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Mr Clarke

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.

What was your favourite subject at school? Mathematics, I think. Or Computer Studies (as it was called back then). 


How did you get in to teaching? I had a career in IT consulting before I came to teaching. It was fun and stimulating but ultimately I wanted something more personally rewarding. Both of my parents were teachers so, after a decade or so in industry, I finally followed in their footsteps. I love teaching, it’s a privilege.

Why did you decide to work at St Mary’s School, Cambridge? When I came for interview I got a real sense of a living community about the place not always found in a city school; something that I could get something special from and to which I hoped to make a contribution. Also, and let's be frank, Cambridge is a terrific place to live and work so that helped too!

What’s your favourite thing about working here? See above, and also fish and chips on Fridays. 

Favourite things! What's your all-time favourite…

Book: 
The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat; a story about the North Atlantic convoys during World War II. Written, perhaps naively, long before we knew how hard Bletchley Park's secret computer scientists were working behind the scenes to make them, and us, a little safer. It is made more impactful for me because, as many of us do, I have a family connection to those precious convoys.  

Poem: I don't like poetry, so I'm having two jokes…

Joke: My father gave me my sense of humour and a love of jokes. I actually collect them, so I'm sharing two of my favourites:

Ronnie Corbett: “In the channel today, a ship carrying blue paint collided with a ship carrying red paint. Both crews have been marooned.” 

Tommy Cooper: “I told my fitness instructor that I wanted to be able to touch my toes. ‘How flexible are you?’, he asked. I said, ‘I can't make Tuesdays’.” 

Film: The Empire Strikes Back, obviously. A cautionary tale of bad parenting.

Story: Saul (later St Paul) on the road to Damascus – there's hope for us all. 

Recipe: I love steak, grilled, with salad and mushrooms. Does that count?

Who inspires you? My parents were both fantastic teachers and very happy people, so they’ve been a huge influence on me. That said, I've been lucky enough to have taught, be taught by and worked with some wonderful people, all of whom have left something with me.

What’s your favourite hobby? I'm a cyclist. 

What is your favourite sort of music? I would like to say Bob Dylan or The Pixies or something, but these days I mostly listen to Disney songs. 

Where has your favourite holiday ever been? I’ve been to Sicily twice and each time I’ve gone up Mount Etna. Brilliant.

What’s your worst habit? I’ll let Orson Welles answer this one for me: “My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.”

Team Trivia: (without looking it up) can you name the three fairies in the Disney classic Sleeping BeautyNot a chance.

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