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RGS Ambassadors

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The RGS is known not only for academic excellence, but also its wide variety of co-curricular activities that it offers to its students. Through both of these elements of their education, students are encouraged to collaborate in order to share knowledge and expertise.

We are delighted that we have the same outlook across our schools with RGS Guildford staff working and collaborating with local schools and the wider community both nationally and internationally to share expertise and experience.

Our RGS Ambassadors are working closely with our international schools to ensure education is enriched for students and for the benefit of exchanging best practice between teaching staff both in Guildford and internationally. Read more about each of our Ambassadors here.

Mr Bradford: Head of Scholarship, Research and Development

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Name: Christopher Bradford

Position: Head of Scholarship, Research and Development

Subject: Physics

Which university did you attend? Durham

Which subject did you read? Theoretical Physics

When did you join the RGS? 2013

What aspect of the RGS ethos are you most proud of? Scholarship. The genuine atmosphere of competition and co-operation. It makes this school a pleasure to teach at.

What inspires you most about being in the classroom/teaching at the RGS? The unimpeded academic freedom to take a lesson wherever the students want it to go.

What makes Physics such an important subject in the 21st century? It’s the why and how behind every what.

What is the most intriguing concept you teach in your subject? For me, nothing compares to the sheer elegance of thought presented in Einstein’s formulation of Special Relativity. The first time the boys are exposed to it and its far-reaching consequences you can see a look of simultaneous wonder and maddening perplexity come across them as their eyes are opened to a whole new world of possibilities.

Why do students enjoy studying Physics? Physics teaches you to think properly about the world. It gives you tools to quench your curiosity and to peak behind the curtain of reality. If you’ve ever asked why then only real answer comes from a deep understanding of the laws of the cosmos.

Mr Yardley: French Teacher & Third Form tutor

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Name: Richard Yardley

Position: French Teacher & Third Form tutor

Subject: French & German

Which university did you attend?  University of Exeter & University of Cambridge

Which subject did you read?  French & German/ Masters in Education

When did you join the RGS?  2018

What aspect of the RGS ethos are you most proud of?  Inclusivity – I have been particularly impressed by the camaraderie in the school amongst the students, regardless of their background or beliefs.

What inspires you most about being in the classroom/teaching at the RGS?  Students are engaged and driven to succeed. I like how active the student body is.

What makes languages such an important subject in the 21st century?  The opportunities that come with language learning are endless, particularly in an increasingly globalized world where knowledge of a foreign language brings countries closer together.

What is the most intriguing or challenging concept you teach in your subject?  Teaching grammar is always difficult, especially getting students on board with the German case system!

Why do students enjoy studying languages?  They have the opportunity to converse in a new language and to use their creativity.

What would you like to achieve as an RGS Guildford Ambassador?  Having previously worked in an international school in China, I found the Chinese culture fascinating. I want to enable our students to learn more about China and offer real collaboration initiatives for all through partnerships with our International schools.

Mr Batchelar: Assistant Head (Teaching & Learning)

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Name: Edward Batchelar

Position: Assistant Head (Teaching & Learning)

Subject: Chemistry

Which university did you attend? University of Oxford

Which subject did you read? Chemistry (MChem, DPhil) and PGCE

When did you join the RGS? 2010

What aspect of the RGS ethos are you most proud of? Scholarship – the student’s love of learning motivates them to achieve amazing things which constantly impress.

What inspires you most about being in the classroom/teaching at the RGS? After ten years here I still love the thrill of being able to teach interested and motivated students who ask questions which challenge me to think about how seemingly simple everyday phenomena are actually far more complicated then they appear!

What makes Chemistry such an important subject in the 21st century? From Smartphones to Solar Panels, a thorough understanding of Chemistry underpins all of the technological advances realised in the twenty first century so far. Some may go on to develop these technologies but all should be able to fully engage as scientifically literate citizens who can make well-reasoned and informed life choices in a world where fake news threatens to overwhelm.

What is the hardest concept you teach in your subject? The hardest, most fascinating and intriguing concept in all of Chemistry is the attraction between two miniscule particles: the proton and the electron. Whilst striking simple on one level, the interplay between protons and electrons governs the whole of the physical world around us. It explains why despite each atom being 95% empty space, objects appear solid. It explains why some substances are influenced by electric fields whilst others are not and explains the most remarkable of discoveries: the Periodic Table.

Why do students enjoy studying Chemistry? Students particularly enjoy studying Chemistry at RGS because it combines the excitement of venturing into the unknown, the satisfying challenge of problem solving and the stimulation of practical work.

Mr Cover: Director of Sport

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Name: Giles Cover

Position: Director of Sport

Subject: Physical Education/Sport

Which university did you attend? Brunel University, London.

Which subject did you read? Sports Sciences BSc

When did you join the RGS? September 2015

What aspect of the RGS ethos are you most proud of? The selflessness, courtesy and modesty of the students. Their willingness to celebrate other’s achievements in all aspects of school life.

What inspires you most about being in the classroom/teaching at the RGS? The ‘spark’ pupils demonstrate in lessons. There is a hunger for learning that exists in no other school I have taught in.

What makes Sport such an important subject in the 21st century? The contribution of the subject to physical, emotional and mental wellbeing is obvious and well documented. However, sport and PE also teach vocational skills such as leadership, soft communication skills and resilience in practical environments that are difficult to replicate elsewhere in the curriculum. To me, these skills make the subject so important for vocational success in the current competitive landscape.

What is the most intriguing or challenging concept you teach in your subject? The idea that a team functions far more effectively than an individual; particularly as the students develop. Understanding an individual role in the dynamic of a team strategy is always something that requires a complete and dynamic understanding of the problems posed and the solutions required.

Why do students enjoy studying Sport? Students at the school love to be active, are naturally competitive and are hungry to learn in sporting environments. It is also the much-needed break they need from a classroom environment. Above all, sport is fun.

Mrs D Whitehead: Head of Lower School, PHSE co-ordinator

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Name: Debbie Whitehead

Position: Head of Lower School, PHSE co-ordinator

Subject: Physics, Electronics

Which university did you attend? University of Bradford

Which subject did you read? Applied Physics

When did you join the RGS? 1998

What aspect of the RGS ethos are you most proud of?

There are a wide range of eclectic characters at the school, all of whom are valuable members of the RGS community, with an important contribution to make.

What inspires you most about being in the classroom/teaching at the RGS?

The intellectual curiosity of the boys AND the positive relationships that exist there. That I am continually challenged to aim higher.

What makes Physics such an important subject in the 21st century?

Physics speaks to every aspect of our existence and development as human beings. It encourages a sense of awe and wonder, as well as encompassing both rigour and uncertainty. It has had a role in every technological development in the 20th Century and provides a vehicle for further human progress in the 21st.

What is the most intriguing or challenging concept you teach in your subject?

Areas where there is an interface between physics/technology and morality e.g. mobile phones are more desired by people living in poverty than clean water, Cosmology and the nature of God, to build nuclear power stations or not.

Why do students enjoy studying Physics?

RGS Guildford has some amazing and inspirational Physics teachers.

The students recognise that Physics is an important subject and because at its basic school level it suits the brain and skill set of the average RGS students – logical, mathematical etc.

The students also enjoy practical work.

Mr D Amis: English Teacher

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Name: Daniel Amis

Position: Teacher of English

Subject: English Language and Literature

Which university did you attend? Cardiff and Cambridge

Which subject did you read? English and History

When did you join the RGS? 2016

What aspect of the RGS ethos are you most proud of? Scholarship

What inspires you most about being in the classroom/teaching at the RGS? Bright pupils responding to incredible literature

What makes English such an important subject in the 21st century? Upholding the significance of culture and independent thinking

What is the most intriguing or challenging concept you teach in your subject? Analysis and synthesis of ideas in response to a literary text

Why do students enjoy studying English? Opportunities to be creative, to use their imaginations and to tap into intellectual and emotional responses to literature.

Mr Dunscombe: Director of Studies & Director of Higher Education

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Name: Peter Dunscombe

Position: Director of Studies & Director of Higher Education

Subject: Mathematics

Which university did you attend? Sheffield

Which subject did you read? Geography and Mathematics

When did you join the RGS? 2003

What aspect of the RGS ethos are you most proud of?

The focus in on each student achieving their own potential. We have a policy of ‘Scholarship for All’ which encourages each student to be the very best that they can be. I am proud of the open relationship that exists between staff and students that is based on a mutual respect.

What makes mathematics such an important subject in the 21st century?

The principles of Mathematics underpin so much of life in the 21st century. Everyone uses Mathematics everyday whether this be in their daily life or transactions for all of us or, for many, in our place of work.

What is the most intriguing or challenging concept you teach in your subject?

For me the teaching of a complex algebraic proof or producing an elegant solution to a challenging problem has an innate beauty and provides a sense of personal satisfaction that I hope is shared by the students

Why do students enjoy studying Mathematics?

RGS students love the intellectual challenge and rigour that comes from solving a challenging, complex problem.

Please outline your role as the Director of Education?

My principal roles in the School are as Director of Studies and Director of Higher Education. I have worked for the last 15 years with RGS students in preparing them for applications to university and I am immensely proud of the record that we have in helping students secure places at the top UK institutions which include over 350 offers to Oxford and Cambridge in the last 10 years. We also send large numbers to Durham, Imperial, UCL, Exeter, Bath, Warwick and Nottingham. In addition, we have a proven record in placing those who wish to apply to US universities at top Ivy League institutions including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and MIT.

The success of the RGS is based on providing bespoke individual support to each student.

Mr Colebrook: Design and Technology Teacher

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Name: Andrew Colebrook

Position: Design and Technology Teacher

Subject: Design & Technology

Which university did you attend? London Guildhall

Which subject did you read? Musical Instrument Technology

When did you join the RGS? January 2019

What aspect of the RGS ethos are you most proud of? The genuine Love of Learning and the interest the Boys have. The Boys are in an environment where they can be themselves and flourish.

What inspires you most about being in the classroom/teaching at the RGS?

Being able to teach my subject to enthusiastic and interested students who are able to synthesise the knowledge and produce very creative and innovative outcomes.

What makes Design & Technology such an important subject in the 21st century?

In a world where technology is advancing at extraordinary pace being able to educate the students in Design and Technology is vital. They not only benefit from understanding how products are designed and manufactured but also the cultural, social and environmental impacts they have on modern life. The subject also allows them to put in to practice scientific and mathematical principles into real-life problem-solving situations.

Why do students enjoy studying Design & Technology?

Students enjoy Studying DT because it gives them a creative outlet, where they can realise designs and take ownership of a piece of work. The department are very enthusiastic about the subject and this excitement is passed on to the students. The lessons are very hands on. The students love to learn by doing. This approach helps us teach theoretical content as well as the practical skills.