Meet the New Head at Newland House
Meet the New Head at Newland House
Newland House is enjoying exciting new vision and leadership following the appointment of their new Head, Chris Skelton
We caught up with Chris Skelton, who moved to the area over the summer from South East London with his young family.
Where did you work previously and how do you think this experience prepared you to be the Head at Newland House?
I was previously at Newton Prep which is a large Prep school in Battersea which is, in many ways, not too dissimilar in terms of teaching values and approach to Newland House. As their Academic Deputy Head, I had responsibility for teaching and learning and enhancing the curriculum. Prior to this, as Pastoral Deputy Head at Dulwich College Junior School, I really learned how important providing the right pastoral care in a school is. I am a firm believer that if you create an environment where children feel happy and secure, they will thrive in every aspect of their school life. My very first teaching roles however, were in London state primary schools and these provided me with an ideal foundation in teaching across a breadth of subjects and well-rounded educational viewpoints and values. I hope to be able to use all these experiences to ensure that Newland House offers a modern educational experience for all of our pupils.
What made you get into teaching?
I studied Psychology at university and was particularly interested in the modules on child development. I worked in a summer camp during university holidays and found that I was able to build a good rapport with young people, so it appeared to be a natural progression to train to become a teacher. The buzz that you get after teaching an excellent lesson, knowing that children in your class have made progress, is still one of the best feelings there is.
What do you hope to achieve at Newland House?
A great many things but initially I will continue to reinforce the school’s deep commitment to developing the whole child and maintaining a balanced curriculum alongside safeguarding children’s personal development and resilience. But I also want to guarantee that our pupils are adaptable, are able to collaborate effectively, can think critically in readiness for the next part of their educational journey. Ultimately, I will be making sure that through providing excellent teaching and maximising the learning opportunities the children will at the very least reach and many, exceed their potential.
What is the most important lesson that you have learned in life so far?
That doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it is always right. In a school, the only consideration should be doing what is right for the children. Sometimes it is easy for conversations to digress, but when you have children’s best interests at heart, you know that you won’t go far wrong.
How do you enjoy spending time outside of school?
I spend a lot of my spare time with my family. Teaching is an incredibly rewarding profession, but it does have a tendency to take up a huge amount of your life. Simple things like going on long walks, or out for nice meals with my wife and children, make me really happy.
Newland House School, in Twickenham is an established and popular Prep which is trusted by local families who value their engaging and balanced curriculum and the all-round educational experience that their children enjoy. The school, which caters for boys and girls aged 3 to 13, has a new and very successful Nursery and a surprising range of amenity and outdoor space which is set in a safe and desirable residential area. There are many opportunities to meet Chris and discover what Newland House can offer your child over the autumn term.