Mr Paul Floyd
Position: Lead Tutor (Sixth Form); Director of University Applications; Teacher of Politics
Department: Games Coaching,
Qualifications: MA Queen's College, Oxford
Telephone: 01280 818402
Life before Stowe
Armed with a PPE degree from Oxford and a two year apprenticeship at Goldman Sachs, I spent the 90’s in Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore and Jakarta trading south-east Asian equity and political analysis. Having observed the build-up to Suharto’s overthrow in 1998 and coordinating the subsequent evacuation of the Societe Generale office to Singapore, it seemed unlikely that much in finance could top that experience. A year or so later, I made my excuses and moved on. The next couple of years were exciting and informative in equal measure, and included white shark research and diving instruction in South Africa and life in the dot.com boom of turn of the century London. It was in teaching, however, where I found the right combination of challenge and inspiration and my the path to Stowe brought me through schools in Edinburgh, London and just outside Oxford and has embraced Politics, Economics, Philosophy and History.
What do you enjoy most about your subject?
All of my subjects encourage curiosity and reward intellectual audacity. Politics is particularly rich in that it is in a constant state of change (so you rarely do you have to teach the same lesson twice) and it is one of the few subjects that are hard to avoid once out of the classroom. Since no one is going to understand Politics for you, studying Politics means that not only can students make better sense real world events but they also have the means to take a meaningful role in the machinations of public policy. It does not, however, necessarily follow that all lessons are determined by any given morning's Today Programme and any suggestion along those lines is as disappointing as it is untrue.
What do you enjoy most about Stowe?
As a working and teaching environment Stowe is hard to beat. The facilities are outstanding, both functionally and aesthetically, but in any school it is the people that make the teaching experience: the common room is extremely friendly and supportive and the pupils have proved to be very affable, inquisitive and (generally) keen to learn.
What is your favourite Lesson?
The best lessons are the ones where the teacher gets out of the way. There is only so much even the best teacher can teach and I am far from the best teacher, so I prefer to see my role as helping students to learn. The sensible thing to do is to treat each lesson as a point of embarkation: the teacher provides the raw materials and the students pick them up and make what they can of them. That leaves the teacher to observe and offer gentle taps on the tiller as required - and, with any luck, hand out lots of encouragement and praise. By their nature, Politics, Philosophy and Economics are replete with the right material for these lessons and there is no better single topic for this sort of thing than the arcane and fascinating intrigues of the United States Supreme Court.
What do others say about you?
You should really ask them, with the caveat that any information, positive or negative, is treated cautiously.
As the Lead Tutor (Sixth Form) I have oversight of academic progress in the Sixth Form and responsibility for all university applications. Helping students make appropriate and informed decisions about their further education is particularly rewarding and doing so means that students can ask the right questions and tutors can answer them. I also specialise in advising on Law applications and in the past also managed Oxbridge Applications, Debating and occasionally Squash.
Nothing out of the ordinary: sport (especially cycling), cinema, gardening and my family.