Posted: 20 September, 2017

Those who can…teach

Blog, Suzie Longstaff

It’s an old adage and one that is so often mindlessly trotted out when discussing the teaching profession: “Those who can do, those who can’t teach”.  We have George Bernard Shaw to thank for this
beguiling piece of nonsense, first voiced in his play Man and Superman, 1903 – but quite why it has become such a fixture in commonly used rhetoric is a mystery to us.

At Putney High School  those who can, do in fact TEACH. You only have to look at the extra-curricular achievements of just a few members of our talented teaching staff…

Novel Inspiration

When she is not teaching creative writing at Putney, English teacher and Extended Project Qualification Coordinator, Rebecca Wait is an accomplished novelist. Author of The View on the Way Down (Picador, 2013) and The Followers (Picador, May 2015) Miss Wait is currently working on a hotly anticipated, third novel.

Here are just a few of the comments made about her recent work: ‘Wonderfully written… highly sensitive… thought-provoking… ultimately uplifting.’ ~ The Bookseller and ‘…a great surging shout of a novel.’ Guardian


Olympic Role Models

Not only is our Headmistress Suzie Longstaff an ex-Olympic Cox but did you know that our part–time rowing performance coach, Jessica Eddie is herself an Olympic silver medallist?

She was part of the first-ever GB women’s eight to win both an Olympic medal and European title in 2016.


Triathlon Triumphs


This summer, Lori Westcott from our PE Department competed in the Lanzarote 70.3, widely known as the toughest on the ironman circuit (Half Ironman distance Triathlon – 1900m swim, 91k bike and 21k run). She qualified for the World 70.3 Championships in South Africa next summer , not only winning her age group but beating the professionals to come 15th overall.

“Lanzarote was by far the toughest race I have done to date, purely because of the 30 degree heat, 1800m elevation on the bike course and 30mph winds. However, the toughest races make you stronger and challenge you the most.,”she says


Getting Creative

Putney Art
Teacher, and practising artist, Nigel Murray studied illustration at Harrow School of Art and Art History at Camberwell. He has exhibited his work in solo exhibitions and will be showing recent paintings as part of the Wandsworth Artists’ Open House event on the weekend of the 7 – 8 October at Putney Methodist Church, SW15 6SN. Open 11am – 6pm.


Award-winning Learning and Research

Putney High School considers itself to be more than just a teaching establishment; it is a centre for learning and research, with teachers who are constantly engaged in their own learning. We have just been celebrating Putney’s success in the Inaugural GDST Impact Awards where Pippa Wadey (Head of Learning and Research at Putney High School) won firstplace in the Senior schools section for a project to encourage collaboration and debate within the classroom. Highly commended entries were also made by Putney’s Justyna Sokolowska (Head of Learning Enrichment and PHSE) for her work on Peer Mediation, Antony Barton (Acting Head of English) on the relevance and impact of the Key Stage 3 grading system, and Jo Jones (Key Stage 1 coordinator) for her project entitled Curiosity, Collaboration and Empathy.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. In fact, most of our teachers are  busily immersed in an impressive combination of ‘doing’ and ‘teaching’. A pleasing sign that at Putney, the barometer of success is set reassuringly high.

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