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The Croft Preparatory School

Dulce et Forte

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Interview with the Headmaster, Mr Cook

You have a very challenging job – what motivates you?

There are numerous challenging jobs in the world, but very few can be as rewarding as teaching. Many things motivate me in my job, all of which are pupil related. To make a difference in a child’s life and to help educate and guide them along the early part of their learning journey is a huge motivating factor. Through education we have the opportunity to nurture, support and challenge children, helping them fulfill their ambitions and potential. To see the delight on a child’s face when they accomplish something they originally thought impossible, there are few better feelings.

Describe a normal day.

In teaching, particularly as a Headmaster, there is no such thing as a normal day! Each day is different and that is one of the most appealing aspects of the job. However, one aspect that always makes my day is chatting with the pupils and listening to the fun things they have been doing and learning about.

What is the biggest challenge facing Schools today?

The biggest challenge today for schools is attempting to prepare children for an ever changing 21st Century. The skill sets required in the future are hard to predict, but we aim to develop a child’s confidence so they feel empowered to face any challenge the may face in the future.

Place in the world you would most like your students to visit – and why?

That is a very good question. With air travel so readily accessible to the majority of people and travels to far flung places a more common experience for the students; I will have to choose somewhere slightly different. I would like all our students to visit the place(s) where their parents and grandparents grew up, as I think it is important for them to know where they have come from, as it has helped shape the person they are today.

Most inspirational teacher/lecturer you have ever encountered?

I was fortunate at School to have a very inspirational PE teacher, Mr Pat Wager. He not only helped develop my sporting career but taught me a lesson that I will always remember. Losing is not bad, you will always learn more from losing than you ever will from winning!

Choosing a school is such a key moment for a student’s future – what advice would you give?

I believe a School is like a house, and you will know instantly if you feel comfortable in the surroundings and the people you meet.

Which book would you like every student to read?

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was a gift from a former pupil, and the powerful message of friendships irrespective of upbringing and situation really touched me.

Can you let us into a funny moment – there must have been many?

Plenty, but one that springs to mind was a Reception Nativity Play where the three wisemen created an ad-lib Monty Python sketch. They were in the wrong order carrying the wrong gifts, it had everyone in hysterics!

If you could sum up The Croft Prep School in one sentence what would that be?     

Inspirational. That’s a nice short sentence!

Where do you go to relax and can you share a local secret with us?

Pembrokeshire, but I won’t tell you exactly where, as it will no longer be a secret!

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