Junior Alleynian 2023


n What’s your favourite bit of being a Headteacher? (Santi) Everything. It’s the best job in the world. Every day is different. I love meeting masses of interesting people and connecting them across schools and between schools and businesses, universities, clubs. I enjoy engagement like this with the children, which is what it’s all about and probably happens too little. n What’s your favourite sport? (Dylan) My favourite sport is soccer. I’ve been a soccer fan since birth and a lifelong supporter of Coventry City so last Saturday at Wembley for the championship play-offs was a very difficult day or rather a brilliant day in itself, but afterwards I realised just what we’d lost in losing 6-5 on penalties to Luton. n Why did you decide to join Dulwich College? (George) I’m really taken with the heritage of Dulwich as the school of Shackleton and the writers PG Wodehouse and Raymond Chandler. I love the educational vision, which puts such an emphasis on free learning, which I hope I have been able to embed further, and the social mission that wants College with OAs coming a close second. I love the fact that so much of my time is taken up with speaking to pupils and helping them to make the most of their skills, aptitudes and strengths. I enjoy helping Old Alleynians too and we have such a wonderful network with people doing very well in every vocation and across a run of creative jobs. n And what was your favourite subject when you were a pupil at school? (Augie) My favourite subject in school was English, although I became a historian, mainly because I love literature so much I didn’t really want to study it in a formal way. If I had my time again, I wish I’d been introduced to the history of art earlier because I think it’s an extraordinary subject through which you can learn so much about the context of times and people. n What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced when being a Headteacher? (Toby) It’s always a challenging job but I guess the biggest challenges have come in recent years with the challenge of virtual and hybrid learning during the lockdown, and having to make decisions every day as to whether to be in school or not and how to conduct things, and then there were the challenges faced, rightly, through Black Lives Matter and Everyone’s Invited. However, I do believe that we have become a stronger school in working through issues with integrity and transparency, confident that we are a good school that is always looking to become better. Of course, as you all know so well, in recent times social media has caused difficulties for every school and institution and artificial intelligence is now setting us new challenges. n Have you ever played patball? What did you think of it? Did you enjoy it? (George) Yes, I’ve played a little patball, but never seriously. Maybe we should have a game after this interview? I think it’s the most fantastic game. I love the fact that it was created at the College and that it means so much to you. I enjoy watching it played us to be a school of access bringing together children from all backgrounds. n What’s your favourite thing about Dulwich College? (Joshua) Alleynians are the best thing about Dulwich

competitively but also watching those who are just playing for fun. It’s a great Dulwich game! n Do you play a musical instrument? What sort of music do you like listening to? (Ferdy) Yes, I used to play more than I do now, I was a guitarist and singer in my youth and had a band called Barabbas. I know everyone answers questions like this, but I really do have an eclectic taste in music. I have a particular love of modern classical music, mainly based around Eastern European composers like Bartok, Berg, Shostakovich and Janacek. I also have a guilty love of the ballads of singer-songwriters (like Nick Drake and Joni Mitchell). I guess I like to think about words as well as music. n How was your Antarctica trip? What was your highlight? (Augie) The Antarctic trip was all I wanted it to be as an adventure, in terms of helping me think about leadership, in terms of learning more about sustainability and for giving me a time to be creative - and for the networking, which was an unexpected bonus. I had about eight days out of 30 without internet and with quality time to reflect. I guess

about 30 people from my expedition will be visiting Dulwich College to offer something to pupils in the near future. The highlight was addressing the whole expedition party on Shackleton, leadership and Dulwich at The Whalers Church at Grytviken. What’s your favourite animal? (Ferdy) I would’ve said until recently that I’m not really an animal person, but I’m absolutely besotted by our younger son’s cocker spaniel

Whisky. We have a fantastic little routine when I call out “Ball!” and he joins me in the garden and answers to “bring, heal, paw, bridge, catch”. He is my new ‘best friend’! n What would you like to change at the College? (Nikita) You should tell me what you want to change at the College. I think it’s really important that we are pushing for service and sustainability to move up the chart in terms of what we really hold dear. I think with free learning embedded and the access mission so well supported, it’s these two things that need more work, but we’ve been brilliantly supported by so many people across the College and I’ll give a particular shout out for the Chaplain for putting service at the forefront of everything we do and say at the moment. We’ve recently set up a new club called the 500 Club, which is all about service. I’d like us to be defined by service leadership and have proof that we’re a school can that live up to this. n What’s your favourite country you’ve ever visited? Why? (Alexander) My answer is that almost every time I visit a new country I fall in love with it. I keep returning to Italy and finding new places that I love even more than those I’ve visited before. It’s absolutely beautiful. I have spent time in many parts of Croatia and I love parts of the United States, New York best of all. The most moving visit I’ve ever paid was with Mrs Mullholland to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, and I hope to return. And having gone south to the Antarctic, I’m now keen to go into the Arctic Circle and I think I might enjoy that even more because I’ll be keen to meet indigenous populations whereas, of course, Antarctica is in essence unpopulated. I also have a deep regard for the countries of my heritage, England and Ireland - and an innate loyalty to Coventry as my birthplace.


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