Claremont Fan Court School

Former staff, 2004 - 2014

Peter Watters

Whilst Peter was Director of ICLT for ten years at Claremont Fan Court School, he was at the forefront of introducing the laptop programme to pupils in Year 4 and above. Alongside photographs, Peter recounts memories of Nicholas Cage filming 'National Treasure' in Claremont's Drawing Room, his performance in the Community Play of 2005 and life in the ICLT department:

“I joined Claremont to support the late Patsy Farrar in moving forward her vision of combining the unique nature of the school and a world leading learning centre using 21st Century skills and technologies. I had worked in the USA in such an environment and saw at first hand how the learner and employee were changing.  Schools needed to change but without losing their traditions and identity.  Todays learners have the benefits of technology at their fingertips with more online access and resources than we could have dreamed about, even in 2004. Like all change, it was met with resistance from some but it’s now hard to imagine learners without the resources we were trying to put in place. Patsy Farrar’s vision was going to be hard to deliver but with dedicated staff, eager students and an amazing ICLT Department we put Claremont at the front of Learning Technology.  Once our direction of travel in the educational world became known schools, who knew that this was the future (not garlic bread, as commonly thought) wanted to find out how we were doing it and I was invited to speak in seminars at Rugby, Merchant Taylors and others to outline our vision and process.”

“Life in the ICLT Department was not all laptops, servers and networks and the ICLT staff helped out with all aspects of the school.  I was lucky to take part in several trips with students, teach Year 10 maths and Year 7 DT, managed the Year 8 football Team, have a few acting parts in the amazing 2005 Community Play and become the unofficial photographer for the Drama Department.  Claremont was an exciting and diverse place to work during my time here.  During the cabling of building during the summer holiday we were fortunate to see under the floorboards and inside the walls of the mansion building where we found evidence of previous occupiers and workers in old copies of newspapers and cigarette packets.”

“I have so many good memories of my time in the school, some of which can’t be shared to protect the guilty! When the school was in session it was always hectic but during the quieter times in the holidays, when the only people on site were contractors and the ‘Rear Party’, the ICLT Department got the chance to watch Nicholas Cage acting badly in the Drawing Room, told to help ourselves to a mountain of food provided for the models for Bridal Magazine who were doing a photoshoot in the mansion and were all size 0.  They also brought in a helicopter for this session whose model pilot was a six-foot James Bond lookalike, with a chiselled jaw and 5 o’clock shadow.  The actual pilot was a small, rotund, middle aged man with a high hair line.

Looking back I am amazed at what we achieved as a school and that is thanks to the students, staff and parents but I am also grateful for the opportunities and fun it provided.”