In this new series, we are shining the spotlight on some of the wonderful staff around our school! This week, we are focussing on Mr Staite, our Sports Graduate Assistant.
Have you always wanted to be a PE teacher?
I always wanted to be a professional footballer growing up, but as I got older I realised that I needed to have a back-up plan. I spoke to my PE teachers a lot and made the decision that if I wasn’t going to make it in football, that I would want to do what they did as they were really great role models for me at school.
I was in top set for PE so it was always one of my favourite subjects! I’ve always had a really good relationship with sport, but I had friends who weren’t as confident when it came to PE lessons. Seeing how the PE teachers strived to make everyone feel like they belonged was really inspiring, and it’s something I aim to continue doing. When someone who initially doesn’t find enjoyment in sport or isn’t as confident with it, manages to grasp a skill or decides they want to keep coming back to training, that’s what makes me want to teach PE.
What sticks out as the highlight of your career at KEHS to date?
Winning the KE Foundation Football Cup during my first year here was pretty cool. Last year, the under-13 cricket team qualified for the regional finals and this year, the under-13 and under-15 teams have done this, so it’s great to see such growth and progression in this sport. Obviously, the recent netball and hockey tour of South Africa was a highlight, and given that it was the first time I’d ever been on a trip like this, it was a great opportunity to learn from more experienced teachers in the department.
With your specialisms lying in cricket and football, what’s next for these sports at KEHS?
My main aim for cricket is to continue developing links with Warwickshire and increase the number of our girls on these county teams. I want to raise the awareness of football and cricket as potential career paths for girls, as I think that there are lots of people who view these as male-dominated sports. Increasing our links with external clubs, such as West Bromwich Albion who will be running a session for us soon, will help with this, as I have always believed that unless you see something, it’s hard to believe that it could happen to you. I would love to have a separate football team for each Lower School year group, which we are very close to having, as well as cricket running from Thirds to Sixth Form.
What are your hobbies?
Sport has and always will be my main hobby. I play on a football and cricket team each week, and I’m doing lots of running at the moment ahead of the London Marathon which is coming around very soon! I also enjoy baking and playing the guitar.