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News > School News > A catch up with Bill Lomas

A catch up with Bill Lomas

We catch up over a cup of tea with Bill Lomas, former teacher of French and German, Head of Sixth Form and finally Vice-Principal, to reminisce about his time at Dame Allan's.
Bill Lomas, former teacher of French and German and Vice-Principal
Bill Lomas, former teacher of French and German and Vice-Principal

Bill kindly dropped in for a cup of tea and a chat to tell us about his background, how he got into teaching and his time at Dame Allan’s. 

Bill has always been interested in linguistics and language, and after being inspired by a French teacher at school, he pursued a degree in French literature. He loved his job and right from the start felt that “I was earning a fair salary for doing something I loved doing. I thought this can’t be a bad idea!”

When Bill joined Dame Allan’s, the Boys’ and Girls’ Schools were still very separate. Bill recalls that pupils were not allowed to cross the flagpole and boys were told off for talking with their own sisters! 

He reminisces about his time as a teacher: “It was good fun, going in to teach boys. I had a great time. It was just so much fun dealing with a classroom of boys!” He tried to keep his lessons fun and engaging and remembers fondly translating Monty Python with his Year 10 or “Remove” French class in the 70s.

There were three to four staff members teaching languages in each school when Bill joined Dame Allan’s and the two teams started working more closely together to set up an exchange with Lyon, which lasted many years. Charlotte Houlton, Head of French at the girls’ school joined Bill on the first trip with around 15 Sixth Formers. 

Bill began his career as an Assistant Teacher, and as a keen sportsman he helped out with cricket and tennis too. Bill still enjoys playing tennis and one way he made his mark on Dame Allan’s was by starting squash at the Schools in 2005. He explains: “I had a career-ending operation and thought, well if I can’t play squash, I’ll start it! And of course they’ve been brilliant. They’ve won national titles.”

In the mid 80s, Bill became Head of Languages at DABS and in 1988, as the Schools came together under one Principal for the first time, he was appointed Senior Master of DABS then Head of Sixth Form before spending his last ten years at the Schools as Vice Principal. He describes setting up the then-new mixed SIxth Form as “fascinating” as the teaching and members of staff were so separate lower down the school. 

Bill, who also conducted inspections in schools over a number of years says, “Just keep encouraging. That’s the one quality you look for in a good teacher - enthusiasm for your subject and enthusiasm for your pupils whoever they are.”

“I had a terrific career here, I was allowed to develop in all sorts of ways, in all sorts of jobs. And you just want it to continue for the children, the parents, the staff and the community. It is doing really well and I just want it to carry on.”  

Watch the video of our chat with Bill here

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