My name is Martin Phillips and I am very excited to be joining the team at Castle school! I have been teaching for over ten years, working in a number of good and outstanding schools in Lincolnshire. I moved there from Pembrokeshire in 2009 to a small school that looked nice and I thought I would do a year and then move back to Wales. Well, 12 years and an international pandemic later we decided it was time to return back to Pembrokeshire and spend some time near to better beaches and walk some hills that are over 20 metres high! Lincolnshire was lovely, the people are great, but as they say, there’s no place like home!
I have been the head of Geography (and a few other subjects) for around 8 years and I have had the pleasure of teaching Geography and Business Studies to some of the most outstanding pupils around, many of whom have completed degrees and Masters degrees in Geography and Business Studies in some of the best universities in the Country. I believe that Geography and Business Studies are amazing subjects and I truly look forward to spending several hours waving my arms around and trying to make them as exciting as I can for you! Geography doesn’t really need much selling. It is simply everything on this planet, over every time scale you can imagine and studied from a global context down to the micro local scale. You want to look at the impacts of a global airborne virus? That’s Geography. You want to study the impacts of a new housing development being built near you and the impacts on one solitary worm? That is Geography, too. Business Studies is truly amazing, too and what is great for a Geography and Business teacher is that in the time it has taken you to read this far, the world has changed and will continue to change every second. Truly wonderful but you do have to constantly read the news to keep up!
As part of previous teaching roles I have been fortunate enough to lead a huge number of field trips and excursions and this is something I am looking forward to at Castle School Sixth Form. Over the last 10 years I have led a large number of “World Challenge” and “Outlook Expedition” trips to different Countries in different Continents. These trips really help to grow the pupils who venture forth with us. It is an amazing time of growth for all of our pupils. They leave nervous and full of naivety and return with a fresh new view of the world, which makes them appreciate just how lucky they are to grow up in a beautiful and safe place like Pembrokeshire!
So, what more is there to tell you? I’m Welsh, and that was my “thing” when in Lincolnshire. Pupils could never work out where my accent was from. Pembrokeshire doesn’t have the strongest of accents and having lived outside of Wales for over a decade meant that if I wanted to sound Welsh I would have to put an accent on, which would invariably come out more Indian than Welsh, but hey I am working on it!
I have been part of a team working to build up a sixth form and have had the opportunity to help grow a sixth form from a small beginning, working alongside pupils to ensure that they get the most out of the experience and working hard to ensure that every pupil left sixth form having reached their potential. I am truly looking forward to working with the sixth formers at Castle School, helping them to excel and hopefully guiding them onto University or the workplace in a couple of years. As part of running Geography and Business Studies at sixth form I have had the chance to take pupils to Universities to show them around, meet with lecturers and attend lectures. I have also had great fun taking the pupils of Lincolnshire to Pembrokeshire to show them what real coastal geography looks like! This has always been the highlight of my year as most of the pupils have little experience of the type of Geography and Geology that we can sometimes take for granted around here.
While other sixth forms and colleges in South Wales continuing with online remote learning next year and cancelling field trips and residentials, I am glad to be able to continue planning a full extra-curricular timetable for our sixth formers at Castle School. This is easy to do while adhering to social distancing guidelines due to our small class sizes. We don't want another year of our current Year 11 group suffering the physical AND emotional impact that the pandemic has had. At Castle School sixth form, there will be lots of support and guidance for our students, while respecting their independence as they transition into adulthood.
I look forward to meeting you all soon and you will have ample opportunity to ask me (and my colleagues) any questions at the Castle School Sixth Form Open Evening on TUESDAY 8th JUNE 2021 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm at:
The Sixth Form Centre