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24 January

Barnabas Day with OV Kathryn Pugh

It was such a pleasure to welcome OV Kathryn Pugh (W 93-95) back to King’s on Thursday 23rd January 2020 as the newest member of the Barnabas Group. Kathryn began the day by giving a wonderfully inspiring and rousing address in the Cathedral, speaking to the School body about her time here at King’s which she described as ‘transformative’. Kathryn spoke of how being here at King’s allowed her to truly be herself and to harness a variety of different experiences. She spoke of her love of languages and English Literature, and the path from King’s to Cambridge University where she studied English and completed a PGCE. Kathryn spoke to the pupils about her varied career and her eventual finding of teaching as a career, a profession she described as an absolute ‘privilege’. You can listen to Kathryn’s address here.

Kathryn is now Headteacher at St Marylebone School in London, an outstanding non-selective State School in central London where they place particular value on the positive role the arts play in all young people’s education. In the Sixth Form, boys can also attend. When given this role, Kathryn was noted as one of the youngest appointed female Headteachers.

Cropped OV Kathryn Pugh in Worcester Cathedral

Following her address, Kathryn enjoyed a tour of School with Head of Alumni Relations, Sophie, where she explored familiar locations as well as the newer sites and facilities built since she was at King’s. It was lovely for Kathryn to pop in to some Drama lessons, a DT class and the Art department. She was particularly struck by how passionate and enthusiastic the pupils were and how able they were to talk about their work.

Kathryn and Sophie then joined Acting Headmaster, Jon Ricketts (Hon OV) and Head of School, Hamish, for coffee where Kathryn was presented with her Barnabas shield. Kathryn then joined two English classes, a Lower Sixth and then an Upper Sixth. Having been taught by Richard Davis (Hon OV) herself, who she mentioned in her morning address as having hugely inspired her here at School, Kathryn was thrilled to join his Lower Sixth class and then afterwards to sit down with Andrew Maund (Hon OV) for his Upper Sixth lesson. With both groups currently studying the text A Streetcar Named Desire, there was plenty of opportunity to get into some in depth discussions and to hear the students talk about their feelings on the text and characters and for Kathryn to join in the discussions.

The day finished with a lovely lunch where Kathryn was joined by Jon Ricketts, Andrew Maund, Sophie Borrillo-McLellan, Head of School Hamish and the two Deputies, Ellie & Ted. Kathryn so enjoyed hearing about the interests of Hamish, Ellie and Ted, and we in return were fascinated to hear more of Kathryn’s experiences and her current role.

OV Kathryn Pugh in English lesson 2020