Head of the 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.
Ahead of my arrival, I spent the second half of the Trinity Term on sabbatical in the Junior School and within the first day, fell in love with the atmosphere, energy and sense of fun that fills School House. It is an extraordinary part of the school and I remain tremendously excited, grateful and proud to now be part of the Junior School Team.
What spare time I find is usually spent outside, either walking with our Jack Russell called Betty or cycling off-road around the countryside. I also love cooking and sitting down as a family over a delicious (in my opinion at least!) meal.
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. Its 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.
J1B Teacher (Maternity Cover)
In 1996 I graduated from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia with a Bachelor of Education and officially began my teaching career. Shortly after graduating I secured a teaching role at Trinity College; where I received excellent mentorship and guidance. In my fifth year of teaching I was given leave to travel and teach in a mainstream school in South East London. This time strengthened my teaching skills and fostered a new found love for travel.
After marrying my amazing husband in 2005, we left Australian shores and headed to the UK, settling in Oxford for two years. While teaching in a local mainstream school we travelled every weekend and holiday, appreciating the beauty, history and culture in the countries we visited.
During the season of growing our family with three sons I was employed as an academic eLearning advisor, teaching undergraduate education students at Swinburne University. In 2017 while teaching Year 3 at Trinity College I was awarded a National Excellence in Teaching award. This was a great honour as I have a real love for life-long learning and I hope to instill the same in my students. As I continue to strive for excellence I feel very grateful to be a part of the Magdalen College Junior School Team.
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 Sport
Prior to joining MCS in September 2019, I had three very enjoyable years as Head of Junior Boys’ Games at St Dunstan’s College in South East London. Having previously worked in the corporate world, I had the opportunity to live in Cape Town, South Africa, working in the travel and then events industries, whilst also playing semi-professional rugby and coaching my club’s junior sides. This is also where my teaching journey began at Bishop’s teaching History and coaching sport.
Since returning to the UK in 2014, I have completed my PE teacher training and continued to develop my coaching qualifications by taking on Surrey Rugby U15s and then lately U17/18 Colts teams. I love playing, watching and coaching a huge variety of sports from Rugby, Tennis and Cricket, right through to Boxing and Gaelic Football
Having just welcomed a little boy into our family, my wife and I are both very excited about our move to Oxfordshire and the start of a new chapter at MCS.
Head of JS Maths
Having studied maths at Cambridge and worked in a Cambridge independent school for nine years, I’m now looking forward to donning a slightly darker shade of blue for the foreseeable future!
I was lucky enough to be taught by some brilliant maths teachers who opened my eyes to the beauty, power and joy of the subject. At its heart, maths is a creative discipline, where pupils should be encouraged to explore, investigate and play. Problem-solving activities and games play a large role in my lessons, with that ‘aha moment’ on solving a challenging puzzle being one of the real delights of the subject. Maths is a journey of endless surprises, and I love the fact that each answer only opens a new mystery to be explored.
As an amateur magician, I try to wangle a little magic into my maths lessons. That sense of wonder on seeing a trick performed and the satisfaction of understanding how it works is no different to getting your teeth into a good mathematical puzzle. Magicians often exploit properties of numbers, algebra, shape and space in their tricks, and I enjoy sharing these secrets with the pupils.
With my mum being a music teacher, I was taught the piano from an early age and still enjoy tinkling the ivories on occasion. As a quiz fan, I have appeared on a few gameshows over the years, with some being more successful than others and plenty of embarrassing moments along the way. I’ve made sure to lock those DVDs away in a secure location, with classes perhaps only getting a glimpse in special lessons at the end of the year!
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.
JS Learning Support (Maternity cover)
I spent much of my childhood with nine siblings on a farm, deep in the country of Canada. My teenage years included caring for my younger siblings and spending summers as an outdoor leader. In my early 20’s I decided there had to be more to the world than green pastures and cows. I ‘upped sticks’ to travel and work throughout Europe and beyond.
It was no surprise to my family when I settled in London to complete a History degree followed by a PGCE. Since then I have spent seven years teaching a variety of year groups in East London and a further seven years teaching in Oxford. Time flies as a teacher but the pupils keep me young at heart as they also pass on life lessons and remind us to look at the world with fresh eyes.
I joined MCS in November 2018 as the Junior School Learning Support Co-ordinator. I feel privileged to experience the enthusiasm for learning and energy that the boys of MCS exude. Each day brings excitement and no day passes without a boy putting a smile on my face. Teaching has always been a passion of mine so I am now eager to continue my own education and I look forward to beginning a Post Graduate in Special Educational Needs Coordination.
In my spare time I enjoy live music, learning to play piano, spending time with my family: traveling, cycling and walking – particularly if it can include our two rescue dogs.
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.
My family and I relocated to Oxford just over a year ago from London – a welcome return from having studied Human Sciences at the University some years prior. Having completed a Masters in Medical Ethics and Law from King’s College London, I joined MCS Junior School in September 2018 as Morning Receptionist. With a previous career in medical and healthcare communications, my role at MCS Junior School is something completely different. I absolutely love being in the thick of it at the Junior School and the boys, who are so fantastic, bright and energetic, ensure each morning is very varied and busy! When not at MCS Junior School, I have my own three young children and rather bouncy puppy to look after.
PA to the Head of the Junior School
I joined MCS in September 2015 and worked as Senior Common Room Administrator until joining the Junior School in September 2017. My first career was in the City in Event Management. Working at the Junior School is like organising one huge event every day, but this time for 100 plus boys rather than city executives. The Junior School has a great buzz. The days are dynamic and varied, fuelled by the eagerness and energy of the boys who are unrivalled in their diligence to hold doors open for staff!
Away from School, with teenage children nearing the end of their time at school, we have just moved to a small cottage, so home improvements are high on the agenda. A French graduate, I am a true Francophile although as a family we are now venturing to Spain, coaxed there by my son and the MCS Spanish Department.