Each term we ask members of staff a few light-hearted questions about themselves so that friends of St Mary's School, Cambridge can get to know our team a bit better. Enjoy reading about our members of staff by clicking on each link below.
Computer Science Co-ordinator (Junior School)
What was your favourite subject at school? Music
Can you tell us why it is important to encourage girls to consider technology during their school years? Technology has become an essential tool in all walks of life and the use of it needs to become second nature at as early an age as possible. Unlike some adults, young people have no fear of technology, so our girls’ school years are the perfect time for them to be taught how to use it safely and responsibly.
What do you think the biggest inhibitors are to girls pursuing technology-based careers? Whilst I believe that there is still a general perception in the wider world that technology-based subjects are mainly for boys, I have never personally found gender to be a significant factor in teaching Computer Science. Girls instinctively have so many of the skills required, and delight in using them. They are resilient and will persevere when things get difficult, they are meticulous in their attention to detail, they are happy to work collaboratively, and there is no lack of competitive spirit when they are set a challenge! I think we should be extremely optimistic about the future for girls in technology-based careers. We just need to foster all of that talent and enthusiasm at an early age and provide stimulating opportunities for the development of these essential 21st century skills.
How did you get in to teaching? My wife had already been a teacher of Music for several years, and I became involved in extra-curricular clubs and trips through her work. This experience led me to the decision to leave the Civil Service and undertake a PGCE. My first teaching job was in 1998, where I worked at a Middle School in Suffolk.
Why did you decide to work at our Junior School? I went to university in Cambridge and have always liked the city, so I was delighted to get the opportunity to return. A former colleague, who has now worked at St Mary’s Senior School, Cambridge for a number of years, always said wonderful things about the school, and a friend who runs a Girl Guide unit near Cambridge is frequently full of praise for girls from the school too.
What’s your favourite thing about working here? The enthusiasm of the girls and their perseverance even when they initially find things difficult. The friendly, supportive atmosphere amongst the staff.
Favourite things! What's your all-time favourite…
Book: Any of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. They are pure escapism, but can be read on so many levels, with lots of hidden jokes and satirical parallels to real people and events.
Film: I'm not a great film fan, but I enjoy adaptations of stage musicals, such as the amazing 2012 film version of Les Miserables.
Hobby: I play the violin in the Suffolk Sinfonia, sing with a variety of choirs and give piano and violin lessons.
What is your favourite sort of music? As a classically trained musician I like listening to and performing a very wide range of classical music, but I am also interested in jazz, big band, blues, etc. having worked as a sound engineer for more gigs than I care to remember!
Where has your favourite holiday ever been? It's hard to choose one particular holiday, but over the years we have had many enjoyable family holidays in Germany, especially along the River Rhine, and also in Scandinavia.
Team trivia: (without looking it up) what is a flock of crows called? A murder. [Correct answer Mr Severy].