Rachael AustenRachael Austen

Head of English

Life before the Dragon

I grew up in a large family in Yorkshire and, as the eldest of five children, I enjoyed teaching my brothers and sister to read and directing them in endless plays. I studied Law at Oxford University and then worked in legal recruitment and publishing in London. I subsequently moved to Cambridge where a friend suggested I would enjoy teaching. How right she was! After my PGCE I worked at a girls’ Quaker school in York, which I loved, followed by eight highly enjoyable years at The Cheltenham Ladies’ College. I came to The Dragon in September 2008 as Head of English.

What do enjoy about the subject you teach?

I absolutely love teaching English and can’t imagine teaching anything else. The greatest joy of my job is helping a child find the book that will ignite a lifelong passion for reading. The study of literature is vital in helping to develop sensitivity and empathy and the ability to understand and manipulate language empowers and liberates children.


In the holidays I like to catch up on reading, theatre and films. I love walking and cycling in the countryside with my husband and daughter and spending time with my parents, siblings and all their children.