This month we speak to Daniel Cummings, head teacher at Cumnor House School in South Croydon
Head at Cumnor School and sports director at Reigate Grammar
What attracted you to your school? Cumnor House is a great school with an excellent reputation and true academic and sporting heritage that continues to show success. I came from a small standalone independent school in South London and the challenge of working with more pupils, a larger staff body, supported by the wider Cognita Group was a very exciting opportunity I couldn’t turn down.
What changes have you implemented so far during your time as head? It is always difficult when joining a new school that is already excellent or outstanding. My view is, to maintain these high expectation, schools must not stand still. We at Cumnor House are continually striving for improvement and this year we shall be delivering a new ‘childcentred’ timetable that is devised to support the needs of our pupils. Our curriculum has been reviewed, with improvements to both Maths and English and the addition of Spanish, Computer Science, options lessons for older boys and food technology. We are continually striving to deliver a curriculum that enthuses our pupils for a life long love of learning. Our site has also vastly improved in the last year with new playground markings and MUGA, as well as a new state of the art nursery facility at our South Croydon Nursery and finally new walls, fences and signage to make our school a more inviting experience for our families.
What is your school’s ideology and how do you prepare pupils for life after education? At Cumnor House we put the children at the heart of everything we do. Children are encouraged to follow the Cumnor Way and always give of their best. My hope is that our high achieving children are happy and confident without arrogance in their learning.
How have the challenges facing young people changed since you’ve been in education? I believe we live in a time where there are endless opportunities for children, provided they have adaptable skills and excellent work ethic. In my time children – and to some degree adults – were pigeon holed at an early age and often followed their parents or a very linear path to their future professions. The role of education now, should be one of preparation for the new challenges of a sustainable future, one that will provide many vocational opportunities for the correctly prepared individuals.
What would you do if you were Education Minister for a day? I would love to be able to provide extra funding for all schools to have the facilities, specialist teachers and staffing ratios that are offered in the independent sector.
‘We are continually striving to deliver a curriculum that enthuses our pupils for a life long love of learning’ Cumnor House School, 168 Pampisford Rd, South Croydon CR2 6DA. Tel: 020 8660 3445 Web: cumnorhouse.com
What makes you most proud of your pupils? I am most proud of my pupils when they show the resilience and perseverance to achieve in an area, despite the fact it may not come naturally.