Thomas Ruddle

Thomas Ruddle
Thomas Ruddle
Assistant Head (Upper School) / Teacher of D&T

What led you to be a teacher/work in Education?

When I started working in education, I was just still quite young.  I taught my first full lesson in a secondary school aged 18.  I was just doing what I enjoyed and what suited my skill set at the time.  After a year of two of experience I noticed other motivating factors at play.  Over time we see changes in the young people we work with.  We see them mature, grow and start to make exciting plans of their own for the future.  It isn’t a job that gets me up in the morning, it’s the prospect of helping to shape a young person’s future.

What's the best part of your job?

It sounds wrong if I say ‘when upper Sixth leave’, but let me explain…

Leavers Assembly at the end of the summer term is an emotional event for all concerned.  On that day there is certainly sadness knowing that another cohort of students is leaving, and we will not be working with them any longer.  But this is outweighed by the fact that the Sixth Form team have done our part and prepared them for what comes next on their life journey.  We are in effect sending them out into the big wide world to ‘walk cheerfully over it’.  When I’m sat in the Leavers Assembly, I think back to their Sixth Form induction two years prior, and am struck by the personal growth we have seen in each one of them.

If you weren't in your current role, what would you be doing now?

Probably something completely different such as pilot or motor sport mechanic.

What's your most memorable moment (so far) from working at Sidcot?

It is probably the extra-curricular trips and events that we put on.  From kayaking with students, to the annual Sidcot’s Got Talent event – that never fails to deliver.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Look after the support staff.  They are the ones who really keep the school running.

How do you live adventurously?

Encouraging students to move from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’ on a daily basis.

What is one subject you are curious about?

I would like to be able to code a lot better, those skills are a little rusty.

What is one cause you care passionately about?

There are so many big issues that need our attention in the world.  The next generation will have their work cut out but I know they stand a better chance of solving the problems if there is peace in the world.

What surprises you about Sidcot?

The diversity of our students in many different ways.

What makes you proud of Sidcot?

The way we care for our students, exemplified during the pandemic when some students couldn’t return home and our boarding team shared Christmas with them. 

How would you like to be remembered by your students?

Someone who cared and was fair.

If you had one word to sum up Sidcot, what would it be?


What notable individual would you invite to a dinner party and why?

One of the first Heads of Sidcot.  I’d love to know what they would make of it today.