Education and Training

New appointments as independent school expands

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 12 June 2020 8:05

An independent progressive school in Gloucester has appointed two new staff – one with an interesting personal connection for music fans. 

Wotton House International School has just won permission from the Department of Education to teach 10-year-olds (Key Stage 2), alongside those aged from 11 to 16. 

Taking on the task will be Emma Edwards, with Mandy Owen providingadministrative support.

Ms Edwards is married to Mike Edwards, front manfor alternative 1990s rock band Jesus Jones, and is moving back to Gloucestershire with her family to take up her new role. 

“I love the approach at the school,” she said. “It’s such an exciting way of looking at modern education, fusing the outdoors with the technology that we have in our modern world. 

“The idea of working in a setting where children are offered more of a connection with the outdoors, our global society and the modern world is really important. 

“Changing perceptions is really important. Rather than being ‘alternative,I think parents making these choices are being really innovativeand are choosing great routes for their children, setting them up well for their futures.” 

Dr Daniel Sturdy, principal at Wotton House International School, said: “We have had a surprisingly large number of 10-year-olds wanting to join us and, due to changes to schooling locally and in society more widely, we are finding our offering is growing in popularity and relevance.” 

It is understood some of the families whose children attended the former Wynstones School in Gloucester have moved to the school in Horton Road. 

“Many independent schools are struggling through the coronavirus crisis and of course it is a challenge for us too. 

“But what this episode has brought into sharp focus is the importance of nature and the outdoors, as well as technology and a global outlook, a sense of mission and of wanting to give something back to society. 

“So being able to provide something truly modern and progressive is really exciting. Having Emma on board to help us start that process from year five is just great.” 

Ms Edwards has been living on Dartmoor in south Devon, having taken a career hiatus after setting up and leading the pre-prep years offering at The Maynard School in Exeter. 

Prior to that she was based at Beaudesert Park School, Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire. 

Her daughters Isabelle, 11, and Chloe, 10, will both attend Wotton House and the family will live on the school premises in Horton Road while they find a new home. 

Mandy Owen, meanwhile, moves to Wotton House International School following time managing pre-school education in the village of Eastington, near Stonehouse. 

Wotton House International School is one of just 15 in the UK to offer the Middle Years Programme (MYP) of the International Baccalaureate, which demands no formal exam assessments of its pupils from 11 to 16 yet offers an education mixing integrated technology, inquiry-based knowledge and outdoor education. 

The 10-year-old pupils at the school will be taught from the Cambridge Primary Curriculum, with modifications to adopt some of the principles of blended, holistic learning.