Head of Junior School
I joined the Junior School as Head in September 2012, having spent the previous ten years teaching Biology in the Senior School. For the last six of these I was Head of Middle School (ages 13-16) and a member of the Master’s Advisory Committee.
I loved my own time at school and was fortunate to have had inspiring, patient and committed teachers who gently steered me towards exploring and developing my interests and potential in all sorts of areas. I knew then that I wanted to do the same and remain passionate about each individual child feeling understood, valued and encouraged to offer their best.
In Junior School the atmosphere is simply fizzing with energy; it is vibrant, friendly, purposeful and fun. The boys are engaging, enthusiastic and, above all, happy.
Deputy Head of JS & J1A Form Tutor
I have been teaching quite a while and am still in contact with some of my very first pupils which is lovely! Having studied for a degree and post-grad in London, I taught there and in Berkshire before moving to Northants. My two sons followed me to MCS and I’m proud to say that after university, they are now happily settled in jobs they enjoy, and their adult lives. They, too, are very much still in contact with their MCS contemporaries.
The JS is my family, too. Having seen 15 years of J1s passing through, I am so proud of the young men they have become. Every little step taken is progress made and it is an honour to have been able to play a small part in helping orchestrate their education. In teaching you learn something new every day so I’m very grateful to our boys for this.
I help Mr Skipwith with the day-to-day running of the school and ensure that from the moment the boys arrive in the morning until they leave in the evening, they are looked after. I am always there for my colleagues, too. It’s a busy, buzzy place.
In my spare time I enjoy walking (slow jogging), travelling (especially to sunny climes), reading and pottering about in my garden.
J1B Form Tutor
I joined MCS in September 2015 as a J1 form tutor and have had a wonderful time getting to know the boys and the staff. The school has a delightfully positive atmosphere and is entirely welcoming to new faces and ideas. While I love teaching a variety of age groups and subjects, I suppose my main interest is Computing. In light of this, I run a weekly Code Club and enjoy helping the boys to make new discoveries and exercise their technical skills.
Before joining MCS I had worked in a range of schools in Oxfordshire teaching a variety of different year groups. Last year was a busy one as I was working towards completing a Masters in Educational Leadership while planning my wedding. It was very refreshing to return to teaching after a year of organising and full-time study!
When I am at home and have spare time, I really enjoy baking, spending time with my family and catching up with friends. Above all I love to travel and last year enjoyed a honeymoon to California for just under a month. We are already thinking about our next trip to foreign lands which we hope will be in the not-too-distant future.
J2A Form Tutor
I joined MCS in 2003 following four years at Exeter University studying Mathematics with Education. I have always been a Year 4 (J2) Tutor, teaching Mathematics, but teach Junior School Geography too. I spent a fair bit of time specialising in Safeguarding and was the Safeguarding Officer for a number of years.
I now have a young family and personal interests include running, food and reading. I try to compete in half marathons each year, and like to get MCS boys involved in cross-country running and athletics too. My passion for food extends from attending courses to entertaining to eating out.
J2B Form Tutor
Last September, the boys in J2B had varied aspirational objectives for the academic year ahead: some wanted to be top of the class; others to gain a place in the A team for a given sport; a few to gain more fundamental skills such as confidence or improved handwriting. There is no formula for achieving success in this process other than experience of working with young people and recognizing the familiar patterns that lead to success.
My pathway has been a combination of studying humanities at University, working as a cartographer and spending several years working with children with SEN in the mainstream sector; as well as bringing up my own two children and supporting them on their journey through school and university. We are a close family and we like to travel together to see and understand different parts of the world. I have a great sense of adventure and a fundamental belief that anything is possible.
Head of JS Music & J3A Form Tutor
I joined MCS in January 2015 as Head of Junior School Music, as well as a J3 form tutor. Music has always been the most important thing in my life.
After graduating from Durham University, I spent three months in Uganda teaching underprivileged children. On returning, I spent a year working and living at Dean Close Preparatory School in Cheltenham, of which I have fond memories.
I have enjoyed thoroughly my time at MCS so far, having already put on many musical events.
Head of Junior School English & J3B Form Tutor
I grew up in a small village just outside Stratford-upon-Avon (admittedly not a bad location for a literary enthusiast). Having studied English as an undergraduate at the University of Exeter, I then attended Oxford University to complete a Masters degree in this field. I have a broad range of literary interests, though my research at Oxford was focused on 16th and 17th-century literature.
Hearing the call of the teaching profession, I moved to Cambridge University to complete my PGCE. Here, I enjoyed working in a variety of settings (from high attaining schools in the centre of Cambridge itself, to what is thought to be the only UK primary school where no pupil speaks English as a first language) whilst also conducting research into child development and educational policy. Immediately before coming to MCS, I taught at a state school in the large town of Solihull, an experience I shall remember with fond memories.
When not at work, you might find me strolling through the Cotswolds, participating in events at my local church, or horse riding at my family home. Perhaps unsurprisingly for an English teacher, theatre is also a key source of enjoyment for me. I have trodden the boards (as an amateur) more times than I care to remember and enjoy watching productions in Oxford, Stratford, and beyond!
From a teacher’s point of view, MCS really is the perfect place to be. Our pupils grant us so many memories to cherish and successes to celebrate. It is an honour and a delight to be a part of this staff!
JS Director of Studies & J4A Form Tutor
MCS is the third school at which I have taught, having previously taught at Stamford School in Lincolnshire and Twickenham Preparatory School in London. I am responsible for the academic side of the Junior School whilst I also enjoy teaching English, History, Games and tutoring a J4 (year six) class.
My wife, Liz, is also a primary school teacher whilst my two children, Ben and Jessica, attend Windmill Primary School where I am a governor. As a family we love travelling and we have recently purchased a tent which we hope to put to good use in the South of France where I will also be able to enjoy good food, fine wine and the gorgeous aquamarine Mediterranean Sea!
J4B Form Tutor
While studying Mechanical Engineering at university, five friends and I decided to build a yacht and sail around the world. The boat building took four years in north Norfolk and the subsequent circumnavigation via the Suez and Panama canals lasted for two years – an enlightening and enjoyable team experience.
I worked in the chemical industry for 10 years as an engineer before taking a career break to have children and later going back to university to study for my teaching degree. I lived in Michigan, USA for 4 years. I have also lived and worked in Strasbourg, France with my family, where I learned to speak French. While I was there, I taught English in an International Primary school and then in a European Secondary School, teaching Science and Maths.
I started teaching at MCS in 2010 and have taught Physics in the senior school as well as teaching in the junior school.
Head of JS SportI fell into teaching after I completed my MSc in the Sociology of Sport at Loughborough University. I had been offered a chance to play cricket in Melbourne, Australia and to save some money before the season started I worked as a Teaching Assistant at St Peter's Secondary School in Huntingdon. I loved it and on my return from Australia, was offered a temporary role as an unqualified Maths teacher. This was a baptism of fire, but a challenge I relished and resulted in me applying for my PGCE at the University of Bedfordshire. The rest, as they say, is history and after one year at North Leamington School I spent four years running the Hockey and Cricket and Bromsgrove Prep School. At Bromsgrove I was also an Assistant House Parent, which took me back to my roots, as my dad was in the RAF and had boarded since the age of 9. Sport is my life: as well as cricket, I enjoy tennis and golf, and played hockey for Loughborough University. Over the last few years I have turned my hand to endurance races and have run two marathons, a 12 hour race and in 2015 completed my first Ironman in Tenby.
I started coaching Sixth Form hockey and netball at MCS in 2014 as part of my course at Oxford Brookes University. I then moved over to work full-time in the Junior School Sports Department in May 2015, whilst I was still studying for my degree. I graduated in June 2016 and am now enjoying dedicating myself to full time teaching, without the stresses of studying!
Cricket has always been a major part of my life, having been lucky enough to grow up around Hampshire cricket and playing county age group cricket from a very young age. I captained the Oxford MCCU Women whilst at university and now play for Oxfordshire Senior Women.
I have really enjoyed my time at MCS so far and hope to be in teaching for a number of years to come!
JS Learning Support
Before starting as a J1 form tutor in the Junior School, I had taught at local schools in Oxford. I love life at MCS: no day is the same and each boy brings something special to the lesson; there really is a desire to learn and a buzz of enthusiasm that is infectious.
Earlier this year my husband and I moved to Woodstock, to an 18th century house in need of rather a lot of restoration. We’re nearly there but this project will take a bit of a back seat as we also welcomed our first baby recently.
I have taught English and Latin at MCS for over 37 years. Now based in the Junior School (of which I am a former Head of Department) I also run Chess throughout the school (at a national level) and help with Junior Sport, particularly cricket. I have recently become a tennis aficionado and am looking to reach Wimbledon one year soon (as a spectator, of course….).
Prior to becoming Junior School Librarian I worked for a local literacy charity. I also work as a school governor for an Oxfordshire county primary school and currently chair their Teaching and Learning committee.
I have always loved reading and the escapism that it provides. I believe that there is a book out there for everyone – the challenge is to find it; this is the part of my job that I relish the most!
When I’m not engrossed in a reading adventure, I like to get outdoors and spend time with my family: walking, cycling and toasting marshmallows over camp fires.