Mr James Peppiatt

Position: Cobham Housemaster
Department: Cobham House, English
Qualifications: MA Edinburgh

Contact Information:
Telephone: 01280 818207

Life before Stowe

On leaving Edinburgh University in 1996, I went to Guildford Law School for two years and then spent four years in the City as a commercial contracts solicitor. While I enjoyed the work (and the money….) I decided that my real passion lay in English Literature. I therefore took a PGCE course in 2003-2004, and taught at Ibstock Place School in Richmond for five years. I’ve hugely enjoyed every aspect of English teaching, and haven’t looked back since leaving the City.

What do you enjoy most about your subject?

The fact that it’s so open-ended – there really is no right or wrong answer, and this can stimulate some fascinating (if at times bizarre…) responses from pupils at all age levels. I also love the fact that English Literature exposes you to so many aspects of the curriculum and life in general – a thorough interpretation of a text means you will need to consider not only the language, but other areas such as the political, historical, religious and social context as well.

What do you enjoy most about Stowe?

The space and tranquillity – it’s a far cry from the hectic, claustrophobic world of London. I also think the pupils are fantastic – they are confident, inquisitive and polite.

What is your favourite Lesson?

Has to be teaching The Great Gatsby at A Level – the novel is a personal favourite of mine, and I am a great fan of F Scott Fitzgerald’s style of writing and modern American literature in general.

What do others say about you?

I hope the pupils I teach would say that I am strict when required, but also approachable, and that I make English both accessible and challenging as a subject. It would be nice if they thought I had a good sense of humour too, but I fear that might be a bridge too far…..

Other hats

I am Cobham Housemaster. I also coach rugby – currently the Junior Colts C Team – and assist with football and cricket. I have been involved with the Debating Society, and oversee the Cobham House Wine and Deportment Society, for the Cobham Upper Sixth – an essential part of their all-round education!


I enjoy any and all outdoor pursuits and sports, including fly-fishing, running, cricket and skiing, and am also an avid supporter of Northampton Saints rugby club. I like to get involved with our local church in Buckingham, when time allows. I am married to Jo and we have three children, Barnaby, Olivia and Flora. We toyed with the idea of four, but settled for a surrogate in the form of our large and very friendly black Labrador, Gus.

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