Breakout sessions - Biographies

Charlie Barker
Charlie has been at Stowe for 10 years and is the Chair of the Humanities Faculty. He teaches Politics and has taken a huge interest in applying the theories of Dweck and others in the classroom. He also has a lot of experience using ICT in lessons and this session on 'Mastery Points' brings the two together. Applying the theories of Dweck, Charlie recently completed the GDL 'law conversion' course by distance learning and has also become a fluent French speaker. He also tries to use growth mindset in sport, competing in the sprint events for Rugby and Northampton Athletics Club without much natural talent, but with 10,000 hours of deliberate, hard, self-directed practice. 

Nick Bayley
Nick has been involved in drama, theatre and education for over 35 years. He trained as a teacher at Bretton Hall and as an Actor at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, under Rudi Shelley and Nat Brenner. He has worked professionally as a performer and director in shows ranging from Pinter to Pantomime and taught in both of Buckingham's Secondary schools before arriving at Stowe in 2003 to become Director of Drama. His association with the WJEC over the past 17 years has included work as an Examiner, Moderator and INSET provider for both their GCSE and Advanced Level courses. 

Kyle Bennett
Kyle graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2008 with a degree in Sports and Exercise Science. After this he lectured physiology on the foundation degree at the University and led research projects for a year before returning to Milton Keynes where he was born. Kyle lectured Sport and Exercise Science at Milton Keynes College and developed their first programme for elite athletes before starting at Stowe in 2013. He runs the strength and conditioning and manages the Stowe Elite Squad at the School. Kyle has also worked for the Football Association as a Sport Scientist and strength and conditioning coach mainly with the England Blind football team. As well as being Head of Athletics at Stowe he is also the head endurance coach at Oxford University and is on the National Coach Mentoring programme with England Athletics.

Lucy Brassell
Lucy joined the staff at Stowe in September 2014, following her PGCE at Reading. She has a wealth of practical experience in drama, theatre and performance from her degree studies at UEA and an MA at York. She teaches across the age and ability range at Stowe and has already made a significant contribution to the direction and production of many varied and eclectic performances presented by the Drama Department. 

Louise Carter
Biologist and early adopter of all things multimedia, Louise Carter leads our Biology Department with the belief that with just the right balance, digital technology has the ability to raise pupil curiosity and inspire creativity. An experienced user of interactive whiteboards, Louise has been at the cutting edge of their use at Stowe. She has also experimented with augmented reality to give pupils a personal learning experience. Her current focus is using mobile devices to foster true collaboration in the classroom.

Liam Copley
Liam has lived and taught in boarding schools for the last 20 years. He was first an Assistant Housemasters at The Leys, Cambridge from 1995 until 2001. From 2001 until 2009 he was a Housemaster at Welbeck College, after which he returned to The Leys as Director of Sport, whilst his wife ran one of the girls' boarding houses. He moved to Stowe in 2013 to become Housemaster of Chatham. Since 2010 he has been a Boarding Inspector with ISI.  

Mandy Dawson
Mandy is a Geography teacher and was the Principal Examiner for AQA AS level exams until 2014. 2014 brought unexpected challenges and tragedy for Mandy. Her husband Mike was diagnosed with cancer in July 2014 and his health declined rapidly. Mike died in October 2014 and Mandy found support and drew resilience from an unlikely source; UNIT 22 CrossFit Northampton. CrossFit is hybrid training style that emphasises excellence in every area of human performance. Central to its ideology is embracing failure, perfecting technique and striving for mastery through deliberate, self-directed practice. Before Mike died he told Mandy that he wanted her to be able to pursue CrossFit more seriously, so she decided to do her Level One coaching award. She now has an idea to use CrossFit to harness growth mindset in schools and promote the principles beyond the classroom, using her own transformation as inspiration for the pupils.

Peter Deakin
Peter is a Housemaster at Stowe and currently runs and co-ordinates the school prefect training and leadership initiatives. He has previously worked at Merchiston in Edinburgh and Charterhouse in a variety of leadership positions such as Head of Geography, Director of the Co-Curricular and Master in charge of Cricket at Charterhouse. He is passionate about providing pupils with opportunities to lead and develop as young leaders. His interest in Leadership stems from his sporting background as a former captain of Dorset CCC and studies at the University of Buckingham for his Masters in Educational Leadership. 

Nick Dennis
Nick has taught History throughout the age and ability range in the state and independent sectors and is Deputy Head (Academic) at Berkhamsted Boys School. In January 2016, he will be the Deputy Head (Academic) at Nottingham High School. He has advised a variety of schools and NGOs on the use of digital technology, worked as a freelance trainer for Apple and has written a number of teaching resources and articles including an audiobook on German History. He is currently completing research at the University of Oxford on the 'testing effect' in the History classroom. He writes about education, technology, learning and leadership on his blog
Paul Floyd
Armed with a PPE degree from Oxford and a two year apprenticeship at Goldman Sachs, Paul spent the 90s in Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore and Jakarta broking south-east Asian equity and political analysis to institutional clients. It was while watching the build-up to Suharto’s overthrow in 1998 and coordinating the subsequent evacuation of the office to Singapore that Paul sensed not much in finance was likely to top that experience. When things had settled down, Paul moved on and looked for excitement elsewhere including white shark research and diving instruction in South Africa and life in the boom of turn of the century London. It was in teaching that things finally clicked, however, and Paul's route to Stowe has taken him through schools in Edinburgh, London and just outside Oxford and through Politics, Economics, Philosophy and History.
William Goldsmith
William is the Head of the English Faculty at Stowe and has been at Stowe since 2012. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Masters in English Literature and began work as an English teacher in Paris, before returning to England in 2004. He has taught at Sacred Heart High School in Hammersmith, Lady Margaret School and Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School before becoming Head of English at Stowe. Will has been pivotal in several exciting initiatives at Stowe including the introduction of the Stowenet VLE, the use of classroom cameras and the staff training program that this session will focus on. 

Matt Gracie
Matt graduated Loughborough University with a BSc in Geography and Sports Science. He spent three years at Sedbergh School as a gap graduate and prep school teacher with pastoral and sports roles throughout the school, including two tutor groups 8 years apart at the same time! He joined Bedford School in 2010 and became an assistant housemaster for two years before taking over Talbot House over in 2013. He coaches rugby, hockey and athletics and was formerly in charge of strength and conditioning. Matt is also involved in the school Christian Union and Bible study, he is passionate about seeing young men achieve their potential and grow into world changing adults.

Peter Last
Peter has worked in three very different boarding schools over the last 25 years. He has been a Housemaster to both boys and girls between the ages of 13-18. He is currently Assistant Head (Senior Housemaster & Head of Boarding) at Stowe School and has successfully led the pastoral and boarding team at Stowe through two ISI inspections which have both concluded that these aspects of Stowe life are excellent. He is himself an ISI inspector and has been developing a personal interest in how boarding communities can help to develop character in pupils. 

Gavin Moffat
Gavin has served six years as a Housemaster at Stowe School which has included two ISI inspections. He recently completed a Masters in Education with distinction in Educational Leadership at the University of Buckingham. Before coming to Stowe, Gavin was the Head of Modern Languages at The Leys School, Cambridge and has also been Director of Rugby at Sherborne School, Dorset. 

Jon Murnane
Jon recently joined the teaching staff at Stowe after a first career in the military. After studying Classics at Cambridge University Jon joined the Royal Air Force where he spent twenty years flying helicopters throughout the world. His military career culminated as Commanding Officer of No 18 Squadron as well as leading the UK's helicopter force in Afghanistan. While teaching at the Advanced Command, Leadership and Staff Course Jon completed his PGCE and QTLS. His role at Stowe includes teaching Classics and ICT and he is the master in charge of Oxbridge university admissions.

Julie Potter
Julie arrived as the new Director of Studies at Stowe in 2014. She was previously Deputy Head of Sixth Form at Berkhamsted School and before that Head of History at Marlborough College. Having won three caps for England at rugby (despite her small size) and having completed a doctorate in History at Cambridge whilst working full-time as a teacher, she is a passionate believer in the ability of anyone to grow their talents in any area – if they take the right approach. She has set out over the past 18 months to ensure that the entire community at Stowe understand the power of a growth mindset and in doing so avoid placing limitations on their own potential or the potential of others. 

Emma Rayner
Emma is the Head of the new Projects Department at Stowe, where she has designed a new core programme for Years 9 to 11 designed to empower learners to identify and pursue an intellectual enquiry of their own choosing. Using Daniel Coyle’s The Talent Code as a springboard, students are taken through the neuroscience of developing skill and are taught that it is possible to build their skills in any area. In the first year they are also challenged to think and engage beyond the confines of the curriculum, work collaboratively and have high expectations of themselves and of those around them. This then leads into all students completing a Higher or Extended Project Qualification over the next year and a half. Emma joined Stowe in September 2014, having previously been the IB Co-ordinator at Goldolphin & Latymer and Head of Theory of Knowledge at Marlborough College. 

James Tearle
James is Head of Science at Stowe and has taught here for 25 years. An Oxford Chemist and past finalist in the Salter's Chemistry Teacher of the Year, he has a passion for lively demonstrations. James was previously Head of ICT at Stowe and has done much to champion the use of ICT to enhance teaching. He received a national award for the use of ICT and was involved in a Nuffield foundation project to explore the best ways in which ICT could be used in Chemistry teaching. James has also been involved with the development of Multimedia Science School and other science teaching software which is used both nationally and internationally. He continues to experiment with how best to combine ICT with traditional teaching methods.

Paul Thompson
Paul began his teaching career in Auckland, New Zealand as a Science and Physics teacher in 2003. He has held many roles from Junior Science Co-ordinator & Head of Physics to e-learning co-ordinator and his favourite title Master (in charge) of Robots. Paul aims to make lessons engaging, interesting and enjoyable for pupils (and him). He has created and shared a few popular resources on TES, including the physics of Angry Birds and the science of superheroes displays (40,000+ downloads between them). His particular area of interest is developing the skills and knowledge of students through the extracurricular activity of robotics, which links to and promotes learning in the classroom.  

Anthony Wallersteiner
Anthony Wallersteiner has been Headmaster of Stowe since 2003. In 2006 he was awarded the title ‘Tatler Headmaster of the Year’ and Stowe was shortlisted as Best School in 2009 and in 2014. Anthony was awarded a History Scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge and gained a doctorate from the University of Kent for his dissertation on the St Ives artist, Peter Lanyon. He has taught History, English, History of Art and General Studies at a number of schools – including Sherborne, St Paul’s and Tonbridge (where he was a Housemaster and Head of History). Anthony was a Council Member of Tate St Ives and is a governor at Ashfold Prep School, Maidwell Hall Prep School, Summer Fields Prep School and Winchester House Prep School. He has been Trustee for the charity Children in Crisis since 2013. He has written numerous articles on 20th Century modernism for The Burlington Magazine and has contributed articles on education to The Week, The Daily Telegraph and Country Life. He has written chapters for two books on schools - “Cradles of Success” and “The Head Speaks”.