The Headmaster

I consider being the Headmaster of Westbrook Hay to be one of the most wonderful of privileges.  I arrived having taught at a number of top independent schools; progressing from teacher, to Director of Sport, to Housemaster, to Deputy Head, to Head of Prep. 

Fundamentally, I am a lover of great learning; it is what led me into teaching and what gives me the greatest satisfaction when I see it in action.  It is that ‘lightbulb’ moment when a child reaches understanding, secures new knowledge or gains success from practising a new skill.  When I first visited Westbrook Hay this is what I saw, felt and knew is as the heart of the school. 

During my interview, I remember sitting in front of a dozen or so governors.  Through the library window I watched some children playing in the woods at break time (I was concentrating – honestly!).  The wonderful freedom that they had to play, the happiness on their faces and the sheer excitement for life that they showed affirmed that this was the right school for me; a school where the environment is perfect for great learning.  I haven’t changed my mind since!

All of my previous schools have been set in an environment that allowed children to be children and to enjoy the freedom of space and a rich natural environment, whilst encouraging them to be the best possible learner in the classroom.  I see Westbrook Hay as being cut from the same cloth.  

Away from school, I can usually be found on my bike, desperately trying to stay fit whilst lost somewhere in the Chilterns.  Failing that, I am probably enjoying family life, watching my son play cricket or, if my luck is in, I may have sneaked off to watch my favourite football team – whose identity shall remain a poorly hidden secret.

Mark Brain