In a special Q&A for The Bath Magazine we ask Simon Morris, the outgoing Headmaster at Kingswood School to share his thoughts on education and also look back at his 12 year tenure at the school
How long have you been headmaster of Kingswood School?
I came to Kingswood in 2008, so will have completed 12 years here when I leave this summer.
Bath has a collection of high-achieving schools. Why might Kingswood be a strong choice over other good schools in the region would you say?
It is certainly true that Bath has an array of very fine schools in both the state and independent sectors. That is, of course, a really good thing for the city’s children and it keeps us all on our toes! Kingswood seeks to be a high-achieving school which truly embraces all-round excellence for every individual student within a community which puts a significant emphasis on the quality of relationships, on mental wellbeing and on being outward-looking and inclusive.
Why have you decided to leave and what will be your new working challenge?
Having been at Kingswood for twelve years, I felt it was time for fresh challenges for me personally, but also that the School would benefit from fresh ideas and new leadership. I have absolutely loved my time at Kingswood, but I have also always believed that there is a natural time to move on, and this felt like that time to me. I have a couple of voluntary roles to which I will now be able to give more time and beyond that, who knows…
What is your own teaching subject and has this helped you in your role as headmaster?
I’m a modern linguist, with a particular interest in German. But I’ve also taught English and Religious Studies. I think having a background leading an academic department has certainly been hugely beneficial, but being a languages teacher, where students have to master such a wide range of different skills, has, I am sure, helped me in multiple ways. It is certainly true that it is immensely difficult for students to master all the skills at the same level and that is certainly an important point to remember when one is not only leading students, but also teachers and other staff!
Does Kingswood cater as well for those who struggle with reading, with speaking in public, with sports prowess and musical ability as for those with strong skills in these areas?
We have always sought to be a school which caters both for the most naturally talented and for those who might struggle in some areas. That said, it is my view that all children have talents and it is our role as educators to help find and develop those talents, whilst also supporting young people in those areas which they might find more challenging. Helping build self-belief and self-esteem is very much what we are about.
How have the recently developed buildings affected life at the school?
Schools should of course be much more about people than about buildings, but the buildings help create the environment and atmosphere in which children can be inspired. Blending the old with the new allows us to combine the traditional Kingswood strengths with the best of modern educational thinking, which we believe to be a really powerful combination!
What will you miss about working at the school?
So many things, but above all seeing young people achieve things they never thought would be possible and having the privilege of working alongside such impressively committed and dynamic colleagues.
For further information and updates visit: kingswood.bath.sch.uk