Owen Gilbert in Hot seat

Interview, Hot seat, Community
Interview, Hot seat, Community

Name: Owen Gilbert

School: Repton School Dubai

Job Title: Head of Design and Technology

Where did you go to school?
I went to Denbury Primary school then Coombeshead Community College in South Devon in the UK.

What was your favourite subject?
My favourite subject at school wasn’t Design and Technology as you might expect - it was actually Art. I had an inspirational teacher called Mr. Marks who was able to transfer his enthusiasm for the subject and make his lessons fun and interesting. I have always been very creative which comes from both sides of my family. It was clear after secondary school that my passion was for design which fits into both subjects well.

What was your least favourite?
My least favourite subject was probably English. I am, to this day, terrible at spelling and found it really hard. I stuck at it though and managed to get a C for language and literature. This may in part be due to being forced to go to extra classes at the weekends by my Mum and Dad but although I hated it, it was worth the effort in the end.

Did you have a favourite teacher?
Yes, Mr. Marks the Art teacher was my favourite. He had a way of getting through and inspiring me that others didn’t. I think it helped that he also took us away on a school trip, canoeing down the Dordogne in France where we were able to see him outside of school and get to know him outside the learning environment.

Were you good or naughty?
I like to think I was pretty good on the whole. I had a close group of friends who although we thought we were cool, looking back on it now weren’t really what you would call cool. We got the job done but had some fun along the way.

What was the naughtiest thing you did at school?
It sounds terrible but I will always remember things happening in science class. We used to dare each other when the teacher was facing the other way to light the gas taps making a massive flame come out, then quickly turn it off before they turned round. It wouldn’t work today with the new safety valves and it was pretty dangerous and stupid. I never got caught but some of my friends did.

What’s your happiest memory from your school days?
When I think back to when I was at school it is a bit of a blur as it went so fast. I think my happiest memories were actually outside the classroom. I went on some fantastic school trips skiing in Italy and canoeing in France spending time with friends and learning practical skills. I have some really fond memories of these times.

What about your worst one?
My worst memories have to be the PE changing rooms. Filthy, smelly old places with wet floors where half the year group used to be forced to have a shower after PE. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

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