Meet the head - John Moreland, Polam Hall School
PUBLISHED: 13:51 13 March 2012 | UPDATED: 21:09 20 February 2013
Headteacher John Moreland gives a guide to Polam Hall School
Name of school: Polam Hall School
Type of school: An independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged from two to 18.
Address: Grange Road, Darlington
Tel: 01325 463383
If you hadnt become a teacher, what would you have done instead?
When I was in the Upper Sixth I tried out for an RAF Scholarship and went down to Biggin Hill for a week of aptitude tests. Unlike many of my contemporaries I survived to the final day of five, but by then had been knocked down to navigator as my sight and hearing were not perfect enough for pilot. I did not get a scholarship and then went off to university and decided to take up teaching after surviving my PGCE year and my school placements. Even this was a rather late decision as I largely took up the course to stay on at Oxford for another year to qualify for an athletics tour to the USA.
Was there any type of school dinner that you couldnt stand?
Not really, though rhubarb has been something I have always hated so rhubarb crumble is a dessert I avoid. I cannot stand tomato ketchup either, so that too has to be avoided. Our school food is so good and with so much choice you would be hard pressed to find something on the menu you did not like.
What were your favourite lessons at school?
I really enjoyed my school years and particularly enjoyed History and Geography. Throughout A-levels I had very good relationships with my teachers in both subjects and was inspired by them all. In the end History won out though and it was thanks to the Head of History, John AP Jones, that I was entered for the Oxford entrance examinations which I subsequently passed.
If you were Prime Minister for one day, whats the first thing youd do?
It would be great to take the politics out of government and have the best of talents trying to achieve long term, sustainable solutions to complex problems. Equally it would be good to take the politics out of education and set in train educationally sound policies that can also be sustained and that are completely joined up. Sadly, neither of these goals is attainable in a day, possibly ever, so I probably wouldnt make a very good Prime Minister for a day.
How do you like to relax?
Sport has been a major part of my life, especially rugby and athletics, and has always helped me relax and stay fit. I still compete in athletics at Masters level and training is a brilliant change from work. Walking in hilly and mountainous terrain is also a passion, one I share with my wife and we have enjoyed many long and short walks together in the UK and abroad.
Whats your favourite piece of music?
I am a relatively recent convert to Elbow and their track One Day Like This is incredibly uplifting, something I always sing along to if I am in the car on my own. It is so positive in its sentiment, a marvellous celebration of the impact a great day can have.
And your favourite film?
I am a science fiction fan and The Matrix was a ground breaking, trend-setting film that I have watched many times. Blade Runner is up there on my list too, another gritty, thought provoking film