Feline Charpentier

Teacher of Outdoor Work, Bedales

BA St Martin's College, Lancaster University
HnD Construction Management UWE Bristol

What makes a good teacher at Bedales?

It seems all the teachers here have something about them – they are really and truly ‘themselves’, not putting on a ‘teacher face’ or pretending to be something else. Being genuine, calm, approachable and interesting I guess.

What are you trying to encourage and instil in your students?

Working in Outdoor Work is really my absolute dream job, and I hope that my enthusiasm and passion for everything outdoors related, be that cooking, knitting, weaving, woodworking or gardening, inspires my students to feel the same. It’s so satisfying and calming working with your hands, and can be a way to escape other things that may be going on in your life, be it exam stress or anything else.

Apart from your teaching role, what else do you get involved with at the school?

Until Christmas I am only here part time so at the moment I struggle to get involved with anything else. I’m looking forward to getting on flat and seeing all the other aspects of life at Bedales after January, but I love the new Wednesday bake, getting up at six in the morning and making all sorts of goodies with a very hardy group of students. We have long queues out of the door every Wednesday break-time!

In your opinion, what makes Bedales special?

Bedales is clearly very unique in many ways, but I think the sense of maturity and responsibility that so many of the students possess is inspiring.

Who or what inspires you?

Having spent years working long hours in hot stressful kitchens, with chefs who put in ridiculously long hours for very little reward, I think anyone that makes a real craft of a skill or passion they have inspires me to work hard and do everything to the absolute best of my abilities.

Tell us something not a lot of people know about you.

I spent the third year of my teaching degree living in a van on Hampstead Heath. It was very cold, rather damp and totally impractical, but I loved (almost) every minute!