Episode # 6 – Nigel Talbot Rice, Headmaster of Summer Fields (1975-1997)

In Episode 6 of my Education podcast, I interview the famous Summer Fields Headmaster Nigel Talbot Rice. Listen on Soundcloud – Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Or on YouTube – Part 1 here (and below) or Part 2 here. Or subscribe to the podcast via iTunes here. Nigel joined prep school teaching upon leaving Oxford. He started his […]

A Liberal Education (1929 style)

Listened yesterday to a tremendous edition of the Charlotte Mason Poetry Podcast, which featured a speech by Horace West Household, the Director of Education for Gloucestershire at the North of England Education Conference in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1929. Can you imagine a Regional Schools Commissioner in 2018 using the same beautiful language or whose vision of a […]

Charlotte Mason vs Montessori

I listened to a great episode of the Charlotte Mason Poetry podcast on a run yesterday. It featured a letter, written by CM herself, explaining how her differed from that of Maria Montessori’s. The whole letter, which is very short, is really worth reading or listening to – is there any educationalist alive today who writes […]

Episode #5 – Jason Fletcher, founding Headmaster of Heritage School Cambridge

In this interview, I talk with Jason Fletcher, founding Headmaster of Heritage School in Cambridge. Heritage is the only school I am aware of that is committed to (and actively promotes) a Charlotte Mason education in the UK. In our conversation, Jason explains its unique pertinence to the educational priorities of our times. Listen on […]

Podcast Episode #4 – Paul Dean

In Episode 4 of my series interviewing teaching greats from the recent past, I interview Paul Dean. Download the podcast or listen online here: https://soundcloud.com/willorrewing/paul-dean or watch on YouTube below. Paul read English at Manchester 1971-9. His first teaching post was in Manchester. He was then Head of English at Portsmouth Grammar School 1986-99, Dragon 2000-8, […]

Charlotte Mason – who was she, and what is her relevance?

Who was Charlotte Mason? Charlotte Mason (1842 – 1923) was a teacher and educational writer who lived and worked all over the UK. Orphaned at 16, she taught both as a governess and as a classroom teacher. Despite suffering ill health for much of her life, she founded a teacher training college at Ambleside for […]

Poetry and Memory

Somewhat stating the obvious but good to read nonetheless: The emerging findings point strongly towards memorised poetry being a resource with the potential to enrich lives in different ways over many years. Knowing a poem by heart appears to support a very distinctive quality of attention and connection which in turn fosters a rich and […]

History of Prep Education Podcast # 3 – Interview with Mark Johnson

In Episode 3 of my History of Prep Education project, I interview Mark Johnson. Mark (known to all his pupils as MRJ) attended prep boarding school himself aged 6 (!). As a teacher, he taught at Summer Fields for 17 years, becoming Deputy Headmaster, before becoming Headmaster of Cheam in 1998 – a post he […]

My visit to Michaela Community School (MCS Brent)

Given the criticism that the school has received from many quarters (such that staff have even received death threats), I was fortunate enough to be allowed to visit Michaela at the end of the summer term. I spent a remarkable few hours there, and sent the following email to the headmistress, Katharine Birbalsingh afterwards: Dear […]