Meet the head: Richard Milner-Smith at Moyles Court School
PUBLISHED: 13:45 24 March 2016 | UPDATED: 13:45 24 March 2016
Q&A with Richard Milner-Smith at Moyles Court School in Ringwood
Maths or English?
Oh dear, I am going to upset somebody at my school with this answer! As a geographer I love and value both of them, but if I had to choose one it would be English. There is something very magical and powerful about the written word.
School dinners of packed lunch?
School dinners. Our kitchen staff are amazing and produce such great food – the Chicken Korma is a particular favourite!
Newsletter of Twitter?
Newsletter. I enjoy twitter, but our newsletter allows the reader to get a real feel for what has been happening in our school during that week.
If you hadn’t become a teacher, what would you have done instead?
I would have loved to have been a professional cricketer. Once I realised I wasn’t going to play cricket for England and that I had to get a proper job, then teaching was always something that I knew I wanted to do. I tried a couple of other things first to make sure, but I knew where I wanted to end up eventually.
What were your favourite lessons at school?
Geography, History, English and PE. I loved my school days and I am sure they are the reason why I went into education. I had some wonderfully eccentric teachers who I will never forget and some wonderfully passionate ones who made being at school great fun and a great experience.
Was there any type of school dinner that you couldn’t stand?
I do remember struggling to cope with a Tapioca pudding when I was very young.
What is your favourite film?
Star Wars (1977). The original and the best.
Your Desert Island Disc(s)?
My family despair at my rather eclectic choice in music and I have always loved creating mixtapes and playlists. Choosing one song is very hard, but I am particularly fond of Underworld’s ‘Caliban’s Dream’, which they wrote for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. A beautiful piece of music and wonderful memories of a fantastic year.
How do you relax?
By doing anything that involves being in the wonderful outdoors and that can be shared with family and friends. It’s hard to beat a weekend walk in the New Forest or along the coast. We’re so lucky to have all this on our doorstep.
What is the one thing that makes you most proud of where you work?
Our pupils. They are such fabulous ambassadors and talk with enormous passion and enthusiasm about their school. I am a huge believer in creating an environment in which children feel happy and safe. We’ve achieved a steady, organic growth over the past few years because we’ve cared before we’ve driven. That care has helped all of our children attain their very best, with many excelling beyond expectation. Care equals happiness equals inspiration equals results. It’s a simple philosophy that works and our pupils are a fantastic example of just that.
If you could be the Prime Minister for a day, what’s the first thing you would do?
To simply give greater responsibility back to the teachers who teach our children. They are the ones who know them best and are in the best possible position to judge the ability of our children. For too long now, teachers have not been trusted to be able to make those decisions and it has led to the over testing that we see today.