Spotlight on: Mr Woollhead, Head of Drama
Under the spotlight this week is Mr Woollhead, Head of Drama and a Year 6 Form Teacher.
11 February 2022
When did you join Hallfield?
January 2021, in the middle of lockdown. I had a month or so of conducting classes online – it made for an interesting experience and start to a new teaching post.
Where were you before you joined Hallfield?
I was Head of Drama at Bromsgrove School before taking a year off to act whilst teaching part-time at a local primary school. I’ve had a fairly successful acting career, but in 2020 I decided to return to the classroom full time.
What made you want to become a teacher?
Whilst I was acting, I ran workshops and school talks; it was a fun way of doing what I love whilst passing that knowledge onto younger people. Both my parents are teachers, so it felt like a natural progression.
What is your favourite topic(s) to teach and why?
I enjoy teaching all areas of Drama. I have always aimed to be the role model I never had in a teacher as a child.
Two proud career moments is when a former student at Bromsgrove was cast in ‘The School of Rock’. Another who I taught at a school in London was cast as Young Nala in the ‘Lion King’, West End.
How does your subject enhance a child’s curriculum/development?
I’m biased, but I believe that Drama is the most important skill because everybody needs to learn how to articulate and clearly communicate. When I watch programs such as Dragon’s Den and the Apprentice, the candidates that are often the most successful are those that do the best pitches or manage their teams well through clear communication and confident leadership. These skills are vital to having a successful career in any sector.
What careers would your subject be useful for?
Any job that requires you to communicate with others. One of my responsibilities at Bromsgrove School was to sell Drama to GCSE students. I’d talk about how doctors have face-to-face consultations, how architects must hold creative meetings with clients, how if you work in sales, business, or as a lawyer, you must learn how to act because, in essence, it’s all a performance.
What does an average day at Hallfield look like for you?
I don’t think there is an average day at Hallfield. From the moment I started, it has been extraordinary. There was no Drama department before me, and no productions for a long time. Since starting there has been a lot of organising, hunting for old costumes and props and building sets in readiness for my first production – Alice in Wonderland.
What do you love most about Hallfield?
The ability to see such tremendous progress. The support from parents, children and management is huge and everyone pulls together.
What would we be surprised to know about you?
During the first lockdown, my father and I started a business selling honey, it’s called Wychbold Honey and we sell to farm shops, restaurants, cafes and online.
What hobbies/interests do you have outside of school?
I play the guitar and thanks to Hallfield have recently taken up chess. Despite my efforts the children still beat me.
If you could pass on any wisdom to your students, what would that be?
Support the arts. Also “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” Never stop playing, because the second you stop being creative you will find it more difficult when you’re an adult.
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