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Staff Profile: Edward Beechey

Edward Beechey

Head of History

Ed graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2009 with a Masters degree in Modern History. After flirting with the possibility of a career in politics, he spent a year making his way across Russia, Mongolia, China, Nepal and India by train, before embarking upon a teaching career in a school in ‘challenging circumstances’ in East London. Through the Teach First programme, Ed completed a PGCE at Canterbury Christchurch University whilst teaching History and Government and Politics. His three years in London gave Ed a strong grounding in teaching EAL students, an appreciation of internationalism in education and the belief that all students - regardless of circumstance - have the ability to enjoy and excel in the study of History. 

Amidst the hubbub of London, an inspirational Head of Department piqued Ed’s interest in modern Chinese History. This, coupled with a number long summer holidays spent in the Middle Kingdom, eventually led to a move to China as the Head of History at Harrow International School in Beijing. Ed has held this position for four years, recently combining it with the role of Advanced Skills Teacher as a member of the Upper School Senior Leadership Team. Without a doubt however, the highlight of Ed’s career so far has been the opportunity to teach modern Chinese history to Chinese students in China – a rare privilege.   

Predictably, Ed is an avid consumer of modern Historiography. He enjoys reading works on modern China, and holds a keen interest in the history of memory – particularly in East Germany and the former Soviet Union. These two fields of interest have seen Ed recently co-author a collection of oral histories of the Beijing Hutong with two friends. Away from the books, Ed is an avid traveller and a developing motorbike enthusiast. The next region on his ‘list’ is sub-Saharan Africa, where he hopes to combine these two interests. Finally, Ed is also a keen sportsman, having played both basketball and rugby to a representative level in his younger days. This included the dubious pleasure of being the first Englishman to captain Scotland Students RFC to a season of straight defeats against the home nations. Although a knee reconstruction has dampened his sporting endeavours recently, Ed is looking forward to joining the newly formed Shanghai Dolphins Rugby Football Club with the aim of helping to loosen the ‘Hairy Crab’s’ grip on the Shanghai rugby scene. 

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