King Edward’s Witley has appointed Mr Steve Gardner as the new Head of Lower School and Houseparent for Queen Mary House (QMH), a Lower School House for up to 40 boys and girls who board, in addition to 40 local day pupils.
Mr Gardner, the former Director of Boarding at The Harefield Academy, joins King Edward’s having worked in a variety of school environments, including four years as Head of Sixth Form at Bedales and a one-year stint at the Dubai College in the United Arab Emirates. Mr Gardner’s past teaching roles include Head of Drama as well as a Teacher of English and Drama, while his broad pastoral experience spans being a Houseparent, Head of Sixth Form and a Resident Boarding House tutor.
A graduate of Central School of Speech and Drama in London where he gained his degree in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education, Mr Gardner has always worked in education and during his 11 years in the sector, has remained in the boarding school environment.
The position at King Edward’s affords an excellent opportunity to combine his academic, pastoral and co-curricular experience and to share his passion for the creative arts. Commenting on the new role, Mr Gardner says, “When I first saw the impressive buildings and grounds at King Edward’s I gasped, the beautiful setting certainly makes a positive impact. But beyond the aesthetics, I was bowled over by the genuine spirit of happiness and friendship which clearly permeates throughout the School. I was particularly attracted to the ethos at King Edward’s and the diverse range of pupils, creating a united community that seamlessly combines children of different backgrounds, cultures and nationalities. I am excited at the prospect of being part of the ‘Pursuit of Excellence’ thinking for which King Edward’s is renowned but my number one priority will be to ensure that the pupils in my care remain happy and motivated, and are suitably prepared to excel in their future lives.”
As a Houseparent, Mr Gardner will be living in QMH with his wife Kitty (who is also a Houseparent) and their two children Amelia aged 6 and Alfie aged 5, who will both attend Barrow Hills School. They will be joined by their dog, a King Charles Cavalier called Molly.