Alice McNeill
Alice McNeill
Director of Studies

BA (Hons) University College, London
PGCE Sheffield Hallam
MA York
NPQSL Newcastle

What do you think makes a good teacher at Bedales?

Bedales puts students at the centre of everything it does, and in the class room it is no different. I feel humbled by the immense creativity and imagination of the students. Students engage at a very high level and when you teach at Bedales, you are very much alongside the students. Teachers at Bedales all love their subjects, the staff are inspiring to be around. In many ways, it feels like going back to university.

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

To take intellectual risks, to listen to each other, to be patient and to work hard as this education is an immense opportunity.

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

I am Head of Partnerships, so my role is to develop relationships with state maintained schools. Schools in the 21st century should not exist in a vacuum and we have so much to gain and to give by extending our learning community. I am responsible for training all the new and trainee teachers coming into Bedales, the 6.1 students taking EPQs as well as having a role on the Academic Team in charge of data tracking. Added to all this, I have a great Block 4 tutor group and am Resident Tutor in the wonderful New Boys' Flat.

In your opinion, what makes Bedales special?

The respect between staff and students is the first thing that struck me, which surprised me due to the tradition of first name terms - but now to be called 'Miss' would seem so odd! The connection to the land is really special, Outdoor Work seems to affect the students deeply. The diversity of activity going on throughout the day is amazing; in my first week I was teaching Plato and looked out of the window to see a procession of wheelbarrows followed by the prep school children going to visit the blacksmith. And the library is just magical.

Who or what inspires you?

Anyone who devotes their life to something and sticks with it. 

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

The last thing I did before deciding to become a teacher was to help organise the State Visit of President Putin to the UK.