2 years ago

Inside Scoop 2019

  • Text
  • Hampshire
  • Schools
  • Schools
  • Scoop
  • Headmaster
  • Academic
  • Pupils
  • Opportunities
  • Berkshire
  • Prep
  • Pastoral
  • Surrey
  • Individual
A current parent perspective on the UK's top schools

Who or what inspired you

Who or what inspired you to teach? My father. He was a Housemaster at Rossall in Lancashire for eighteen years. In fact many of my family are teachers so you could say it is in the blood. Do you have an all-time favourite book? Middlemarch by George Eliot. I’ve read it many times and never tire of it. What sort of music do you listen to? Favourite piece or song? A variety, depending on my mood! My favourites are Mozart’s Horn Concerto No 4 and Fix You by Coldplay. Favourite play or musical? Guys and Dolls Your personal motto in life? You only get out of life what you put in to it. If you could only bring 3 things to a desert island what would they be? My 7 iron, a bag of golf balls and my wife – to collect the golf balls! Who would your five ideal dinner guests be (famous, living or dead)? Napoleon, Judy Dench, David Attenborough, Jane Austen and CB Fry. HEADS’ corner Stephen Ilett, Head of Port Regis School, Dorset, talks Downing Street, David Attenborough and his love for the Sound of Music If you were invisible for the day what would you do? Have a seat at the Cabinet table at No 10, Downing Street. What is your greatest achievement? I came to teaching later in life, following a career in the City, and have been lucky enough to be Headmaster of two wonderful schools - oMilbourne Lodge, and now Port Regis. If you weren’t headmaster, what would your dream job be? Travel writer. Michael Palin’s job looks like it would be perfect. Greatest all time movie? I love films but if I have to choose one it would be The Sound of Music – it can still make me cry. What was your favourite subject at school? French, even though I did a History degree. Any signature dishes? I cook a mean curry. One thing you always make sure you have on your desk? A bottle of water. Why, in your opinion is your school best? The quality of the staff, both academic and nonacademic. They truly are phenomenal. What three things do you need to be a successful headmaster? Focus, compassion and a good sense of humour. Best advice you would give your new school joiners? Give everything a go, always try your hardest and remember that these are some of the best days of your life. In one sentence, what is your school’s ethos? To provide a broad, world-class education that enables each and every child to flourish intellectually, emotionally, physically and personally, well prepared for their future.

INSIDE SCOOP Who or what inspired you to teach? I initially thought I would become a Naval or Cavalry Officer. Then I spent time teaching at The Prebendal School in Chichester when I was 19. I taught everything. I really enjoyed the people – the mix of pupils, colleagues and parents. It certainly wasn’t dull. The Army was also about people but there was less chance of being killed as a schoolmaster – so after university I decided on teaching and took my first job at Orley Farm School in Harrow. What is your all-time favourite book? A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell. What sort of music do you listen to? Favourite piece or song? I love Church music – Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis is the top, or possibly Te Lucis Ante Terminum by Balfour Gardiner. In the car, I put on Steely Dan… Your personal motto in life? The spirit of the hymn, Father, hear the prayer we offer – which translates as facing the challenges, cracking on. Your greatest achievement? Ha! – an impossible question. Very easy (but cheesy) to write “my family”… but I did enjoy Stephen Jones, Warden of St. Edward’s School, Oxford, talks church music, his family, the need to be ‘nimble’ and dining with Emma Thompson winning some races at Ramsgate Week a few years ago. Top three apps on your phone? WhatsApp, where we have a family group; the Teddies Twitter feed; and BBC News. Who would your five ideal dinner guests be (famous, living or dead)? Ludwig Wittgenstein, Mariella Frostrup, Basil Hume, Lucy Worsley and Emma Thompson. Wouldn’t that be a great night! Favourite subject at school? Physics, then French, English and Maths. Your greatest all time movie? Steve Martin’s Parenthood – a really educative experience and very funny. Best thing about Teddies? The extraordinary strength of our community. And location, location, location – Oxford is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest cities. What three things do you need to be a successful Headmaster? You need more than three. A sense of humour, empathy, a strong ability to be part of a team, vision, resilience and the capacity to be ‘nimble’ – to do whatever needs to be done, and to do it with grace and charm. What is the best advice you would give one of your new school joiners? Be yourself and get involved in as many activities as you can. In one sentence, what is your school’s ethos? That anything is possible if you give your all in your academic work and wider activities: pupils have the power to make a huge difference to their lives and to the world around them. 2019 ★ 95