Esther Arnott: Joint Head of History

I joined Hampton in 2015 after a decade working in state schools. I was attracted to Hampton for a number of reasons. Having worked with the History Department through its Genocide Awareness Project I was deeply impressed by the team’s energy and passion. I also had an insight into the lasting bonds the School creates as my husband is an OH, and the friendships he built while at Hampton have evolved into life time ones: his school friends were our best man and ushers when we married. Together, these experiences of the School demonstrated what a great community Hampton is.

Hampton staff are incredibly welcoming and supportive, and everything is in place to help you do your job – from coffee and cake, to endless supplies of stationery; and from colleagues who will stop what they’re doing to help you, to readily available training and support.

As for the pupils, they are witty, intelligent and discerning. Their intelligence pushes you to be the best you can be, in both knowledge and skills, and this has led me to read far more widely (in my subject and research on teaching) to support the boys’ learning. Even then, I sometimes don’t know all the answers to the wide-ranging questions or (polite) challenges of the boys, but I love that!

Having taught here for a little while now, what I value most is the atmosphere. It is exciting but calm, happy but focused; full of variety but with a niche for everyone; it’s a place where you feel like you can breathe and have the space to do things well (and that goes for staff and pupils), whilst also working determinedly. Altogether, the atmosphere here means boys develop into kind, thoughtful, open-minded, happy young men. I can see myself working here for a long, long time – just as many colleagues have before me!