Meet the...

This month we speak to Daniel Cum­mings, head teacher at Cum­nor House School in South Croy­don

Surrey Life - - Inside -

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: cum­nor­

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.

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