Head of Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst

BA Hons, PGCE, MA Education

What makes a good teacher at Dunhurst?

Endless energy coupled with kindness and patience; a love of their subject; a love of working with children and an ambitious belief in what every child can achieve.

What are you trying to encourage and instil in the children?

Inquiring, creative and flexible minds; confidence and self belief combined with a gentle humility; an ability to see beyond themselves, to the needs of others and the world they live in; a love of learning, life and people.

What attracted you to Bedales?

Bedales has always intrigued me. I love the idea of engendering creativity and freedom in the curriculum. Over the last five years I have become increasingly concerned about the amount of pressure that pupils are placed under by their schools; the joy seems to have been sucked out of our children’s education. Bedales has a magical way of allowing pupils to excel academically and in so many other areas, in a way that is both engaging and enjoyable rather than taxing and methodical. I fell in love with Dunhurst the moment I put my foot in the school. I am a love at first sight kind of person! ‘This is the one’!!!

What were you doing previously? 

I taught Art and Design for the last 18 years, was a state school art teacher; tertiary college Lecturer and then Head of Art at Hurstpierpoint College Prep School. I then joined their Senior Team as a Year Head before being promoted to Academic Deputy Head. For the last three years I taught religion, ethics and philosophy, the pupils really made me think!

Who/what inspires you?

Who: Anyone who has a go, falls flat on their face, picks themselves up and has another go. Anyone who can laugh at themselves. The pupils and teachers who run into Dunhurst with beaming smiles and bags of enthusiasm for the day ahead. The talent of pupils and staff at Dunhurst; it is such a humbling experience to see what others can do.
What: Kindness, selflessness, silence, the smell of oil paint, the sea, time spent with wise people.

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

I hated school and left school when I was 15 (I don’t think they liked my pink trousers, luminous legwarmers and hat with bells on!); my only memory was that of being profoundly switched off, there was never anything for my brain to munch on! My belief that education could be so much more exciting and stimulating is what inspired me to become a teacher.