"I am honoured to be the new Principal at Kings Oxford, which is steeped in a history of student achievement and excellence with vocational staff who go that ‘extra mile’ to support student progress and personal development. I will carry on the tradition of leading and managing in a strong, empathetic and supportive way to ensure we maximise our strengths and share the outstanding practice for the benefit of students and staff alike.
I have had a wide experience in education and over the past 40 years have had a variety of management and leadership responsibilities both in the UK and abroad involving large teams of teachers, advisory staff and consultants. My experiences span all phases of education from nursery to post-16 colleges, from special schools to mainstream, independent and private schools. I have been an OfSTED inspector since its inception and have inspected schools here in the UK and abroad.
I was brought up in South Wales and Yorkshire and later attended university in Devon, when my parents joined my sister in America where she had emigrated when she was 18. During the nine years they were there I was fortunate enough to visit them on a number of occasions. I am proud to say my daughter is a ‘vocational’ and enthusiastic teacher, and I also have a number of grown-up step children who I am very proud of in their various professions.
Personally I enjoy all aspects of sport and have taken part over the years in a number of sporting and competitive activities — rugby, cricket and volleyball were my main team games. Presently I play squash and tennis, run, train in the gym, swim and now only have memories of competing in triathlons. I like the theatre, the cinema and all kinds of music. I love to travel and explore different cultures."
Ian has overall responsibility for the delivery of the academic programmes at Kings Oxford, working with colleagues to build opportunity and a valuable experience for all students, including academic study and the wider enrichment programme.
"After gaining full teaching qualifications including my M.A., and working in schools in the UK, I have worked in international education for over 20 years. This has included working in international schools in Latvia, Czech Republic and India. This included starting and developing educational charities, responding to local needs and building opportunities. I am now back in the UK with my family and am pleased to be able to use my experience of different cultures to work with the students at Kings Oxford."
Adam is the Advanced Level Foundation Course Director at Kings Oxford. He has over 20 years’ experience teaching, managing and working with international students. His academic specialism is Human Geography and he teaches both Foundation and A-level classes at Kings Oxford. He has also been an A-level examiner for several years.
Adam's main role as Course Director is to help students achieve their goal of attending a UK university. Adam gets to know each of his students very well and, along with his team of teachers and other staff at Kings, ensures that students are given every opportunity to succeed and excel. This year his Foundation students have gone on to attend a wide range of universities including the University of Warwick, King's College London, Oxford Brookes University, Coventry University, the Universiy of Bristol and St Andrews University.
A fundamental aspect of Jeanette's work is monitoring and evaluating the wide range of English language courses on offer at Kings to ensure students are well catered for. She also advises students on their study plans and assists with teacher development programmes.
"I have been in ELT for over 20 years and recently completed a Masters degree in English Language Teaching and Materials design. I also have the Cambridge DELTA and am, like most of our permanent EFL teachers, an IELTS examiner. My special areas of interest are teacher training and course design. Before coming to Kings, I spent many years teaching and training in Eastern Indonesia; this taught me a great deal about working with different cultures and the similarities between people. I love music in all its forms, reading as much as I have time for, visiting unusual places and growing things."
During the academic year Melrose is in charge of Communication and Study Skills (CSS) and teaches language on the Foundation Course, the Pre-Foundation Course and the A-level course.
Melrose is also involved in helping students with the UCAS application process and she is an IELTS examiner for speaking and writing. In the summer she is the Course Director for the vacation programme and her job involves testing students, putting them into appropriate classes and supporting the summer staff.
"I came to Kings Oxford in 1995 and I have been here ever since! Before coming here I was teaching in Spain and really loved life there. I enjoy travelling, visiting new places and meeting people from different countries."
Ruth’s role as Information and Admissions Officer is very diverse. She deals with a wide range of language and academic course enquiries. Ruth is the first point of contact for many students, parents and agents and she guides them through the application process. It’s really important to find the right course for students who all have individual needs.
"I have enjoyed a varied and interesting career in teaching, cable TV & telecoms, publishing and ICT consultancy in the Building Schools for the Future and Academy Schools initiatives across the UK. I came to Kings as an ICT and Business teacher. Since hanging up my teaching hat, I moved into an administration role which brings daily challenges and opportunities. Through email, Facebook and Skype, I have the privilege of getting to know students before they arrive here. It gives me a great deal of pleasure to welcome them to Kings during their first few days when they might be feeling a little nervous or anxious.
In my spare time, I love going to the theatre and swim as often as I can to keep fit. During a job interview once, I was pressed for an answer to the question “What other hobbies do you have?” In a panic, I answered “Disco dancing!” No-one was more surprised than me when I got the job! "
Debbie is responsible for recruiting and briefing suitable host families and maintaining contact with them. A database of host families forms part of the College's information management system and Debbie is responsible for maintaining this as an accurate, up to date resource. She is also responsible for placing students in accommodation appropriately and promptly as their bookings come in. Debbie also works very close with the Welfare Officer, covering a large proportion of this role during holiday times. “I joined Kings in April 2009 after working in local primary and secondary schools for 11 years, so have a varied educational background working with children and young adults of all ages. I have also previously hosted students, both long and short stay and found it to be a very rewarding experience. I found it to be a wonderful opportunity to meet people from other countries and learn about different cultures and it has given me a greater understanding of the host family role.”
Gerda has worked at Kings Oxford for many years. She started work at Kings invigilating for the IELTS exams, and after that became the College Librarian. She is now our Welfare Officer, and as such is always on hand to help and support the students as they adjust to college life. "I have been working as the Welfare Officer at Kings Oxford for the past four years. My main responsibilities are to welcome students, to help them to adjust to living away from home and in a foreign country as well as counselling students for whom this adjustment proves difficult. I help students with health issues, doctor registration, safety and general wellbeing as well as academic or any other practical problems they might have.
I work closely with the Accommodation Officer, encouraging good communications between host families, student houses, parents and guardians. I am here to support the students, enabling them to full fill their potential, so they can achieve their goal. It is a challenging but very rewarding role."
Sean is a Senior EAP teacher and the course coordinator for Extended Foundation, Extended A Level and EAS, as well as being an IELTS examiner. A large part of his work involves motivating and organising everyone involved in the Extended courses to ensure successful outcomes for our students, who all aim to progress to Advanced Level Foundation or A Levels.
“I have been teaching English since 2001 and joined the team at Kings Oxford in 2011. I love being able to see our students develop both academically and personally and I take great pride in their amazing achievements. Liaison with the teaching and management teams in Oxford, Bournemouth and London is at the heart of what I do, along with setting high standards for our staff and students.
Travel to far-flung places is one of my passions and I spent my early teaching years in Indonesia. Now that I have a young family, I do less global adventuring but I still love getting out into the fresh air for lots of exercise in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside. Occasionally I push this to the limits by doing marathons, whilst more regularly I enjoy taking some of our students to play football once a week as part of the school's Enrichment Programme.”
"As Head of Science at Kings my role is to make science as fun as possible for students. I am responsible for designing and delivering Foundation and A-level Science courses. In terms of departmental development I have been organising Chemistry workshops for science students at Oxford University. I have also been involved in laboratory development at our other two UK colleges, Kings London and Kings Bournemouth.
Education has always been my passion, and growing up in India, I supported other children in their studies. So I have been in education since my secondary school, and have taught in Fergusson College in India. Then when I came over for my PhD here in the UK I began teaching at undergraduate level, I have been a head teacher and a research scientist at Oxford University. In my spare time I coach at Oxford Hockey club, practise Karate, love cooking as well as supporting my boys, and children in my local community in their education."
Sarah’s role is to ensure the smooth running of the IELTS test at Kings Oxford. With her team, she deals with test registrations and payments, and oversees the arrangements for the speaking and written tests. Sarah has been involved with IELTS for over 15 years. She says:
“The IELTS office deals with nearly 4,000 candidates every year. I know that taking an exam can make people feel nervous, so I try to make the experience as stress-free as possible. Most of our candidates take the IELTS test because they want to study at university in the UK. Our candidates come from many different countries around the world but they all have the same aim on the test day – to do as well as they can!”