was my Year 1 teacher, Mr Voce, who instilled a love of learning that endures to this day. I still remember the lesson in which Jennifer Donaldson, with her bright blonde hair, stood in the centre of the classroom while some of the other children circled around her, pretending to be planets.

Favourite character from a book or film

It’s perhaps not very original, but I would probably have to say, Atticus Finch. For a while, I tried to persuade my wife that we should name one of our children after a character from To Kill a Mockingbird; it’s probably for the best I didn’t get my way. We do have a cat called Scout though.

Best school memory

I took part in a music exchange with a middle school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, while I was at school. The whole experience left a lasting impression and I look back very fondly on that time.

Is there anything you wish you’d studied at school that you didn’t?

I would have loved to study English Literature at A-level and I would have really enjoyed studying Art History.

What’s your proudest achievement at your current school?

I started at Vinehall in January so there’s not very much I can take credit for yet! We have got plans to introduce STEM as a curriculum subject in Year 5, focusing on encouraging our children to ‘think like an engineer’, and expanding our Life Skills curriculum to ensure our pupils are able to flourish in the ‘real world’.

What are you looking forward to this coming year?

Embracing an outward-looking, forward-thinking programme of study for our pupils that will mean they are fully prepared for the 21st century world that awaits them after Vinehall.

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