Mark WhiteMark White

Deputy Headmaster and Teacher of History

Life before the Dragon

I grew up in Hereford, a cathedral city famous for its cattle. I was sent to the Dragon School aged 8 as a boarder, having never visited the school or even been to Oxford. I loved my time here and made a number of friends I am still in contact with. After senior school I read Politics and Modern History at Edinburgh University, worked for two businesses in London and then completed my PGCE in History at Bristol University. I taught for 10 years in a 1,800 pupil comprehensive in Cheltenham and was an Assistant Head Teacher.

What do you enjoy most about the subjects you teach?

I love being able to explain about key events which have shaped the world in which we live. We are lucky that Britain has such a rich and varied history. It also touches on so many other subjects, so you can discuss: religion, geography, the derivation of words from Latin or art in Tudor England. I believe an appreciation of history helps to make the world more civilised and tolerant. History also allows everybody, however old, an opportunity to make some form of judgement about important decisions others have made. There is something liberating about being able to debate the merits of the Empire with a 12 year old on a cold January afternoon.

What's special about the Dragon?

The Dragon allows you to be who you are and what you want to be. It does not seek to make children conform, it tries to let them have a voice and show them possible routes forward. At the heart of the school is an informal relationship between staff and children. You can try out your jokes on children at every opportunity - in the lunch queue, on the rugby pitch or during dorms and they always give you immediate feedback! I am very lucky to teach with staff who are great fun to be with. We learn from each other and there is always support available when you need it.

Passions

I have a wife and three children (and Dizzie the spaniel and Smudge the cat), who love playing sport, watching sport and talking about sport. When not playing tennis or squash or cricket with them, I love reading books on politics, history and literary biographies, as well as seeing our wider family when term is over.

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