Hot seat: Simon Jodrell

Dubai British School head teacher remembers his schooldays

Interview, Education
Interview, Education

Name: Simon Jodrell

School: Dubai British School

Job title: Primary School Head Teacher

Where did you go to school?
Cadoxton and Romilly Primary Schools and then Barry Secondary School for Boys in Wales, UK.

What was your favourite subject?
Probably English, I had some fantastic teachers who brought the books we read to life. I really loved it in Primary school, especially at the end of the day when the teachers used to read a novel to the class. My favourite childrens’ book to this day is ‘My Mate Shofiq’, read to me by my Year 6 teacher Mr Dunhem.

What was your least favourite?
PE, although I loved sports and played in a number of school teams – I couldn’t stand the cross country running. I’m from Wales where it usually rained and running around a muddy school field whilst the teachers were under an umbrella shouting ‘keep going’ didn’t inspire me.

Did you have a favourite teacher?
I remember liking most of them; this summer I was mountain biking in Wales and I bumped into my French teacher Mr Perraria, I hadn’t seen him for over twenty years and yet he remembered my name and asked about my school friends. I was impressed and so I pick him as my favourite.

Were you good or naughty?
I was pretty good, mainly because of the fear of my mother. Going to an all boys school you couldn’t help but get into trouble at times as there were just so many opportunities for disruption. However on the whole, I followed the rules.

What was the naughtiest thing you did at school?
Skipping school with friends to watch the ska group ’Bad Manners’ perform at a Radio 1 roadshow at Barry Island was probably the highlight. Needless to say we got caught and in those days the punishment in school was a visit to the Deputy Head, an ex-Welsh international rugby player, so lessons were learnt.

What’s your happiest memory from your school days?
There are so many: football at break times, school trips, great friends and inspirational teachers. At Dubai British School the philosophy is that ‘happy children make happy learners’ and I think that’s true of your school days. If you enjoy them then you are going to learn more.

What about your worst one?
Reflecting on my time at school I can’t say that I have a ‘worst’ memory as such. I found school on the whole - both Primary and Secondary - to be a positive experience and so my memories are good ones. I made many lasting friendships, learnt a lot and have much to be grateful for - maybe that has something to do with why I became a teacher!

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