Andy Kemp, Head of Senior School & Vice Principal
I’ve always relished a challenge, and leading the senior school at Wells more than lives up to that! Wells is one of the most complicated and vibrant schools in the country through its combination of being a choir school, academic day school, specialist music school, competitive sporting school, co-educational boarding school and much more all rolled into one place.
I started my teaching career doing adult education in Coventry teaching a mixture of ICT and Accountancy. Having done this for a few years, I decided to retrain as a secondary mathematics teacher, and my first job was at Warwick School as a Mathematics and ICT teacher where alongside my teaching I also was in charge of the Clubs, Societies and House activities programme. I left Warwick to take up the role of Head of Mathematics at Taunton School, where I also became responsible for the timetable and the school’s ICT as their Director of Digital Strategy. I came to Wells originally as the Director of Studies before later taking up the role of Deputy Head, and my current role as Head of the Senior School and Vice Principal.
My role is all encompassing, dealing at one moment with the immediate pastoral or academic concerns of a student or their parents, and then in the planning for what’s over the next horizon. However, headship is much less about the things that I do on a daily basis and much more about the the establishment and maintenance of the feel and culture of the school – and this is something that Wells gets really right.
Most of my time is unsurprisingly taken up with the role of Head, but I still get to teach some mathematics most days, which helps me to remain focused on what is important for the students. I’ve always loved the logical certainty of teaching mathematics. The fact that the mathematical proofs taught when Wells was first founded are as true today when I cover them with students, and will be as true in another thousand years is something quite unique to mathematics.
During my spare time I enjoy exploring the role that technology will have in education. During the last 7-8 years I’ve taken this interest and applied it to my own personal studies completing my MSc in Mathematics Education in 2008, and my Doctorate in Education in 2013. I’m currently coming to the end of studying for my MBA.