Teacher Spotlight Series – Grant Lawrence – Director of Sport

Welcome to our first edition after the half term of our Teacher Spotlight Series where we are meeting our amazing and inspirational Director of Sport, Mr. Lawrence.

Do you remember your first day at Downsend? Can you tell us how was it?

It was superb! The weather was outstanding which made the school shine. Everyone was incredibly welcoming (especially the Sports Department!!!). Miss Seivewright & Mr. Albert made a monumental effort to make my first few days/weeks at Downsend such a positive experience.

What did you do before you joined Downsend?

I was Head of PE at a school in Brighton called Dorothy Stringer. As well as this job, I also worked for the RFU as a Lead County Rugby Coach in Sussex and I coached the DDP and EPDG at Harlequins.

What’s your best memory from school?

2 things:

1) The friends I made who I am still friends with now.

2) All of the sport that I played. I was lucky enough to go to John Fisher School and the memories I made, with a great group of friends, will stay with me forever.

If you could grow up in any decade, which would you choose and why?

The decade I grew up in, the 80’s. The technology was not around so as children we played outside and took part in LOADS of sport. I feel it was the best grounding for me to support my job as I can turn my hand to almost any sport. I put this down to the lack of distractions that were available to me at the time.

What’s your all the time favourite movie and why? 

Gladiator – I absolutely love it! The story of a man who lost everything and fought back against the people who took it away from him is so inspiring and motivational.

If you could pass on one piece of wisdom to your students, what would you share?

Work hard, play hard, have fun.

Is there a quote or saying that you live your life by?

Impossible is nothing.

A fun fact we might not know about you?

In 2015 I was awarded Teacher of the Year in Sussex. This was awarded to me due to the highest GCSE PE results the school had ever achieved whilst in the same year, raising £24,000 to take a school rugby team on a 2 week rugby tour to South Africa. We returned home from the tour unbeaten, having created memories that will stay with everyone for a lifetime.

Any lockdown tips that you can share?

Have patience, stay active, and appreciate your family.



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