There are three new appointments at King Edward's Witley - New Director of Sport. New Head of RE, and New Head of History.
KING EDWARD’S APPOINTS NEW DIRECTOR OF SPORT
Mr Marc-Antony Eysele has been appointed the new Director of Sport at King Edward’s Witley. Mr Eysele joins King Edwards from Ryde School with Upper Chine, an independent boarding and day school for children 11-18 on the Isle of Wight, where he was a Housemaster and Teacher of Sport, Teacher of Science and Head of Hockey.
Mr Eysele grew up in South Africa and came to the UK at the age of 17, when he joined the Sixth Form at Lord Wandsworth College, Surrey. Always a keen sportsman, he studied Sports and Exercise Science at Loughborough University where he gained a BSc Hons. After a brief period when he considered playing cricket professionally, he went on to take a Level 3 Personal Training qualification before working in a private fitness studio.
Mr Eysele later returned to Lord Wandsworth after successfully applying for a Teaching Assistant role and it was at this point that he realised his interest in teaching / coaching sport. He secured a position at Ryde School with Upper Chine, where he completed his IPGCE teaching qualification and has worked there for the last four years.
The post at King Edward’s not only represents an opportunity to achieve his ambition of becoming a Director of Sport, it also provides the chance to return to the county where he grew up and work at at the very school that featured so heavily on his sports fixture list during his stint in the Sixth Form at Lord Wandsworth College.
Commenting on his new position, Mr Eysele says, “The facilities at King Edward’s are superb and easily match those of many of the top independent schools in the country. I’d like to see King Edward’s become more renowned for its clear sporting prowess and to become a sporting hub, a real centre of excellence for sport in Surrey. The School has already demonstrated its ability to compete at a national level having recently won the English Schools’ Football Association’s Premier League Under 16s Small Schools’ Cup and there is definitely the potential for King Edward’s to achieve similar success in other sports disciplines. As well as improving the standard of sport and providing a pathway for progression for talented pupils, I will also be reviewing the training and development opportunities for teaching staff to ensure a professional sporting culture emanates throughout the School”.
Mr Eysele, who is recently married, will be living at the School with his wife, who has been appointed Assistant House Mistress at King Edward’s. They will be joined by their nine month old yellow Labrador Milo.
NEW HEAD OF HISTORY FOR KING EDWARD’S WITLEY
Matthew Bennett, an experienced Head of History, joins King Edward’s Witley to take up a similar role.
Mr Bennett is the former Head of department at Eastbourne College and Rydal Penrhos (both of which are HMC co-educational independent boarding schools) and has been teaching History for seven years.
His entry into the teaching profession followed a period of running his own business and also working in the pharmaceutical industry after successfully gaining a 2:1 from Liverpool University.
An avid sportsman, Mr Bennett played rugby with Sale Sharks as well as cricket for Glamorgan. Other sporting interests include cycling, skiing and golf. Mr Bennett completed a swim across the Straits of Gibraltar followed by a cycle ride back to the UK in aid of The Prostate Cancer charity, prior to embarking on a career in teaching.
The move to Surrey to take up the position with King Edward’s Witley represents an opportunity for Mr Bennett to combine his passion for sport with teaching History, as the role also incorporates some sports tuition.
Commenting on the appointment, Mr Bennett says, “King Edward’s enjoys a stunning location and the fact that the entire campus is on one site is a definite advantage, encouraging a friendly and integrated learning environment. I was particularly impressed by the School’s natural ability to establish a pupil population that spans a range of cultures, backgrounds and nationalities, with every child benefiting from the opportunity to be part of such a varied and ultimately international community. Pupils leave King Edward’s as grounded, balanced young adults with the confidence to effectively communicate and empathise with a broad range of individuals, which provides a distinct advantage in the workplace.”
Mr Bennett will be living on site at King Edward’s with his wife Anne and their two children Jess and Emma, in addition to two cats and Jack, the Jack Russell. Both daughters will be joining King Edward’s’ partner Prep School, Barrow Hills.
KING EDWARD’S WITLEY APPOINTS NEW HEAD OF RE & PHILOSOPHY
Lauren Harris Jones has been appointed Head of Religious Education and Philosophy at King Edward’s Witley, where she will teach pupils working towards their GCSE, A-level and IB qualifications.
Mrs Harris Jones joins the School having spent the last ten years at Alton College (a Sixth Form college), as Curriculum Manager for Humanities and Social Sciences.
A graduate from the University of Liverpool where she gained a degree in Philosophy and Politics, Mrs Harris Jones also has a Masters in Political Theory from the University of Manchester and an MBA from Portsmouth University. She undertook her PGCE teaching training in Religious Studies at Oxford Brookes University.
Discussing her new role at King Edward’s, Mrs Harris Jones comments, “I’m looking forward to teaching Religious Education again, especially given the current social / political climate where there is an urgent need to teach the next generation the importance of diversity and tolerance. Studying Religious Education can help guide pupils to shun the prejudices that sadly exist in today’s society. Having spent a considerable amount of time teaching in a Sixth Form environment, I’m also keen to have the opportunity to witness the progression of my pupils, from when they first begin their secondary education journey at the age of 11, until they leave the School as young adults. I’m excited by the prospect of joining what is clearly a close knit community, which represents a dramatic departure from the larger institutions where I have worked previously.”
Mrs Harris Jones will commute from her home in Aldershot, where she lives with her partner and young children, Raphael aged seven and Etienne, aged 5.