Baker’s Beacon Blog – Week 21

1 March 2024

Dear Parents,

After over 15 years of dedicated service to The Beacon, Ivan van Rooyen, our much loved Head of DT will be hanging up his screwdrivers and sandpaper at the end of this academic year for a well deserved retirement.  A ‘Beacon Legend’ in our community, Ivan will be much missed not just by the current boys but to all of our alumni, who always ask when visiting, “Can I go and see Mr Van?”  Almost impossible to replace such an institution as Ivan, but we have managed to secure a really exciting and capable replacement, Mrs Danielle Reeve.  Danielle, currently working at Great Marlow School and previously at John Hampden, taught a superb lesson and brings a wealth of senior school experience and any number of ideas and initiatives to take DT forward at The Beacon.

We will be very sorry to say “au revoir” to Madame Karine Cook at the end of this term.  Originally starting as a French Assistant, Karine has been a fixture of the MFL Department for almost ten years and her sense of fun and energetic classroom presence will be much missed here.  She leaves us to take up a similar position at Caldicott School and we, of course, wish her well.  Next term, her form will be taken by Mrs Macdonald and lessons ably covered by Madame Estelle Wraight, who for the last ten years has been teaching French and Spanish at Berkhamsted Prep.  In September, for the new academic year, we are delighted to welcome Mr Michael Mitcham.  Currently working at Edge Grove Prep School and previously Head of MFL at Haberdashers’, Michael’s past career as a trained actor was very evident in his energetic and engaging lesson and in how he came across in interview.  He is a high profile appointment in every sense and I have no doubt the boys will love his lessons.

We will also be saying goodbye at the end of this term to Mrs Lynsey Final, who has given invaluable support to boys and teachers in our Pre-Prep for over ten years and Miss Lisa Coventry  who has been a great help to our Little Beacons. Mrs Claire Ellerton, who has worked extensively on behalf of our boys in the Learning Support Department, will be leaving us this April and we welcome back Mrs Jo Jess, who has had a long association with the school working with many boys.

With record low numbers going into teacher training and recruitment ever challenging, we are immensely fortunate to have the status and reputation that allows us to continue to recruit such high quality staff.  Everyone it seems wants to be part of Team Beacon.

Kind regards,

Nick Baker

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