Page 24 - Independent Schools Magazine
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  Born: 1973
Married: to Mary Price, 4 Children (Poppy 13, Wil e 11, Bertie 8, Monty 5)
Schools and University Attended: Cumnor House School, Eton College, New
College Oxford
First job: Gap Year at St John’s College, Harare, 1993
First job in education: Oxford Classics Fellow at Sydney Grammar School, 1997
First management job: Head of Classics, Rugby School, 2002
Appointed to current job:
Appointed 2013 (started 2014)
Favourite piece of music:
The Bare Necessities – (Wedding 1st Dance)
Favourite food: Crisps
Favourite drink:
Pint of Beer (Butcombe Bitter) or Somerset Cider
Favourite holiday destination:
Favourite leisure pastime:
Walking on a Beach
Favourite TV or radio programme/series: Game of Thrones – The News Quiz (radio)
Suggested epitaph:
More cheerful than he looks.
 Pro le In conversation with Henry Price
QWellington School was founded 180 years ago as a boys’ school. Girls were accepted in 1972, and it is now an academically selective, co-educational school serving around 600 pupils of whom 20% board. The school’s arms consist of one quarter of the Duke of Wellington’s arms, dragons for the County of Somerset, and
an open book representing learning. It has been described recently as a ‘solid but not glossy’ school. Is this description one you embrace alongside your goal of a liberal education?
AWhilst I see the compliment in this description, which captures something of the down-to -earth outlook of Wellington, I feel it understates the quality of the education and environment that we provide. The School offers a genuine all-round education with high calibre teaching, pastoral care and extra-curricular opportunities in some excellent and well-cared
for facilities. There is certainly an authenticity
to Wellington, which our families value and we
are very conscious of the need to spend money wisely on projects and people that facilitate the all-round education of the pupils. Not that you can capture a school in four words, but I think I would prefer something like ‘excellent, but not showy’ or ‘substance, with appropriate style.’
QThe School’s Chapel was built as a memorial to those who fell during the  rst world war. The 37 members of the Wellington School community who gave their lives are listed on the walls of the Chapel, and each year a pupil from each boarding house remembers one former pupil speci cally, researching how and where they died and an individualised poppy is laid in their memory. Respect and remembrance – two lasting traditions which dovetail perfectly with your wish to instil in pupils values which will last a lifetime?
AThe Memorial Chapel is a wonderful building that lies at the heart of our community in every sense. It provides a place for us to be together, for contemplation and for stillness, as well as acting as a daily reminder of the past. In schools, education and life more generally, a sense of what has gone before is crucial in understanding the present and seeing the path forwards and I would not argue with
the importance of respect and remembrance. A sense of spirituality and community is clearly felt by pupils, parents and staff, which bubbles up during Leaver’s Chapel in particular, and in my last Speech Day, I referred to Chapel as ‘a borderland between the material and the spiritual world and I hope that it is a place where you have a chance to
think about the values that will sustain you in your personal and working lives and that you might take these three ‘R’s with you – the importance of resilience – of taking responsibility and, above all, of valuing relationships.’
You studied Literae Humaniores at Oxford University - the honours course in classics,
philosophy, and ancient history - before heading off to Australia as the Classics Fellow at Sydney Grammar School. What did you learn from your time down under, and were there aspects of the Australian education system you feel could Ausefully be imported back here?
I started teaching at Sydney Grammar School just four weeks after  nishing my  nals and I learned that teaching is not as
easy as it looks. There were some supremely bright boys at the School and I had to work hard keep up with them. I was privileged to be given a chance
to teach in such a good school when I had so little experience and I learned a lot from sympathetic colleagues on how to teach, how to coach and how to manage teenage boys. I am not an expert on the Australian education system, but fewer examinations at 16 stands out and the bene ts
of an outdoor lifestyle (as long as you remember
to ‘slip, slap, slop’). What I took most from my 18 months was a benchmark of very high standards in and out of the classroom and my  rst experience of
busy day school after being a boarder myself. aQ
Pupil well-being has been at the forefront of school agendas for many years, but perhaps more so recently in the light
of increasing concerns about mental health in general and the pressures of social media on teenagers in particular. Some schools now make efforts to restrict the use of smartphones etc., and are trying to emphasise the positives of JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) against the negatives of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). How are you aApproaching these challenges?
We have an active pupil-led E-welfare committee run by pupils with input from staff. We have had phone-free days and
have removed access to phones for Years 7&8 during the school day. We have an E-welfare evening at the end of the month to share strategies amongst parents as this is an area that must work jointly between home and school. There is no easy solution, but I would argue that as adults, we need to set an example and reiterate the need for face to face conversations and human interactions. Just as adults have always set boundaries on what to
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