It was probably a childhood spent hiking, camping, and reading rain-soaked maps in the mountains of Northern England that gave me the urge to study geography when the time came to head to university. Then, after three years of river wading, glacier mapping, pond dipping and dune sampling in pursuit of my BSc at Loughborough University nothing felt more natural than to share my passion for this amazing subject with others. So, in 1999 I completed a PGCE at Goldsmiths College and began my teaching career in Greenwich, London. Feeling the need to see a little more of the world, I taught in New Zealand before returning to the UK and settling in Shropshire in 2002 where I gained experience as a Head of Geography, Head of Year and then a Director of Learning leading the pastoral care and academic progress of students from Years 7 to 13. I moved into senior leadership in 2009 as an Assistant Headteacher overseeing pastoral care, personal development and well-being in an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ school in Worcestershire. In 2012 I completed my MA by evaluating strategies to promote inclusion and achievement, and I subsequently became Deputy Principal with responsibility for pedagogy, professional development and quality assurance. In 2013 I began my Postgraduate Diploma in Education at the University of Birmingham in which I focussed on educational leadership and conducted action research into effective methods for sharing professional excellence in schools. Working in a National Teaching School I also had the opportunity to deliver training to teachers through the National Professional Qualifications programme and to lead a team of eleven Specialist Leaders in Education on regional school improvement deployments. In 2015 I completed the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) and used the experience to strengthen my understanding of the links between the primary and secondary education phases. In 2016 my family and I sought a new adventure and headed to Malaysia where I became a Vice-Principal leading curriculum, assessment and progression at the Alice Smith School in Kuala Lumpur. Whilst at Alice Smith I worked with my colleagues to build upon the school’s impressive academic pedigree and saw standards rise even further at GCSE and A Level from already excellent starting points. Our persistent focus on high-quality research-based learning through the Extended Project Qualification eventually led to formal recognition as our students' results placed the school within the top 5% globally. It is with real excitement that my family and I prepare to join the Dubai British School Emirates Hills community. Indeed, it’s the word ‘community’ that repeatedly comes through in any conversation I have about the school or in any information I am able to glean from those who know it well. I am particularly looking forward to learning from the superb staff working across the DBSEH journey from foundation to graduation and meeting the students who make the school such a special place to be. Moreover, as ‘dad’, I can’t wait to see my 13 year old and 3 year old daughters continue to thrive in this next chapter of their lives in such a supportive and inspirational environment. BEST MOMENT IN TEACHING: Success takes so many different forms and so it’s hard to pin down such a specific thing as a best moment. Seeing a young person discover something new about themselves, take pride in something they have done or simply bring out the best in someone else is what makes me love being a teacher and having the privilege of working in schools. When any person witnesses and reflects upon their own capacity to make a difference, whether through their skills, values or mindset it serves as a reminder of their innate power and their responsibility to develop and use it. So, the moments that mean the most to me are those when young people, through their challenges and achievements, gain a little more insight into who they are, what they are capable of and who they want to be.