Rob OverendRob Overend

Head of Middle School, French and English Teacher

Life before the Dragon

Before university I lived in or around the Home Counties. I was lucky enough to go to prep school (The Beacon), before Dr Challoner's Grammar School, then two quite different but fantastic years' boarding at Eton College. A year off travelling round the world and two terms being a gap student in a New Zealand boarding school infected me with the travelling bug (which still itches) and planted the seed for teaching. I decided to go to Newcastle University to study French, Film and Anthropology, followed by various careers – TV, working for The Big Breakfast, chef, chalet boy, freelance cartoonist, publishing, before getting hooked on Advertising. I spent 5 years working in various London marketing agencies, working as a project manager, account manager and copywriter before realising that, for me, "people" were more satisfying products than "leaflets", and that teaching would enable me to use all my various interests. I retrained as a Primary School Teacher at Oxford Brookes University and was fortunately taken on here at The Dragon when I finished.

What do you enjoy most about the subjects you teach?

I have taught History, Maths, English and French but now it's mainly French and English. I love French as I have had many great experiences in France and love enthusing about every aspect of the language. It lends itself to children being able to express themselves and have a go at something literally quite foreign to them. In English, if I can inspire a child to think, talk or write creatively and dare to freely express themselves, then I'm a happy man.

What do you enjoy most about the Dragon?

The Dragon lets children and staff be themselves, and it develops you extremely quickly with a swathe of opportunities. I like the fact that it's not pompous and has good ethics, which keep the children grounded. The children are always fascinating, and the staff amazingly kind and supportive to each other.

Passions

I tend to immerse myself in one or two particular passions for a period of years, then look for others. I used to play a lot of tennis, which I still enjoy from time to time. I love being outside, surfing, running, the odd cycling or running charity event, and have just taken up gardening. I still practise Ashtanga Yoga most evenings; play guitar and the blues harmonica; write, record, arrange and perform songs with or without my singing wife, Laura. I have re-ignited my passion for cartoons recently with the i-Pad, which has been a lot of fun. I am working on a plan to integrate cartoons, music, teaching and self-help. However, my biggest joy is spending time with family at home, especially with my two-year-old daughter, Isla.

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