My career started at The Holt School in Wokingham, where I had three very enjoyable years learning how to create exciting lessons that captured the minds of my students through being diverse and experimental in my approach to teaching. Whilst there I broadened the skills base and therefore expanding the art department, by introducing the students to 3D installation art, sculpture and photography. From the Holt School I progressed on to Saints Peter and Paul Catholic College in Widnes, here I carried out the role of Key Stage 3 Co-ordinator for Art. I designed and introduced a structured, tiered platform that students progressed through during Years 7, 8 and 9. Each tier allowed students to grow in confidence, learn to research, explore, experiment and become self-reliant, independent thinkers. From Saints Peter and Paul Catholic High School, I continued on to Saint Bede’s Catholic High School in Lytham and took on the role of Subject Leader for Art. Building on my previous teaching experience, I developed a highly successful department that, in the final two years, enjoyed the highest pass rates in the school and Lancashire.
It has long been my ambition to visit China and witness its rich culture, fascinating history and incredible art and music. Therefore combining the job which I love with the opportunity to see an ambition become a reality is an impossible chance to resist. Also as a father of two young boys it will give them the opportunity to experience a whole new culture and language, adds to the fantastic prospect.
I started out on my teaching career by initially studying BA (Hons) Fine Art at the University of Central Lancashire, during my studies I realised I wanted to become a teacher. After realising another ambition to travel across America, I enrolled at the University College of Saint Martin in Lancaster and in 1998 completed my PGCE. I have been teaching now for sixteen years and have thoroughly enjoyed my time but felt that I needed a new challenge and to combine my love for teaching with my love of travel. Thankfully I have acquired a position teaching Art at the British School of Beijing. I am looking forward to becoming part of their team and being part of such a successful school. This will be my first international teaching position and I will be moving to Beijing with my wife and two young sons, who are equally as thrilled as myself.
Away from the classroom though, my other passions are unsurprisingly painting, which is more than just a hobby for me, I find an indescribable thrill in creating and capturing an image that goes beyond words, even if it is painting the backdrops for a school play! I love to garden, to get outside and work with nature creating a living palette, for me it is one of life’s small pleasures to sit out at the end of the day, and become lost in all the colours and scents. Since my school days, I have found endless enjoyment in listening to music, this adolescent excitement has never left me and it now finds me listening to BBC Radio 6 and to the new bands that are emerging. In the UK I regularly head out to Manchester, Liverpool or Preston to listen to new and sometimes old bands and am now looking forward to hear what Beijing has to offer. I also enjoy walking and have the luxury of living by the marshes on the River Douglas in the UK, where I spend most weekends with my eldest son, teaching him about nature, I am certainly looking to be out and about in Beijing.
It is my firm and core belief that all students can become skilled artists and by discovering this gain self confidence, self belief and become independent thinkers. Art is not just about creating visual images or pieces but a way to develop the imagination, to experiment and explore, to develop ideas and see them through to a realised conclusion, to truly see and witness the world and the beauty and diversity within it.