Born in Glasgow, the son of a Scottish father and a mother hailing from eastern Switzerland, I spent most of my childhood in the West Midlands; attending a primary school in Alvechurch, Worcestershire, and subsequently Kings Norton Grammar School for Boys in Birmingham. Having taken ‘A’ levels in French, Latin and Greek, I studied German and French at the Queen’s College Oxford before completing my teaching qualifications at the University of York. Most of my earlier career was spent teaching TFL/TESL in Germany, Morocco and Brunei.
"I have always been struck by the friendly relations existing between teachers and boys on the one hand, and teachers and their colleagues on the other."
While I was in south-east Asia I met my wife Eve, of Chinese extraction and, at that time, a Malaysian citizen. Anxious to return to teaching the modern European languages I had studied, I returned with my family to the UK at the end of 1989. We have two sons and two daughters, the younger of each gender having attended/attending Loughborough Grammar School and Loughborough High School respectively.
Prior to September 1990 I did some supply work and a one-term contract in state secondary schools located in the city of Birmingham. I successfully applied for the post of German and French teacher at Loughborough Grammar School and commenced my employment in September 1990.
To be a successful teacher at Loughborough Schools Foundation you need a detailed knowledge of your subject and a passion for it; devoting sufficient time to extending your command of it, thinking carefully about how it is best delivered to different teaching groups and marking pupils’ work thoroughly and regularly. At Loughborough Grammar School we are fortunate in having many boys who are well disposed towards foreign language learning, and it is a real pleasure to be able to relax occasionally in the classroom and share a joke with our charges.
"To be a successful teacher at Loughborough Schools Foundation you need a detailed knowledge of your subject and a passion for it"
For me, the two most important things to be encouraged in children are mutual respect and consideration, and a thirst for knowledge.
Enjoying a warm, yet workmanlike, relationship with colleagues is a further key advantage professionally; something which I have always found particularly easy at Loughborough Schools Foundation.
Apart from my teaching role, and position of teacher in charge of German, I support Heads of Year in their invaluable work. I also play my part in organising trips abroad, I help out with master classes and I used to umpire cricket matches. After my arrival here I resurrected the by then defunct stamp club; when interest in that declined I began to supervise boys involved in ‘Warhammer’ after school on Mondays.
Through lack of experience I cannot compare life at Loughborough Grammar School to that of other independent schools, but, I have always been struck by the friendly relations existing between teachers and boys on the one hand, and teachers and their colleagues on the other.
Among the wealth of fond memories associated with my life at Loughborough Grammar School the quincentenary celebrations of 1995 and the excursion to London rank very highly, especially that unforgettable evening performance of Les Miserables.