Jeremy Lewis, head of school at ACS Egham International
PUBLISHED: 22:40 24 March 2014 | UPDATED: 22:41 24 March 2014
©Chris Pearsall Photography
A career of super sleuthing could have awaited Jeremy Lewis, head of school at the ACS Egham International School, but instead his dreams of improving society led to a teaching career – and the detective work is instead saved for holidays…
If you hadn’t become a teacher, what do you think you would have done instead?
I would have followed a career in investigative journalism as I have always had an interest in current affairs and enjoyed writing – maybe even working on a programme like Panorama or Dispatches. My other passion has always been working with children. While investigative journalism is a force for improving our society, education can equally be a power for good. Through teaching, we can create enquiring minds amongst our students, helping them to make changes for the better – a philosophy deeply routed in the International Baccalaureate programme, taught here at ACS Egham.
What were your favourite lessons when you were at school?
My favourite lessons were history and English as I was always interested in how past events affect today’s society. As I was living in South Africa whilst studying at school, it felt like history was being made around me. Some of my favourite books whilst at school included Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and Shakespeare’s King Lear. All of these texts deal with some kind of power struggle – an issue that appealed to me in my teens.
Was there any type of school dinner that you couldn’t stand? I was not a fan of school dinners when I was growing up or indeed the warm milk we used to be served before school when I was around five years old. It wasn’t at all like the cafeteria we have at ACS Egham, where I really enjoy the variety of international dishes the catering team serve at lunchtime, all using local and organic produce wherever possible.
How do you like to relax?
I like to watch football in particular, and sport in general. The games that we host in the Woodlee Sports Centre have a real atmosphere, as the whole community turns out to support the teams. I also like to go to the theatre, read and travel. I especially like exploring new places, particularly those that are not popular with tourists, and also spending time with my family.
What is your favourite film?
It is hard to pick just one film! Some of my top favourites are Apocalypse Now, Casablanca and Citizen Kane. They were all really groundbreaking. Apocalypse Now was especially cutting edge, demonstrating the horrors and madness that war can bring. I feel that today’s audiences can still really relate. Perhaps less groundbreaking was School of Rock; but I really enjoyed that film as well.
So, your Desert Island Disc…?
Again, just one Desert Island Disc would be very hard to choose, but it would either be Tapestry by Carol King, After the Gold Rush by Neil Young or Van Morrison’s Moondance. I’ve seen all of these artists live and I suppose my choices really capture the time when I was growing up, so they are quite nostalgic. I’m also quite a fan of Arcade Fire’s The Suburb as they are incredible musicians. They are also fantastic live.
If you were Prime Minister for one day, what’s the first thing you’d do?
If I were Prime Minister for a day, I would provide greater access for would-be students to the highest levels of education and reduce university fees. I’d also reduce tax and generally try to improve the quality of life for the disadvantaged.
ACS Egham International School, London Road, Egham TW20 0HS. An IB World School for students between the ages of three and 18. Tel: 01784 430800. Web: acs-schools.com
School of thought…
Maths or English?
English – I love literature and it encourages creativity and perspective amongst students.
School dinners or packed lunch? School dinners – every time. ACS Egham’s catering team do a great multicultural lunchtime menu. I have a loathing for my own home-made sandwiches.
Newsletter or Twitter? Both – you need different mediums to connect with all your audiences.