A warm welcome to Richard Bower who has taken on the role of Director of Co-Curriculum. Richard joins us from Kitebrook Preparatory School where he held the role of Deputy Head, Pastoral. A passionate linguist, outdoor enthusiast and self-proclaimed medium ability sportsman, Richard also brings a wealth of experience from his time in France as Directeur at the Chateau de Sauveterre. 

What drew you to apply for the role of director of co-curriculum at bloxham?

I think that for me it is possibly the most exciting and fulfilling role within a school. The reason for that is because you can oversee and develop a programme that is wide reaching, which is very exciting and rewarding. Independent schools have the luxury and privilege of being able to spend more time with their students outside of the classroom and the result of that is enabling young people to develop their life skills immeasurably across a range of areas. As such, when this role became available, I had to jump at the opportunity, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be at the helm of such a well-established and successful department within a happy school. 

as you settle into your role at bloxham, what are you most excited about?

The most exciting aspect of the role will be understanding how the students feel about all the different activities that they are involved with and using their feedback to develop the provisions we have in place. Engaging the students will also mean we can use their passions, interests and ideas to evolve existing and develop new opportunities.  

Services is probably the area that I’m most excited about. I’m currently considering how we can develop that further across different year groups and how to introduce more opportunities for our students to give back, and therefore experience the rewarding side of helping communities and others. 

What values or principles guide your approach to co-curriculum development, and how do you plan to uphold them at bloxham?

The idea of being open to trying new experiences and taking on new challenges is really important. Encouraging the students to step out of their comfort zone and showing a commitment to something will be important life skills for them, so I do want to make sure the students are opting into a range of activities which will help them develop holistically. This will mean holding them accountable and making sure they are engaged and making the most of these opportunities, with the right support in place to help them make their choices. 

What aspects of teaching do you find most fulfilling?

It’s being on a journey with the students where you see them develop not only academically but also in terms of their character. This becomes somewhat easier when you’re able to be involved with them in a boarding setting as you can then engage with them on different levels throughout the day, meaning that when you go to the academic lesson the relationship is more genuine. Being able to offer support, guidance and help them through difficult periods in the year is also really rewarding.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career in education, and how has it influenced your approach?

The best piece of advice I received when I was younger was to take every opportunity available to me. I have tried to live by this my whole life and feel I have benefited from an interesting and rewarding career (and personal life) so far. The students at Bloxham have so many wonderful experiences that they can learn from here and my aim is to make sure that no-one leaves the school with regrets of not having made the most of these.

We wish Richard every success in his new role as Director of Co-Curriculum, and we’re looking forward to seeing his impact on the Broader Curriculum programme at Bloxham.