Teacher Spotlight Series – Marc Popham – Head of Year 4

Welcome to this week’s instalment of the Teacher Spotlight Series, where we meet Downsend’s teachers who are dedicated to providing every child with the most innovative and inspiring learning experience. In this edition, we are meeting Mr Popham, who joined Downsend a few years ago and is Head of Year 4.

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

I definitely remember my first day at Downsend. Everyone was so welcoming and there was such a great buzz about the place. I believe it was Mrs Kirkham’s first start to an academic year, having joined in January. Mrs Temlett and Miss Wilby were starting in Year 3 and myself and Mrs Newberry had joined in Year 4. So lots of change and we have all survived and we are still here😊

What did you do before you joined Downsend?

I worked at a wonderful school in Wimbledon called Hollymount. When I moved to London in 2012, I was lucky enough to get a job at this school, having just finished my NQT in Wales. I was Head of Sport at the school, which was great fun, although not as demanding as Mr Lawrence’s job.

What’s your best memory from school?

Well, I have many fond memories from the schools I have taught in. In my previous school, Hollymount, our Year 6 football team managed to make it to the London Youth Games, after winning borough finals. For a small state school, this was a wonderful achievement. I also somehow managed to organise a school trip, for 250 children, to the World Para Athletics Championship at the Olympic Stadium, London. We had to get the train and underground to and from the event, which was quite stressful, although all pupils made it back to school and it was a great day!

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

The 80’s was a great decade in terms of music and film. I was brought up listening to Queen, The Beach Boys, Billy Joel, Prince and I still appreciate that era of music so much and play it regularly to my children.

What are your “trapped on a desert island” books? And why?

How to survive on a desert island by Bear Grylls! No need to explain, although I am led to believe that he is flown to a luxury hotel after each take while filming and flown back the next day. I am sure that I could do this.

If you could pass on one piece of wisdom to your students, what would you share?
If a teacher is talking to you, always look him straight in the eyes, even if you are not listening. ( Mr Prichard, Lecturer at University of Wales, Cardiff)
Is there a quote or saying that you live your life by?
You only get out of life what you put into it! Quoted from my wonderful grandfather 😊
A fun fact we might not know about you?
I used to play semi-professional rugby and proudly won the Welsh Cup with Cross Keys RFC in 2012. I also always put my left sock and shoe on first.

Any lockdown tips that you can share?

Please try to be as positive as possible. Vary what you do in your day. Stay physically and mentally healthy by eating well, keeping fit, talking to people.



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