Former staff, 1998 - 2016

Jan Caruth

Jan remembers her years teaching in the Senior School, her time as head of Norwood and extra-curricular trips:

“I very much enjoyed my 18 years at Claremont from 1998 to 2016 and feel privileged to have been at the school under the headship of Jonathan Insall-Reid. 

As head of Norwood house, with a motto of ‘Go for It’…we did! We didn’t often win the annual competition for the most points but we had a lot of fun participating in some of the events, which became annual contests such as: The Quiz (which we always won with Harry Normanton in the team!), Debates, Singing as a house, Jigsaw, Jenga, film making, tug of war and the usual sports day athletics, football, rugby, netball, lacrosse.

I expect many will recall at least one of the 2 main history trips: Year 7 to the Tower of London and the Year 9 to Ypres and the WW1 battlefields, which used to leave school at the crack of dawn. One year many students brought their own pillows intending to go back to sleep..of course they didn’t! Another year a girl was in floods of tears at so many young mens graves. Having a captive audience, I subjected a few coachloads to watching Shaun the Sheep dvds! The highlight of this trip after we stopped visiting the chocolate shop (who were making a tidy profit from us) was the visit to the trenches. All horrors of war were forgotten as students let off their energy running in the muddy trenches and tunnels. One year we had a silly contest to see who had the nicest wellies! 

The many interesting castles models made by Year 7 – Motte and Bailey as well as the Tower of London.

Who could forget the geographically themed cake competition or the annual Year 7 travel show. Pupils often dressed up with food to show too. I would like to think that my Year 7s could recall learning about the Incas and also the Black Death…the latter in my later years being accompanied by a YouTube film with a catchy song based on Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl.”

“I also taught Geography, leading a trip to Swanage accompanied by Mrs Jamieson as well as accompanying trips to Cuckmere Haven and Kew Gardens. Again some Year 8s will probably remember strange arm actions representing the different types of erosion, whilst singing Kung Fu Fighting by Karl Douglas! The Year 7 annual trip to Ravens Ait where teams competed to make the fastest safest raft was fun as was Mrs Wilby’s west country trip where Longleat monkeys tried to steal the coaches windscreen wipers. I thoroughly enjoyed going to Iceland in 2015, seeing frozen waterfalls and the huge Geysir.

I only led one trip abroad, to Sorrento in 2015 and that was great fun. We all climbed Vesuvius, marvelled at the hollow sounding ground at the phlegrean fields near Naples,  got soaked on a boat trip to Amalfi , had horrors at the narrowness of the coastal road and many italian drivers, marvelled at the ruins of Pompey, and squashed into a tourist train for an evening tour around the town.

I loved the family feel of the small Sixth Form graduation ceremony held at the local church, followed by a formal dinner back at school. As Sixth Form tutor, the team building Devon trip was fun, especially the midnight walks. Talking of which I once accompanied a Year 10 group on a pre D of E walk in the Surrey hills one Sunday. Thanks to Ros S for waiting for me as I was very unfit then!”