David Anson, Head of English, Bedales
David Anson
Head of English, Bedales

BA (Hons) English Literature, UCL
PGCE (English), Institute of Education
MA Text and Performance, RADA

What makes a good teacher at Bedales?

At the core of a good Bedales teacher is a love of learning and a drive to see all of their students harness this themselves. It is something that most teachers say they want for their pupils but, with the business of life and work, we find it hard to embody it ourselves. I think that a good Bedales teacher does this, they have a genuine love of their subject which extends beyond just what happens in the classroom and they have a willingness to problem solve and to be creative in their planning and in their approach to classroom teaching. They are able to find joy in the unexpected, able to adapt to the interests and curiosities of their students and they have a readiness to go beyond the confines of their own subject and to explore new subjects, skills and educational horizons. I think that a teacher who displays this kind of joy in their own learning and development is able to really inspire the young people under their care. 

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

Aside from a love of language and an appreciation for its power, a passion for literature and a desire to read, I want to instil a lifelong love of learning. I want my pupils to enjoy learning for its own sake and to take this on into to adulthood ready and willing to continue on this ongoing journey always thirsty to find out more.

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

In my spare time I write poetry, prose and plays and I am always looking for new ways to encourage Bedalians to write creatively. I facilitate our student produced creative writing magazine, The Poets Stoneand I have really enjoyed helping our budding playwrights through the National Theatre’s New Views programme and Extended Project Qualification. I am a keen gardener, I like drawing and painting and I enjoy a bit of DIY so I have found it an immense joy to be able to work with Andrew and his team in Outdoor Work. Not many English teachers also get to make stained glass windows and help with hay bailing as part of their job.

In your opinion, what makes Bedales special?

When I first joined Bedales I was struck by an overwhelming sense of calm and good will. Many of us talk about the good relationships here and I think that it is this that creates such a rare and unique atmosphere.

Who or what inspires you?

Great art, good design, mountains, the sea, Shakespeare, my wife, good teaching, God, Seamus Heaney, fantastic theatre and direction.

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

I once appeared on ‘Watchdog’ as a bogus sofa delivery guy.

David Anson