Mr Woodhall has been, and continues to be, a wonderful colleague and outstanding teacher. He inspires confidence in his students and works tirelessly to create a love for all things Geography related. He perfectly demonstrates how it is possible to strike the right balance between having high expectations of his students, as well as being incredibly caring and considerate. - Mrs Hyland, Deputy Head of Secondary
Q: Hi Mr Woodhall, how long have you been a Dover Court teacher?
A: Hi! On the 4th of January 2021, I will have been a teacher at Dover Court for 7 years. Which sounds a lot longer than it feels…..!
Q: Why do you love working here?
A: There are many reasons; but the main two are the kids and the staff across the school. We have such a diverse range of students, all of who are driven to achieve and have a diverse range of personalities. All our students are warm, welcoming and personable which helps create a really positive and vibrant working atmosphere around campus. I have known many of the staff personally for several years and I’ve got some great bonds with teachers. I know I can rely on the people I work with for support personally during tough times and also to continue my professional development. Other reasons include being able to call Singapore ‘home’ during my time here.
Q: Your Geography students tend to get some amazing GCSE results, for the past couple of years you have had students achieving the highest mark in Singapore and in the entire region! How do you inspire them?
A: Hopefully we’ve not been jinxed this year! Honestly, this is definitely more of a team effort across the Humanities faculty. With geography, I’ve always tried to put the subject at the core of what students do in class and to see the world through a ‘geographical’ lens. We use current affairs and relatable examples linking into what they hear about to engage their passions and link their experiences of everyday life in Singapore to work carried out in Singapore; this could be discussing the benefits of migration on populations as many students belong to families who have moved to Singapore for economic reasons; or by using Singapore as a comparison of city life to other places in the world where people are a little less fortunate. By making it relatable we’re able to build the bigger picture of the subject for the learners and this makes it easier to remember and apply within exams- at least that’s the plan!
The main ingredient for success however, is that our students at DCIS want to achieve and show desire to improve and develop. They also invest a lot of personality into the school and add to its family feel. As teachers we encourage them to believe in themselves and be aspirational, but also allow them to grow their personality, something I feel is powerful to gaining positive grades across all their subjects.
Q: As a teacher of Geography, can you recommend any interesting places we shouldn’t miss in Singapore?
A: I love Singapore; there’s so much to see and do. I’ve actually got a little guide I’ve made for people who visit (when they can!). Top three places are the URA building on Maxwell Road, it has a great museum about urban planning and how Singapore is designed and built - it is honestly much more interesting than it sounds! The second place is Sungei Buloh Wetlands in the north; It’s such an interesting natural environment and I still find it mind blowing to see wild crocodiles - there are none of those in Wales! The third place would be Haw Par Villa showing Taoist teachings in the form of dioramas- this is probably the most interesting place I’ve visited in Singapore. However, you might want to avoid some areas (such as the 10 Courts of Hell) of this with younger children. Honestly, there’s so much to do, narrowing down to three places was tough.
Q: How many countries in the world would you be able to plot on a blank map?
A: Ha! I’d like to say 100+ but please don’t put me on the spot! Places are definitely important for the subject, but it’s more about what’s going on within the countries. Great question though; maybe we could have a staff quiz and see who wins? This will give me time to prepare!
Q: We know that you love travelling, what is one country that you can’t wait to visit, once that is possible?
A: I had a trip to Namibia planned, so I’d like to go there and tour the Skeleton Coast; it might be a while off. I think the first two trips will be back to Wales to see my family and Sri Lanka to rest on the beaches, nothing new but places I really enjoy visiting!
Mr Woodhall was my form tutor for three years, from I joined DCIS in Year 8. Ever since then, he has helped me throughout my journey at Dover Court. Mr Woodhall has been a fantastic teacher that strives to make all students enjoy their school life and most importantly make everyone love Geography. Being a GCSE Geography student, I clearly understood his love for the subject, which has made his class enjoyable and something to always look forward to. Mr Woodhall as a teacher has been extremely supportive and is always determined to help his students go beyond their expectations. - Fathima, Year 12 student