Foremarke School Dubai
Where did you go to school?
I was very fortunate to attend two excellent schools in Birmingham in the UK. Both schools stressed the need for a well-rounded education, although both had a strong tradition for sport which suited me very well. I had the added benefit of having a father who was a headmaster and a mother who was also a teacher. I followed the family tradition by then studying physical education at the University of Reading, where I met my wife – also a teacher!
What was your favourite subject?
If I had to choose a favourite subject, it would have to be PE. Some of my earliest memories are of kicking and throwing balls against walls for hours on end. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of keen and dedicated teachers, I played many sports for my school and thoroughly enjoyed studying Sports Science as one of my four ‘A’ Levels.
What was your least favourite?
I’m afraid that I always struggled with chemistry and woodwork at school. I suspect that I would enjoy both subjects far more now as teaching methods have evolved greatly since my time in school! I hasten to add that I now consider myself quite a DIY expert around the house, although my wife may disagree…
Did you have a favourite teacher?
I think it would have to be Miss Hartfield who was the deputy head of the sixth form I attended. She was a former PE teacher who was very supportive and encouraging; she always had time for people, no matter how busy she was.
Were you good or naughty?
I was always perfectly behaved…
What was the naughtiest thing you did at school?
I did find it difficult to concentrate in some lessons and got regularly admonished for not paying attention, often because I was gazing out of the window; a bit of a daydreamer I’m afraid!
What’s your happiest memory from your school days?
My happiest moment has to be the day I walked to school to collect my ‘A’ level exam results.
I can still see my hands shaking as I nervously pulled the documents out of the brown envelope. My teachers were genuinely pleased for me and my parents, of course, were enormously proud of me.
What about your worst one?
I remember my despair at not being selected for various teams and for not doing particularly well in some exams due to an absence of revision! My parents were always supportive but quite rightly took the view that a key part of growing up is sometimes being allowed to make mistakes.
In many school assemblies I deliver, I talk about resilience and refer to the quote from Nelson Mandela – “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”