|1 Jul 2021|
King's is rightly proud of its fantastic track record of Old Brutonians returning to become members of staff. Here, 4 of our current 7 OB teachers talk about their time at King's and why they returned.
My memories of King’s are spending all my time with my friends, both in lessons and the boarding house; it was like one long sleepover with your mates. I remember making our way through copious amounts of tea and toast at supper and also in Wellesley House. I feel very fortunate to have gone to a school where you were so well looked after and have really fond memories of my time at King’s. I therefore wanted to try and pass on my passion for the school to others. We say it all the time, but there is a real sense of community at King’s – we are all very fortunate to be part of it. I did look at working at other schools… but found my way back here! Since leaving King’s, I have been surprised and thankful that not a lot has changed, the buildings are reassuringly familiar (as are some of the members of staff, who are now colleagues…). That said, the security in the boarding house is much better – I don’t know how we didn’t get caught out on several occasions! My advice to my younger self would be to relish every opportunity you can, your time at King’s will pass in a flash so make sure you make the very most of it!
As a pupil I would be found on the sports field, especially the astro (just the one when I was a pupil). It was due to my hockey that I became a teacher, I loved inspiring kids to take up hockey and find something they were good at outside the classroom setting. This led me to a teaching career, but wanted to combine it with my degree subject Psychology. It was actually Mr Barrow who got me enthusiastic about Psychology with his teaching of Sport’s Psychology for A-Level PE. With a combination of these subjects and my passions, I took the step of becoming a teacher back at the school (something I said I would never do).
At first being back at King’s felt unsettling, I was back at ‘school’ but now on the other side. As Mr Wilmshurst was my Headmaster, calling him Ian instead of Sir took a lot of getting used to. However, over the last 4 years it has become more normal and now I have been a teacher here, longer than I was a pupil, so it just feels normal. Having been a pupil made the new job transition so much easier I remember on the new staff training day Mrs Grant was asking me for the inside knowledge / the school language rather than her telling us new staff what they were!
This year I have been fortunate enough to join the many other Old Brutonians who have returned to King’s to experience the other side of the school community to teach French and Spanish, the subjects I so loved studying here. After a few surreal weeks adjusting to answering to ‘Miss’ and to teaching alongside my former teachers, I have had a challenging but very rewarding and eye-opening year, I had no idea how hard teachers worked! It was thanks to such a special time at King’s, both academically and socially, that I had both the confidence and the skills to go on to read Politics & Spanish at the University of Bath, including an unforgettable year living and working in Chile. It has been wonderful to come back to inspire our current and aspiring linguists to venture off to experience something similar!
My best memories about King’s as a pupil were reaching national finals for hockey both indoor and outdoor at U16s level and going to the Dorchester in London for afternoon tea - what an amazing experience. Ben Dudley and Henry Eriksson encouraged me to get into the coaching role and inspiring the next generation as they both inspired me. Coming back to King’s was a natural choice as it is a great opportunity to work at a small school in a strong role (Head of Cricket and Assistant Head of Hockey) and I also wanted to give the students the same experience that I had when I was a student here. What I enjoy most is having the freedom around the school to put on extra lessons for both hockey and cricket to help the students get better. The new sixth form centre is the one thing that I wish I had when I was here. One thing I would have told my younger self is work harder at your fitness and strength/conditioning in order to get further in my sport.