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Friday Feature: Mr R Davies

24th November 2023

What is your current position at King Edward's Witley and how long have you worked here?

Deputy Head Academic, and this is my eighth year at KESW.

What is your background, and where do you live now?

I read Economics at university before going on to the Royal Military Academy and commissioning into the Army Air Corps where I trained as a helicopter pilot. Before leaving the military, I was posted to a training Regiment where I taught young recruits topics including communications and the law of armed conflict.

I returned to university to study Education and International Development and qualified as a teacher. My career has taken me from an inner-city London Academy, to an International School in Singapore, and back to this royal, ancient and religious institution, where I now live with my wife (a primary school teacher) and two children.

What is your favourite thing about working at King Edward's Witley?

The alchemy of our united community.

What are your hobbies and interests?

Cycling, Photography, Travel, Business, Politics.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

F1 driver.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t be afraid to take risks and pursue ambitious goals; making mistakes is all part of the learning process!

What was your most impactful school trip?

A 3rd Form French Exchange in Paris. Learning another language is a really empowering experience and the Exchange Program inspired me to pursue French at GCSE and, subsequently, take a language course at a French University. Trying to navigate the metro system to visit all the museums and landmarks also helped develop my problem-solving skills and foster greater independence!

Who is someone you have always admired and why?

Kofi Annan. As a career Diplomat and Nobel Peace Laureate, Kofi’s ability to bring disparate groups together and find consensus to solve seemingly intractable problems, during his tenure as UN Secretary General, was transformational. As we approach World AIDS day, it is notable that in 2001, Kofi made the first ever donation to The Global Fund – an organisation that now has a legacy of more than 20 years tackling HIV, tuberculosis and malaria that has saved over 38 million lives. Similarly, reflecting on the current hostilities in the Middle East, Kofi’s indefatigable spirit in negotiating a cessation in violence between Israel and Hizbollah in 2006, demonstrated the art of the possible. At King Edward’s, we seek to inspire pupils to reflect on the world around them, and apply the knowledge and skills they have learned through their studies to real world problems through activities such as Model United Nations, the sustainability committee and the Global Social Leaders’ program.  For this next generation of changemakers, Kofi’s sage advice would seem especially relevant: “No one can deprive us of the right, as concerned global citizens, to want to do something about the challenges that face us.”

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