|Following the early years of the Junior School, the Middle School offers a more independent, autonomous approach to boarding, within the confines of a safe, warm and friendly environment. Each boarder is in the care of their Head of School who takes a close interest in every pupil’s general progress and welfare. Together with their academic tutor, the Head of School is at the heart of the pastoral care and alongside the boarding tutor team, they nurture the interests of each child.
The Head of Middle School is supported in the house by a team made up of teaching staff which helps to supervise prep and bedtimes. The pupils also have access to the Chaplain, who is resident on the site, and the nurses in the Medical Centre.
The tutor team offer a wide range of experience and a diverse range of academic and pastoral expertise that provides the boys with a well-rounded boarding experience. Accordingly, the boarding arrangements are designed not only to give maximum scope for private study but also to develop the key social skills of tolerance, compassion, understanding and care.
Middle School aims to offer pupils a home, not just a place to sleep after work. People, not systems, come first and boarders will experience family life going on around them. In addition to the pre-published list of boarders’ outings and activities, Middle School boarders often find themselves on impromptu excursions, be they to the local McDonald’s, go-karting, cinema or just ‘en masse’ to a tutor’s flat for pizza and a chat.
The Fourth Form boys board together in large, sometimes quirky rooms: each boy occupies his own study bunk, and has his own furniture. The Fifth Form boys board in smaller rooms in ones or twos, allowing them to focus more fully in a more private environment as they carry out their GCSEs.
There is a common room in the boarding area, known affectionately as ‘The Jungle’, where there is a pool table, mini table tennis, Sky TV and a small kitchen for making drinks and snacks. The boys also have evening access to the tuck shop, which is a fun and casual venue for music and tv, sports halls, Music School, IT rooms and libraries.
James Young is the resident Head of Middle School and is assisted, supported and occasionally saved by a wonderfully eclectic, experienced and dynamic group of tutors who provide outstanding care for the boys throughout the term. James joined Denstone College in January 2011 as the Head of Physical Education and went on to become Head of Selwyn House in September 2012, continuing with both roles until becoming the Head of Middle School in January 2017. Having completed his undergraduate degree at Manchester University, James worked in a succession of boring finance and marketing offices before finally pursuing his dream job as a Physical Education teacher. The career change was achieved having completed a PGCE and M(Ed) in Teaching Studies at Birmingham University. Before joining Denstone College, James worked briefly at Bishop Vesey's Grammar School near Birmingham which was coincidentally the school that he had attended as a pupil. James is supported in his role by his wife Angela and daughters Olivia and Isabella, alongside their white cats Molly and Lola who are often found creating chaos around the College campus. An enthusiastic sports coach and player, James lists rugby, cricket and football as his favourites, although age-related injuries have forced a change in hobby towards golf, a sport that he does not play well.
Richard Hinton is Assistant Head of Middle School and is an Old Denstonian, having attended as a day boy from 2002-2009 and was Captain of School in his final year at the College. On leaving school he studied Mathematics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University and achieved an Upper Second class BA(hons) degree. Whilst there he studied a range of pure and applied maths as well as probability, statistics, and the history of mathematics (c1600-1900). He went on to work for KPMG, one of the ‘big 4’ accountancy firms, first studying in London and then working from the Birmingham office. He worked primarily in the fields of corporate tax compliance, capital allowances, and transfer pricing. However, after two years working in tax, he had the opportunity to return to Denstone College as a teacher of mathematics and he has not looked back!
Gary Dipple joined Denstone College in 2016 as a Graduate Assistant focusing on Sport - namely Rugby, Hockey and Cricket, as well as assisting with History. After shadowing his colleagues for his first year, Gary is now a member of the Middle School team as a Boarding Tutor alongside his day to day coaching role in the Sports Department. Whether coaching or playing, Gary is in his element when out on the sports field with a bat or ball in hand and it’s this passion for sport which has led to Gary extending his placement at the college. Prior to Denstone, Gary worked for four years as a Sports Coach and Teaching Assistant at Charlton Kings Junior School, Cheltenham. Alongside his Sports Therapy studies at the University of Worcester, Gary was part of the Worcester Warriors Academy before playing frequent first team rugby for National League One and Two sides, Cinderford and Stourbridge. He also took to the Premiership Rugby 7s turf, representing Leicester Tigers. Outside of school, Gary continues to blow his coaching whistle, assisting with the player development programmes for Staffordshire County and for Leicester Tigers.
Tim Quinlan is a tutor in Middle School who grew up in County Kerry, Ireland. He went to University College Cork to study Physics and Applied Maths for four years, graduating in 2011. While at UCC he organised a trip to CERN for students in the course and was also involved in a trip to the Max Plank Institute in Munich. He continued on to complete a masters in Medical Physics at the National University of Ireland Galway, including working on X-ray machines in the radiology department as part of his thesis. He then spent a year in the physics industry working on mostly agricultural optimisation before moving to the UK in 2013 to switch to a teaching career. He completed his PGCE at University of Birmingham and then taught at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Small Heath. Tim joined Denstone in 2015 as a teacher of Physics and Maths. Outside of school he likes to watch and play Gaelic Football as well as enjoying spectating Hurling and Rugby matches. He also has a keen interest in the latest developments in physics.
Thomas Williams, tutor in Middle School, joined the College as the Director of Sport in September 2013 after six years at Colston's where he undertook a role of Director of Cricket and Head of Junior Rugby. He graduated from Brunel University and then completed a Graduate Teacher Programme at Goldsmith's College, University of London. Thomas enjoys following his beloved Tottenham Hotspur all over Europe and is a proud Associate Member of the Marylebone Cricket Club. Recently he has taken a number of evening classes in cooking and hopes to start the first Denstone 'Come Dine with Me'!
Simon Guy is a tutor in Middle School having joined Denstone in September 2015. Having spent a long summer waiting for his new role to start at Denstone he is now well prepared for the exciting challenges ahead. He is really enjoying the boarding duties with the middle boys and getting to know them better away from the sporting field. His other boys, two sons Isaac and Rowan also keep him busy and on his toes. Simon enjoys all sports and the outdoors; rugby and cricket are his main sports. Over the last few years he has taken up snowboarding and love rides out on the motor bike, so is looking forward to making the most of the beautiful countryside around Denstone.
For those of you who are interested, highlights of his cricketing CV are summarised below:
- I was a Yorkshire CCC Player for 16 years, 11 of them on the first class staff. I travelled around the country and the world playing with and against some of the best players in the world such as current Australian coach Darren Lehman, Michael Vaughn, Darren Gough, Craig White and Mathew Hoggard. I also played a host of international cricket at Yorkshire against players such as Shane Warne, Shoib Akhtar, Muttiah Muralitharan, Mushtaq Ahmed and Kevin Pietersen.
- 2009 was my last professional season for Yorkshire even though my last game was in 2011 as I was recalled for a few games.
- I qualified as an ECB Level 4 coach in 2009. My current roles within the ECB include scouting players and also delivering the ECB Level 3 wicket keeping module across the UK and ICC Europe.
- Between 2013-2015 my position has been as Head coach and player for Suffolk CCC and also Head coach and player at Sheffield Collegiate CC.
- Working within the England Development Programme with the 17s & 19s, gave me the opportunity of touring South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with the likes of Joe Root, Josh Buttler, Ben Stokes and many other players who are now in the full England squads.
- My work with Derbyshire CCC as wicket keeping coach is ongoing, as is my work with Old Denstonian Harvey Hosien amongst others.
To contact the Head of Middle School, please see the staff list: