Rich took charge of the Geography Department in 2011 and quickly established himself as one of the leading Heads of Department (HoD) in College. Fraser recalls on his own ‘interview day’, which happened to be a river field trip, meeting Rich for the first time where it was immediately clear that he was a passionate Geographer; he was sporting a rather tight white t-shirt emblazoned with ‘I Love Geography’! Fraser later found out that this was one of many t-shirts with a similar theme that he has in his collection, and which Rich continues to wear with pride on every field trip. During his time as HoD, he built up the reputation of Geography, brought a sense of adventure to field trips and inspired our young geographers to continue studying the subject beyond College.
At the same time, he was also appointed as the CCF Contingent Commander, making huge changes to the way the contingent operated. Rich strongly felt that in order for senior cadets to become real leaders that they must be given the opportunity whenever possible to be the ones training the junior cadets. This took time to establish, but gradually the senior cadets were able to thrive under this system and became role models for the junior cadets with many going on to become Heads of Houses, Prefects and Heads of School. With the help from the senior school instructor Jason Gwynne, they planned exciting and fun field days and summer camps that current pupils and OCs still talk about today. During his last year in the CCF, he became Head of Royal Navy, however, it quickly became quite clear that this was the wrong title for this role and should have been in fact Head of Surfing. It must fill Rich with great pride knowing that so many cadets that passed through CCF during his time as Contingent Commander have gone on to join the military themselves, such as OCs Nelson Bacon (H, 2014), Antonia (Noni) Stuckey (Q, 2016) and Will Martin (NH, 2014) to name a few.
Rich took on Boyne House in 2014 and for a brief spell continued as Head of Department and CCF Contingent Commander at the same time. Combined with a royal visit, this was undoubtedly a busy spell, but one that illustrates the kind of person Rich is: hardworking, dedicated and proud of what he achieves. Rich and Tammy ran an open, warm and welcoming House that always put the boys first and helped them to find their areas of strength. Highlights of the Boyne year included the coach sing song on the way to The Green Dragon for the annual Christmas Dinner and the infamous Multi-Catch event as part of the annual Superstars event. Rich was also appointed Senior Housemaster in 2016.
His unrelenting energy has helped to shape pastoral care at College and he was instrumental in steering the Houses through those difficult Covid months. Rich has also driven the College Prefect leadership progamme; an action-packed itinerary that has now established a tradition of starting with a very early morning yoga session!
He leaves behind a great legacy and has set the standard for so many of us to aspire to. He has been a mentor to so many members of staff throughout his years here, including myself, and I often wonder whether he realises how much of an impact he has had on all of our lives. All of us at College are so happy that he has secured the post of Deputy Head Pastoral at Bradfield College; it truly is well deserved. However, we will miss him greatly and we wish him, Tammy, Jemima and Jasper all the very best with their new adventure together.
Fraser Dobney and Anna Cutts
Tammy has notionally never been a full-time member of staff throughout her 10 years of association with College, but no one would ever have guessed that from her wide- ranging contribution to school life. A tenacious supporter of Classics and a caring and collaborative colleague, Tammy has seen countless Cheltonians through their Classical careers at College. Instantly a hit for her boundless energy and interactive lessons, pupils wanted to be taught by her, and soon discovered equally deep reserves of kindness and exam-craft, when the time arrived for public exams. In Boyne House, she has gone far beyond the expectations of a tutor, often making herself available to pupils at all times of day or night for worries, illness or injury, and taking pride in cooking, hosting or just being there for the boys. Ever in a dash between College and Boyne in her early years, Tammy’s frenetic lifestyle soon brought in frequent shuttle runs to The Prep, before expanding to headlong dashes across the UK, as she began transporting her talented family to projects further afield. And when it wasn’t children, it was animals. Many a pupil and staff member has had their head turned by Tammy and her beloved dogs as they hurtle through Quad.
The Department will miss Tammy’s laughter, energy, and willingness to work through any challenge, and we wish her every success as she picks up the reins as Head of Latin at Pangbourne College. As one parent wrote in an email thanking the Classics Department after three years of Tammy’s teaching: ‘Mrs Penny really goes above and beyond in her support of the pupils. She is just a great teacher and I feel lucky my child has had her’.
Jon was appointed Head of Business Studies in 2014 having been at Warminster School where he was a Housemaster and Head of Economics. A consummate professional, Jon has been a constant and reassuring presence in the Business and Economics Department ever since; there are many Cheltonians, past and present, who have benefitted from
his extensive subject knowledge, his craft as a teacher, his fairness and his rigorous approach to exam preparation. He is adept at bringing pragmatism and perspective to any situation and over the years, the Department has benefitted from Jon’s clear and good-humoured insight.
In 2015 Jon was appointed Housemaster of Christowe. Passionate about ‘character education’ and developing the young men in his care to be thoughtful, reflective, and independent thinkers, Jon’s calm presence, steadfastness and distinctive gravitas has been the backbone of the House for the last seven years. As one of his senior students writes: ‘As a proud Boyceite, Mr Mace is everything you could want in a Housemaster. He is sympathetic, approachable, and always encourages us to be the best version of ourselves, no matter what difficulties we face along the way.’
Jon goes on to be Senior Deputy Head at Strathallan School in Perth. This beautiful part of Scotland has always been much coveted by the Mace family and no doubt the fact that it is home to some of the best golf courses, has hugely added to its appeal. Jon has run College golf for the past five years, and there are few that can match his handicap. As one fellow golfer states: ‘Jon effortlessly turns the notorious 5th at Cotswold Hills into a pitch and putt.’
A master of diplomacy, Jon will be missed for his humility, kindness and genuine care of both staff and pupils. His eternal optimism, great sense of humour and, above all, passion for education, will no doubt propel Strathallan School into the next phase of its development. We look forward to staying in touch and hearing that whilst his career is on the up, his golf handicap continues its decline! Strathallan is lucky to have him on their team.
Throughout her time at College and across her variety of roles, Becki has been a true powerhouse. As Head of Theology, Philosophy and Ethics, she led the Department with dynamism and charisma; she is an inspiring and engaging teacher. In her role in Christowe, as constant ‘backstage’ support to Jon, she demonstrated both huge kindness (homemade birthday cakes and the House tuck shop will be remembered fondly) and real understanding of how to support teenagers.
The ‘Frazzled Café’ provided a safe space for the boys to de-stress during exam periods.
Becki also ran numerous sports teams, the Three Peaks Challenge three times, went on hockey tour to Malaysia, and ran the philosophy discussion group. Latterly she was a Tutor in Southwood, where her nuanced pastoral support was much valued. Outside College she has represented GB in Aquathlon at European and World Championships, run two marathons (one ‘just for fun’ during lockdown) and participated in the Coast to College challenge.
Becki’s most recent role as Educational Researcher and Digital Character Lead saw her run a variety of research projects focusing, amongst other things, on developing resilience, digital identity, the use of virtual reality, and belonging. Her work has been published by a number of highly-regarded educational institutions and her Parent Papers for College were much valued. The results of her ‘Digital College’ work proved hugely influential within the HsM body. All this has been undertaken alongside her research at the Oxford’s Digital Ethics Lab and teaching roles at University College London and the University of West London, and while completing her PhD.
Becki is moving on to continue her work in digital education, taking on the role of senior executive in a firm that develops artificial intelligence in education, alongside her work on a digital dexterity programme for young elite athletes. While Becki’s new roles will take her as far afield as Tignes and San Francisco, the Maces remain a tightknit unit. We will miss her as a uniquely inspiring colleague and a gregarious, warm-hearted friend.
Todd is an energetic, committed and creative professional who will be a huge loss to the College community. His involvement in College life over the last five years has known no bounds. He is a ‘schoolmaster’ of the highest quality.
Todd’s educational approach is one which puts the individual firmly at the centre, from designing specific learning resources for a pupil in the Business Department, to always having time for the boys, first in Christowe and subsequently as Resident Tutor in Leconfield. Todd is a real team player, both in being part of a team but also always looking for better ways to get the most out of the teams of which he is a part. This desire for improvement has particularly been the case on the sporting front where he has coached teams across the sporting spectrum, always with real passion and with a genuine desire that every pupil has the opportunity to improve.
Todd’s sense of fun and dedication came to the fore during the pandemic, when, with Australia sadly closed to him, he pivoted adeptly to run our ‘Isolation House’ during term time, ‘Quarantine Hotels’ over the exeats and holidays and at the weekends, channelled his inner Butlin’s Red Coat, managing the entertainments programme.
Todd’s work in Leconfield as Resident Tutor this past year has been exceptional. He has the energy, charm and gentle manner tied to his profound faith. This, coupled with his ability to still think like a teenager, mean that he remains resolutely a true schoolmaster and I have no doubt a housemaster of the future.
We will miss Todd hugely both as a colleague, but also as a friend. We know that he will settle into life in Australia with his wife Phoebe and we wish them both every happiness with this new chapter.
Jon Mace, Zoe La Valette-Cooper and Dan Evans
So Where to start? Lotte is a woman of many talents but cooking is not one of them! Many an evening would you find Lotte having a jacket potato with tuna; her signature dish. On the sports fields Lotte is known for putting her heart and soul into her teams and is almost as nervous as the pupils on fixture days. She takes coaching in her stride. Regardless of the sport or age group Lotte approaches all her sessions with the same energy and enthusiasm. Not only is she an amazing coach but she is also a fantastic female role model to pupils and staff alike, on and off the sports pitches. Lotte has a unique way of lifting the atmosphere in any scenario, she is always willing to lend a hand wherever she can and is so caring towards both pupils and staff; a characteristic that all should admire and aspire to. Known for her witty one liners, Lotte’s unmistakable and bubbly presence fills a room whenever she walks in. She has a voice which can be heard from a mile away and one of her College highlights (and many others) was the job of commentating at College Sports Day: the sound of Lotte’s voice filling the Prince of Wales stadium was certainly a treat to remember.
Lotte is a woman far beyond her years in attitude and maturity and is set to make a fantastic female head at some later stage in life. Lotte was an integral asset to the College Sports Department this year, one we were so lucky to have, and one who will be sorely missed. We wish her the best of luck in her new university life but we are sure we will see her back around College in the near future.
Not only do we say goodbye to a dear colleague and Matron, but also to a dear friend. Julia Hande is the first Matron Queen’s ever had and she has set the bar high for her successors. She is a selfless and caring person who has made a big impact in House. She was quickly promoted to Assistant Housemistress and excelled in all areas.
She was always great support for the girls and enjoyed attending as well as organising all sorts of events. In her last three years Julia also set up and ran the Community Action Programme as she took on the role of Charity Co-ordinator. She arrived in 2011 from a nursing background and sadly leaves us 10 years later to return to the NHS as a risk assessment officer. Her warmth, attention to detail, empathy, dance moves and banana bread are missed! However, we have kept in touch and she is still visiting us regularly.
The Design and Technology Department would like to say a huge thank you to Stacie, our textiles technician for the past two years. Stacie has had a huge impact on the pupils’ outcomes at both GCSE and A Level. Her skillset in designing and making garments using patterns created from scratch is superb. She offered no end of help and support, not to mention inspiration, to all pupils who worked with her. Stacie has gone on to set up her own digital embroidery business In the Sew (inthesew.co.uk). We wish her every success and hope to continue to utilise her expertise over the coming years.
Dawn joined the Learning Support Department at College in September 2019 as the Learning Mentor. Throughout her time in this role, Dawn has inspired and encouraged many pupils and offered invaluable support with essay writing, revision strategies and organisational skills
Dawn has worked in the Houses during the evening prep sessions, which is an essential time for pupils to access support with their learning, and this contribution makes a real impact on the support that we can offer to pupils at College. Alongside the 1:1 support, Dawn has also supported pupils with developing their handwriting and touch-typing skills, both skills being beneficial for them at College and beyond. During the period of remote learning, Dawn supported pupils with their organisational skills so that they could continue to access their work and manage their time.
Her role in supporting the FPQ also really helped some of our Third Form pupils who may need additional reinforcement to help them complete independent research. Dawn has been a great asset to the Department and her further studies have helped her to prepare her for her next role. We wish Dawn every success with her new position as Assistant Inclusion Manager at Chosen Hill School.
Claire joined College nine brilliant years ago and in that time there is barely an aspect of College life that has not benefitted from her dynamic professionalism. Claire has spent many an hour on court with her beloved netball 2nds in the Autumn Term and our tennis players in the Summer Term. As Resident Tutor in Ashmead for four years, Anna Cutts praises her for forming especially strong relationships with the girls who really value her experience, honesty and, of course, her sense of style and flair. This experience led Claire naturally to five happy years as Deputy Head and later Assistant Head of Upper College. Among many responsibilities, she headed up the Oxbridge programme and is rightly proud of diversifying post 18 routes into more creative pathways. Perhaps Claire’s lasting legacy is her work with the Upper College Floreat programme; she created space to talk, reflect and learn. Her real insight into the lives and experiences of our young people, paired with an astute sense of what they need to know, what they want to talk about and a willingness to respond to current events, the Upper College Floreat programme took on real meaning and heft under her leadership. In English, Claire is renowned for pacy, focused lessons that really facilitate her pupils’ success. I know Claire especially enjoys seeing those pupils who struggle with aspects of the subject, flourish under her care. Claire is skilled at unlocking her pupils’ innate abilities and leading them to success on the page. Superbly efficient and sage in her marking, the Department has benefitted enormously from her work as an examiner.
Those who have been lucky enough to enjoy her amazing baking or those who have seen her floral work on Instagram or her gorgeous classroom displays, know that Claire is a vivaciously creative soul. So, it comes with no real surprise that she is now following her calling into the wonderful world of making and doing.
After her year of teaching part time whilst studying for her Floristry Diploma, Claire is leaving us to embark on her new career by setting up her own business ‘Aurora Nyx’,specialising in flowers, some even grown at home, for events and occasions offering more than a splash of gothic glam and English cottage gorgeousness. We know that ‘Aurora Nyx’ will grow and bloom into a gorgeous success, but we also hope that she’ll keep a tap root firmly embedded in the soil of education. She’s too good to lose.
Claire, thank you so much for all you’ve done here, for the kids and for us all as a great colleague and as social sec: pre-Covid, what lovely times we had at the glorious social occasions you conjured for us. As we send you on your way, please know, this is not a sad goodbye but a joyous farewell!
The Design and Technology Department would like to say a huge thank you to Anne, who stepped in before Christmas to cover for Rebecca Evely’s maternity leave. Anne has worked tremendously hard with her group of Fifth Form pupils, gaining some of the highest NEA marks in the entire cohort. She played a major role in orchestrating and setting up the DT exhibition in May and has shared many skills and new ideas with the Department. Anne will be returning to Singapore to teach Product Design. We wish her every success in her next adventure.
Sadly, Nick is leaving College to pursue a new role as Coaching and Qualifications Lead at Surfing England; the national governing body for surfing. This new role will allow him to be closer to his young family in Bristol.
Nick was ranked top 12 windsurfers in the country for the ‘wave’ discipline and competed for England in the World Cup. Having rowed at Henley with Abingdon School and later coached City of Bristol Rowing Club, Nick developed a passion for rowing.
Nick joined College as Director of Rowing at a difficult time shortly before lockdown two summers ago and had to navigate through some challenging times. During his time, he has been passionate about driving forward several key initiatives at the Boathouse. So much so that we took a girls’ double to Henley. This is the first time in many years and this is largely thanks to Nick’s hard work and commitment to the rowing programme.
We’re also very grateful to Nick for the support he’s given the strength and conditioning programme, The Prep rowing programme, Third Form Challenge programme and his work in Southwood.
We hope Nick, his wife, and new son Oakley stay happy and healthy as Nick starts his new career with Surfing England.
Dhiren de Silva
Dhiren joined College in December 2020 midway through the pandemic. Having recently graduated from the University of Oxford he wanted to turn his hand to becoming a schoolmaster.
As an Old Harrovian, Dhiren was no stranger to life at boarding school and he quickly fell into the rhythm of life here. Starting any new profession can be challenging, however, starting a new profession amidst a pandemic is a particularly unique experience.
In January 2021, with his first lessons being remote, there were certainly a number of interesting challenges to overcome. However, through persistence and patience Dhiren grew into the role superbly. On our return to the classroom he has been the bedrock of our extension and enrichment provision in the Chemistry Department, supporting both C3L6 and Olympiad programmes. Dhiren is a calm, cool and collected member of Common Room who has infinite patience with all pupils (and teachers). His understanding of Chemistry is outstanding in all areas; he will be sorely missed and is a highly valued member of the team. Aside from his roles in the classroom, Dhiren has found much enjoyment and pleasure on the rackets court, playing regularly with Mr Rob Horn, Mr Mark Briers and coaching a vast number of budding rackets players. In addition to rackets, he has enjoyed coaching Yearling cricket and representing College and the Gloucestershire Gypsies with the bat, most notably at Speech Day. Be it working through final year Oxford organic chemistry problems, discussing ligand field theory or trying to work out a unit cell volume, Dhiren has always come to the rescue! We wish him well in his new pursuits and it is a great shame to see him leave.
Jamie Copeland Jordan