Martina Gruppo

Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages, Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst

What do you love about your subject?

That it is accessible to everyone, it amazes the children when they can link something they already know in another language to something I am teaching and they light up with the success of the connection.

What is special about teaching at Dunhurst?

Anything is possible, it's a wonderful way to teach.

What is your most treasured Dunhurst memory?

Being told by a Block 2 pupil that my hairstyle 'rocked' when I nervously came back after chemotherapy. 

What advice would you give to a Dunhurstian?

Have a go, do your best and have fun.

What do you get up to when you are not being a Dunhurst teacher?

I run an independent coffee company, I write a monthly column for Sussex Style magazine and I regularly dog-sit.

What words of wisdom or quote do you live by?

Eleanor Roosevelt said 'Do one thing that scares you, every day' -  I believe we should always be pushing boundaries, even if it's outside our comfort zone, especially if it is!

What person has had the most influence on your life?

My Dad - an absolute old school gentleman.

Tell us about a book, a song, a piece of music, a film or a piece of artwork that have changed your life.

I was taught how to read when I was very young, I read everything and anything I could find. At school we went through all the Dickens books, the Bronte sisters, Shakespeare and even Chaucer, and although I didn't love all of those books (I couldn't stand Chaucer) it did make me adore words and language which has in turn led me to learning Italian, French and Spanish and writing professionally. Both the languages and the writing have changed my life in a way I never would have thought possible.