Name: Natalie Curnow
School: Gems Wellington Academy Al Khail
Job Title: Geography Teacher and Cultural & Community Coordinator
Where did you go to school?
Park House School, Newbury, Berkshire, UK.
What was your favourite subject?
Geography! I come from a Navy family, so travel has always been in my blood. I am a Marine Geographer and I studied a Bsc in Marine Geography and then went on to do an Msc in Environmental Science.
What made you choose this subject?
I chose Marine Geography because I love all things relating to water; swimming, snorkeling, fishing, diving, even just going on a boat. I was an Officer Cadet in the University Naval Unit and went on some short seabed sampling surveillance deployments. I find the sea has a relaxing and calming effect on me.
Did you have a favourite teacher?
Mr. Golding, my Geography teacher - he had a great sense of humour. He also took me on all our trips and made me realise that you do not need to be rich to travel the world, just determined and hard working. We went to the site of the London Docklands to see Canary wharf being built and to the Jurassic Coast, we also camped in the Snowdonia National Park.
What interesting experiences you have had since finishing your degree in marine biology?
Since completing my degree and my masters I have travelled extensively. After the Asian Tsunami in 2004 I went to Khao Lak in Thailand to work on an Environmental Restoration project. I worked as a volunteer, cleaning beaches of debris, identifying lost belongings, rebuilding homes and working in an orphanage. After travelling the world and seeing so many beautiful places every time I return home I have some amazing experiences, stories and knowledge to share with my pupils and memories that will last a lifetime. I want to inspire the next generation of marine geographers and biologists to go and explore all the beauty that our planet has to offer!
Were you good or naughty?
Very good at secondary but naughty at primary. At secondary school I was quiet and shy and really conscientious. I was desperate to go to university and to beat my big sister in my GCSE’s.
What was the naughtiest thing you did at school?
I used to climb trees and throw stones at other kids, I was a bit of a tom boy, I grew up in a small village and used to play football and ride a BMX as all my friends were boys.
What’s your happiest memory from your school days?
School trips were always my favourite, especially an American Exchange to Boston, where we got to live with families, we had a real Halloween party!
What about your worst one?
Having my nose broken when hit with a rounders bat during a tournament and being taken to hospital, I still have the scar to prove it!