Introducing the Senior Leadership Team
We thought we would find out a bit more about our Senior Leadership Team so we asked them all the same set of questions:
- What are your qualifications and what subject did you study at university?
- What is your favourite book and why?
- Why is education important to you?
- Tell us something about you that may surprise us!
This is what they said....
Paul Mundy-Castle - Principal
Ba (Hons), PGCE, MA Education, NPQH, AST
My favourite book is "Things Fall Apart" by the renowned Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. This is a fascinating portrayal of life in an African village which lays bare the conflict between tradition and modernisation. This is a "rite of passage" read to help the reader appreciate the impact that coming of age has on a community.
I believe that all young people regardless of their starting points should have the best possible education. We must not be guided by their current status but by their potential. I believe all young people should understand that learning is a lifelong relationship and does not end at GCSE or A levels.
Played professional basketball and represented Great Britain.
Tyrone Myton - Head of Academy
BSc(Hons), PGCE, NPQSL, IOEML, CLT
Degree: Physical Education and Business Studies
My favourite book is "The Score Takes Care of Itself" by Bill Walsh. It's a book on leadership and how he turned the failing San Francisco franchise into an NFL dynasty with a strong brand of leadership and innovation. His philosophy has transcended the sport and is viewed as a pillar of leadership in many business and sporting environments.
Students of all ages sometimes don't value the power of education. It is our job as teachers and school leaders to constantly reinforce the importance of education and the opportunities it can bring. My vision for all students is to inspire them to believe that through education they can change and shape the world for future generations. Through these opportunities, our students should always thrive to fulfil their potential by showing compassion and empathy to support those less fortunate home and abroad. Qualifications although important do not make the person, but merely provide them with the opportunity to have an impact on the world around them.
Former semi-professional footballer. Played the first competitive match at the new Wembley stadium.
James Cook - Acting Deputy Principal
My favourite books have always been from the historical fiction genre. Recently, I have enjoyed the ‘Shardlake’ series by the author C.J.Samson. His meticulous research and the accuracy of his historical portrayal and interpretation brings the Tudor period to life. Samson’s most recent book, ‘Lamentation’ spins a web of intrigue in the Royal court of Henry VIII and Katherine Parr. This publication is a must-read for anyone who enjoys history and mystery. The book Dominion, by the same author, is another exceptional read. This tells the story of one of Britain’s great turning points, had Britain become a dominion to the Nazi State, as many members of the 1940 cabinet would have preferred and the impact this would’ve had on everyday life and society. Another fascinating read.
Education is the most powerful gift that can be given to any young person. As educators we have a window of opportunity to make students curious, interested, questioning and provoked/affected by what they’ve been exposed to in the classroom. This leads to a thirst and desire for more. The skills that this process develops and embeds over time are lifelong skills that will lead to success in every aspect of adulthood and life.
I represented my county at both badminton and cricket
Jack Costello - Assistant Principal
BHMS, Grad. Dip. Ed.
Degree: Physical Education
My favourite book is "The Power of One" by Bryce Courtenay. This coming of age book is set in 1930s South Africa. No stranger to the injustice of racial hatred, five-year-old Peekay learns the hard way the first secret of survival and self-preservation - the power of one. An encounter with amateur boxer Hoppie Groenewald inspires in Peekay a fiery ambition - to be welterweight champion of the world. It made me laugh and cry in equal measures when I first read it as a teenager and the themes have held true for me ever since.
I believe that our role as educators is to provide a broad and rich experience both in and out of the classroom for all students: affording students the opportunity to fulfil their potential academically whilst ensuring they are equipped to leave us as positive, happy and well-rounded members of society is paramount.
Won the Premier’s Award for History when I sat my Higher School Certificate in Australia
Donna Afriyie - Assistant Principal
Degree: Media with Cultural Studies
"The Friends" by Rosa Guy is my favourite childhood read. It was a book that opened my eyes to social injustice at a very young age and the first book to make me cry. For a more mature read, I recommend "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khalid Hosseini, a story so rich in cultural references and pride, while being brutally honest about the traumatic experiences of women in other parts of the world. I am currently reading and enjoying “Native” by Akala. He writes openly and unapologetically about the politics of race and class in Britain with autobiographical accounts that most black and or working class people such as myself will relate to. I like that although Akala has managed to “make it” in spite of his circumstances, he does not forget that his circumstances are still very real - and in some cases - worse for many children growing up in Britain today.
Education is about life chances and effective participation. It facilitates inclusion and is the most important way to ‘bridge the gap’ by engaging children in activities and support systems which gives them the necessary cultural capital to navigate their way through an otherwise difficult world.
I thought long and hard about this and couldn't think of anything beyond the fact that I am a young professional mother of four! As many parents know, being a parent and developing a career can be a challenge but it is a challenge worth undertaking when you work in education.
Clare Durling- Associate Assistant Principal
BA (Hons), PGCE, ILM level 3
Degree: English Literature
Being an English teacher I have several favourite books: Some I love revisiting with students who always bring fresh perspectives and I see the writing from a new angle, for example, ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Other books I cherish for their crafting or the impact they have on me. I particularly like the writing of Rose Tremain. ‘The Road Home’ published in 2007 is one of a number of brilliant books by the same author. It tells the story of Lev, an economic migrant. Through his eyes we hear the painful yet comic story of trying to make a life in London. It is beautifully, touchingly written.
Education for me is about the little flashes in a classroom when an individual ‘gets’ something or makes a strong personal connection with what they’re learning. Moments of inspiration! In a broader sense, education is not simply about a set of GCSE or A level results but about learning about where you fit in the world; what you enjoy, what you are good at, how to communicate and work with others. This lasts a lifetime. As Albert Einstein said ‘Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one learned at school.’
I taught English in Japan, sold designer clothes in Australia and was a childminder in the USA to fund my travels. See the world!
Chris Trace - Associate Assistant Principal and Head of Year 11
BSc (Hons), PGCE, Advanced Skills Teacher
Degree: Sport Science & English
My favourite book is tricky to identify. I enjoy learning so you might catch me reading "A Short History of Nearly Everything" (Bill Bryson) or an autobiography such as "Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know" by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Then again, I also enjoy turning my brain off occasionally for a Jack Reacher adventure.
I have loved teaching since I first fell into it sometime last millennium, and at the heart of what I do is the pastoral side of school life; because getting to know young people, and not just in the classroom, is such a privilege. Seeing them leave school ready to take on the world and leave a positive impression on society makes teaching the most rewarding profession around.
My wife and I got married and had our daughter’s christening at St. Paul’s Cathedral.