Walking with Mr Weymouth through Coombe Dean, it is obvious that his relationships with students are excellent and that he has a genuine and down-to-earth interest in their lives. In the space of 100 metres, he speaks to several by name, asking after progress here, giving a friendly reminder there, checking that another student is ‘OK’.
I asked him how he sees the Coombe Dean ethos – “success built around positive relationships”.
‘For students,’ he says, ‘It’s knowing that Teachers care about their lives, inside and outside school. As a PE Teacher, it’s especially important to me; PE gives young people vital skills for building self-esteem and positive relationships. It’s a key to lifelong success.’
Mr Weymouth has his own experience of the unique care and support provided by Coombe Dean. Before training as a Teacher, he worked for four years as a Cover Supervisor at Coombe Dean. The role not only helped him to develop his excellent classroom skills but enabled him to gain a wide range of experience – as a tutor and in extra-curricular activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, PE clubs and off-site enrichment activities.
However, when it came to apply to train as a Teacher, he needed some extra support and encouragement from colleagues.
‘I knew that teaching was a great career, but I was also thinking about going into sports coaching. I spent so long deciding, I almost missed the deadline to apply for my PGCE. Two Coombe Dean colleagues gave me the support and encouragement I needed – at just the right time. Mrs Granville helped me to believe in myself and make the application. Mr Woodland helped me improve my presentation for my interview. He gave me feedback on it and made me come back the next day and do it again. I know how busy they are – but they made time for me and made sure I didn’t lose the opportunity to do a job that I love.
‘There is a real sense of community at Coombe Dean. We are determined that no one gets lost. I have experienced that, myself, as an adult member of staff, which makes it all the more important for me that I play my part in offering that support to our students.’
We are delighted that Mr Weymouth has joined us as a newly qualified PE Teacher this year.