Jenni Brittain

Teacher of Drama, Head of Boarding and 6.2 Housemistress, Bedales

Dip Speech & Drama, Queen Margaret Univeristy College, Edinburgh
Teaching Certificate, Moray House College of Education, Edinburgh

What makes a good teacher at Bedales?

Passion for your subject, a good sense of humour and someone who likes spending quality time with young people.

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

That it is alright to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. Respect for each other and the surroundings..The value of learning.

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

As a Drama teacher and housemistress it leaves little time for much else. I do enjoy Civics, we are so blessed with quality of speakers here. Listening to Stephen Fry recently was a huge honour. In the past I have sung in the choir and tried to play the clarinet. More recently I have been working on developing the new Block 3 curriculum and contributed to the recent boarding review. The committee I have enjoyed most is being part of the Bedales Senior Team (BST) strategy group. As a housemistress my role and focus is granular; the BST allows me to look at what a future Bedales may look like which is very exciting.

In your opinion, what makes Bedales special?

  • The beautiful countryside.
  • The students want to be here and don’t just pitch up because they have to.
  • Outdoor Work.
  • The special relationships we can have with our students – they make me laugh every day.

What is your best memory of Bedales?

There are so many - Nearly all of my best school memories have been in the theatre. The first production I saw was Jo Murphy’s Hamlet – I loved every aspect of it: the set, the costumes the smell, the feel………all marvellous. Long rehearsal weekends, but always filled with laughter. Little Shop of Horrors - fun from start to finish. Phil King’s most recent production was outstanding in its accomplishment and creativity; the day my son Jamie was made head boy, I was so proud. The best ever school visit I have been on was to Spain with Nick Meigh; he made the best tour guide ever. I think there is still a photograph from that trip in the History corridor; I look like an over ripe tomato. (It was very hot).

Who or what inspires you?

My family.

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

When I was training to be a stage manager Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid) put ice down my back to see if I would miss an important cue.

Read Jenni's article, published in The TelegraphWould I invite Donald Trump to speak at our school?