Simon – age 60 with 5 grown up children and 2 grandchildren brings a unique mix to the classroom!
Originally involved in agriculture , Simon moved into general commerce and then, 12 years ago, into full
time teaching having been been a part time teacher for 10 years before that, teaching teachers how to
teach in the outdoors.
A scientist and physics specialist to A level Simon is used to both working with high achieving children
(two of his children are engineers, one of whom is currently doing a PhD, one is a vet, one a designer for
a world famous Haute Couture brand in Paris and the fifth works in The City of London) and thinking
“out of the box” to engage and interest to encourage deeper understanding and thought.
“I am dyslexic – but wasn't recognised till age 50 – and quickly realised I wasn't that interested in
mainstream classroom based secondary education. I moved into 6th Form Colleges where I loved working
with talented and committed pupils do A level and Access to University courses (for Medicine and Engineering) building deeper thoughts and understanding so that the students could move on and applyconcepts to different applications.
From there I moved into the Social, Emotional and Mental Health sector, working with pupils who were
undoubtedly very clever but who struggled in education with anxiety, depression, expressing emotions
and the general environment of mainstream.
The biggest challenge is to encourage them to try – stretch – challenge themselves and not be afraid of not
succeeding. Once that barrier is overcome, the universe beckons with every pupil achieving their full
The key is to make learning fun and unconscious so that, at the end, when the question is asked “What did
you learn?” the pupil is both surprised and amazed how much they have covered, how much they have
learnt and how much they enjoyed the experience.
I use practicals (specially designed for home and low risk in class use), interactive practical simulations
and project based learning along with IT and Maths rich activities to instil confidence and encourage
pupils to see beyond the curriculum into higher areas of study – making what they are doing in school
both relevant and of use.
A good example of this is trigonometry in GCSE maths – not particularly interesting, but applied within
A level physics leads directly to projectiles, circular motion and orbits...yes, rocket science!