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News > School News > New Head of DABS takes holistic approach to his role

New Head of DABS takes holistic approach to his role

'I want to help every boy achieve their personal best while at school'
6 Oct 2022
School News

MATHS teacher and experienced senior school master, David Ridley, has been appointed as the new Head of Dame Allan’s Boys’ School.

Having joined the school in September, Mr Ridley said he takes a ‘holistic approach’ to learning and will ensure every pupil ‘strives to achieve their personal best’ both inside and outside the classroom.

“It’s important that each and every pupil learns how to be a good person, with good character, and understands how to deal with life in the real world, while also reaching their own academic potential. Dame Allan’s’ pupils are the leaders of the future and we want them to be well-rounded individuals who have integrity,” he said.

“The pastoral role in a school dovetails with the academic success, and I see it as vital that the boys’ lives at Dame Allan’s are looked at holistically. Working with and supporting the boys – treating them as individuals and encouraging them to achieve their personal best – is what attracted me to the role.”

Mr Ridley joins Dame Allan’s after 13 years at Emmanuel College, in Gateshead, where he held positions as Head of Maths, Head of Upper School, and most recently, Assistant Vice Principal (Academic). Prior to that, he worked for three years at The Grange, in Cheshire, as Head of House and a maths teacher, and for eight years at RGS Newcastle teaching maths. 

Talking about his teaching role, he said: “Maths is integral to everything pupils study, and success in maths opens so many doors going forward. The logical, organised processes that pupils learn in the maths classroom are transferable to so many different situations in life.”

A married father-of-one, Mr Ridley has strong ties to the school. His father attended in 1959–66, and his daughter is a pupil at Dame Allan’s Junior School. He is a keen sportsman, who was Master in charge of Football at The Grange and used to coach the national Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA) u16 team. He also played hockey for the Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Hockey Club.

Reflecting on his first weeks at Dame Allan’s, Mr Ridley said: “The school is such a welcoming and positive place to be; everyone has been so friendly, staff and pupils alike. The boys have been extremely polite and very understanding of my newness!”

Mr Ridley replaces Phil Wildsmith, who has been appointed as Dame Allan’s Schools first Director of Co-Curriculum.


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