Rupert BlencoweRupert Blencowe

Joint Head of Boarding, Geography Teacher

Life before the Dragon

I was born in a Prep School in East Grinstead where my father was Headmaster and I went to both Prep and Senior schools in Sussex. I met my wife (the other Joint Head of Boarding) whilst teacher training and our first three years of teaching were spent in different schools in Dorset. We were then lucky enough to finds jobs working together in a Prep school in Surrey where I was Head of Geography. We arrived at the Dragon in 1997 to run Stradlings Boarding House.

What do you enjoy most about the subjects you teach?

Though I may have a degree in Geography I only stumbled into the subject at Teacher Training College. I have to admit to not taking the subject at either “O” or “A” level! Personally I find the physical geography particularly absorbing. The weather, geology, features of erosion and plate tectonics all tend to follow certain patterns – people on the other hand are less predictable!

What do you enjoy most about the Dragon?

Working closely on the Boarding side of the school I find it especially rewarding when other people look to the Dragon for examples of good practice. We aim to offer flagship boarding at the school and it is tremendous when others report that this is what they see. For me, working at the school has moved on from being a job to a way of life. The school has been a home for my family and all three of my children have been through the school before trying boarding for themselves further afield. There really is never a dull minute and just when you think you have life organised something else comes along to challenge you.

What's special about the Dragon?

After fifteen years I am still not quite sure I have an answer to this! However, having run two of the ten Boarding houses, been Head of Boarding, Head of Year 6 and in charge of the after school Clubs programme it is fair to the say that the school does allow staff to diversify rather than feeling that they have to move on. The school has also encouraged me to think smarter – when I arrived in 1997 I thought that my way was the only way – I certainly don’t see things this way now. The Dragon is very much a large family and being a full boarding school the beat never stops.


Certainly my work has to be included here and I also occasionally inspect the boarding provision of other schools. When I am not thinking about school work, my mind tends to turn to current sporting events. In particular football is a passion, with Oxford UTD, Portsmouth and Liverpool very much on my radar. I ran five London Marathons in nine years and just at the moment I could well do with training for another! We have a house on Dartmoor so holidays are often spent there. My children are very important to me and I am doing my best to allow them the space to make their own way through life.