Staff Leavers

The following staff are going to be leaving at the end of this school year :

Mr Michael Moffatt
Mr Michael Darby
Mr James McKellar
Mr John Neal
Mrs Meg Moffatt
Miss Jane Costigan
Mrs Margaret Royal
Miss Pam Blackwell
Mrs Judith Grieve
Mr John Ashworth
Mrs Dee Batchelor

Mr Michael Moffatt

Michael Moffatt arrived at the RGS in 1968 from Lancaster to become Head of the Geography Department, and after building up the Geography Department was appointed Deputy Head in 1973. In this capacity he has loyally served three Headmasters until finally this summer he has decided to lay aside his academic gown. Mike has been involved in so much that it is not possible to refer to everything. He has successfully worked on the intricacies of the timetable year after year using coloured bits of Lego as an aid for the highly complex option scheme; has for many years represented teachers on the Bucks Education Committee, and its various subcommittees and panels; taught Geography with great enthusiasm for certain topics, with his Year 8 and 9 classes having, I understand, many more lessons on rocks than any other class; he also taught Games and PSHE; led Geography Field Trips and a party to the USA; played for staff soccer, hockey, cricket and rugby teams (thank goodness no more Staff v Boys rugby matches!); participated in the Staff Revue, a feature of the RGS in the early 1980's; masterminded the PA Raffle and its other functions; learnt the latest Health and Safety regulations; refereed and coached rugby, coached cricket, athletics and shooting; guided the Governors through the latest developments in education such as the introduction of the 11+ intake and planning new School buildings. The list is endless. But it is not for all that he did that we shall remember Michael. It is the jovial, avuncular, man who has seen all the changes in education come and go, with that calm, relaxed air that has indicated a very safe pair of hands. He has defused many a difficult situation with a quiet word, or a light-hearted remark. He very rarely shows the sign of tetchiness that most of us show. He will be much missed for his wisdom, friendliness and support, and of course for his highly-coloured socks, his West Country timbre and his Assembly stories. Re leaves us to spend more time with his wife, Meg, and his grandchildren, enjoy good food and wine, travel, and, I hope, watch Wycombe Wanderers with me. Many thanks Mike, and all the very best for your retirement.

I.R.C.

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Mr Michael Darby

Michael Darby came to us in 1991, taking on the challenge of teaching under the Licensed Teacher Scheme after a highly distinguished career with the RAE He left them with the rank of Air Commodore and the award of the MRVO. Initially he taught Physics and Maths but latterly concentrated on Maths teaching. His engineering background was invaluable and it brought to life his explanations. His was very concerned for the progress of his pupils and could often be found at lunch times helping those who found the subjects difficult. At A level he has contributed to mechanics teaching with a thoroughness and determination that his pupils should understand the principles as well as complete the exam papers. His authoritative approach makes him unwilling to sit down when teaching a class. One can always tell that Mike has been teaching in a room from his habit of removing the teacher's chair from behind the desk. Many of us have come near to attempting to sit on an absent chair. Those that have actually done so (to the delight of the class) are not admitting the fact. Over the years he has made an outstanding contribution to the School's Cadet Force. He has been in command of the RAF Section which he has built up to be one of the best, if not the best, in the country. This he has done by using his own brand of leadership to motivate and enthuse successive generations of cadet NCOs. A full appreciation appears in the OC's report on the CCF, further on in the magazine. Latterly Mike has been teaching part-time; he now retires completely and we wish him and his wife Maggie an enjoyable retirement.

D.M.B.

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Mr James McKellar

James McKellar joined the school in 1994 from Salford University and has taken a full part in the life of the School. His foremost job was of course to teach Maths and this he has done for three years to all ages in the school, with lively participation from the junior forms. Also he has helped with routine administration within the department. In addition to teaching Maths he has contributed to boarding, games and the CCF. In the Games department he has been a valued member of the team, looking after the U16 XV and 3rd XV in winter and a junior cricket team in summer. Whenever there has been a gap to fill James has volunteered or been press-ganged into service and we shall miss the time that he has given to extra-curricular activities. In the CCF he has been involved in the activities of the Army Section both on camps and with the week by week training of new recruits. In boarding he has acted as a non-resident tutor helping with all that that entails. He goes with our good wishes to join the staff of the Maths department of St John's School, Leatherhead.

D.M.B.

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Mr John Neal

John Neal joined the staff on a part time basis in 1989 after having taken early retirement because of ill health. He had been the head of Science at the John Lyon School in Harrow and taught Physics there. He taught Maths here, mainly in the Sixth Form, and brought his Physics expertise to the teaching of mechanics. He has a deep knowledge and love of cricket and was often to be seen with his 'headset', a combined cap and radio to enable him to listen to Test Match Special. There was plenty of material for the study of projectiles (and statistics). John has a dry sense of humour and one of his best lines referred to Mr Ratcliffe - 'of course Garth is much quieter than he used to be'. We have the chaplain to thank for John's employment here. They had been colleagues in a previous job and ROR suggested that he apply for the vacancy. He was a supportive and well-liked colleague until he finally retired in July 1996 and I am sure that we all wish him and his wife Gillian well in their retirement.

D.M.B.

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Mrs Meg Moffatt

Meg Moffatt started teaching at RGS three years ago and brought with her many years of experience after retiring from William Ramsay School. In the relatively short time she has spent with us Meg has thrown herself into everything she had the time to become involved with. Meg's initial teaching at the RGS took place within the Geography department and then shortly afterwards she put her talents and experience into the planning and teaching of PSHE and Careers. Meg could always be relied upon to take any of the more challenging subjects in PSHE and make an interesting and thought provoking lesson. During her time at the RGS Meg has become a well liked and respected teacher both by the boys she has taught and by her colleagues. Both staff and pupils will very much miss Meg's cheery and friendly character around the school. We all wish her all the very best in her retirement years.

S.P.H.W.

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Miss Jane Costigan

Jane joined the Geography department in September 1995 and quickly established herself as a thoroughly committed and professional member of staff. She readily imparted her obvious love of and enthusiasm for her subject at all levels whilst also finding extra time to both support boys with difficulties and push those at the top in Oxbridge lessons. She also found time to arrange day trips to the East End and Docklands and serve on the IT committee. She was involved in many areas of the school including being a form tutor, PSHE teacher and helping with the RAF Section of the CCF. She will be remembered as adding style, charm and an extra incentive to field exercises where she was the quarry or the invalid to be bandaged up. We will miss her energy and enthusiasm, but would like to congratulate her on the birth of Thomas and wish her well in the future.

J.O.

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Mrs Margaret Royal

Margaret, or our 'lady in red', was my first appointment to the Biology department and proved to be very popular with both colleagues and boys. Always willing to help with department field trips and lecture visits, Margaret played a full part in the department. A very sound classroom teacher who gave her pupils great encouragement, many boys from her GCSE classes chose to take A level Biology as a result of her thorough and stimulating teaching. Margaret braved the mini-bus driving test in order to take boys to Wales on our Ecology Field Trip and her sense of humour was appreciated by the boys as they watched a rather large rock being hidden within my rucksack. Despite three years of having her tea bags stolen by myself, Margaret was a supportive colleague and friend and we were all surprised and saddened by her decision to leave teaching in order to set up her own business. We wish Margaret all the best for this new venture and thank her for all the time and effort she put into her teaching during her all too brief three years.

E.J.W.

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Miss Pam Blackwell

Pam Blackwell's service to the Royal Grammar School counts among the most epic in the school's history - here for approaching 30 years, working for three different Headmasters and, in so doing, serving 60% of the school's total 20th Century management. In all that time Pam served RGS with unstinting hard work, tact and attention to detail. It is a mark of her approach to the job that she is someone still universally welcomed on site when she returns now for her weekly sortie into the RGS CCF. The Headmaster's Secretary is a strange mixture of administration, public relations and detailed, often confidential, report or letter production. Belonging to the old school of discretion, she combined this with meticulous administration. Pam had mastery of it all and not even the computer era flummoxed her. Popular with colleagues, she organised a termly Ladies' Luncheon for staff and woe betide anyone who failed to attend or organised a rival occasion. Miss Blackwell's wrath was not to be taken lightly. RGS has not said goodbye to Pam and we regard her service to the RGS as invaluable. All three Headmasters, Malcolm Smith, Rowland Brown and myself, together with many generations of boys and staff, should thank Pam Blackwell for her positive contribution to RGS.

D.R.L.

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Mrs Judith Grieve

Mrs Judith Grieve came to RGS in November 1987 from Brunel University where she had held senior administrative posts - as Assistant Registrar and as Faculty Officer to the Dean of the Science Faculty. Her knowledge of universities, especially their admissions procedures and policies, was invaluable for the school, and meant she was a 'key resource' in the Careers Department. Not only did she have wide and expert experience of universities, but rapidly an equally good knowledge of RGS boys, their requirements, strengths and weaknesses. Her administrative skills enabled her to run the increasingly complex work shadowing and work experience schemes, and much more besides, from her Careers Room office. But her main job was in the School Library. Until her arrival, the Library - then in two locations - was run by a member of the teaching staff in free periods, and by sixth formers at lunch-time and Thursday afternoons. Judith was the first permanent presence in the Library, who was able to pounce on those who tried to slip by without checking their books out, to chase up overdue books, and to perform all those vital duties that enable a library to run smoothly for its users. Perhaps her finest hour was masterminding the move from the two old libraries to the new Library, opened in June 1991 by the Princess of Wales. The new library actually had to be cleaned after the builders left, and the books were not without a few grains of dust. So, as well as employing Messrs. Chuter and Mitchell and numerous boys as porters and overseers thereof, packing books into numbered boxes, installing them on the correct shelves, and improvising new arrangements when the theory seemed not quite to work in practice Judith had to hold the fort in the interregnum after Mrs Evan's departure and before Mrs Philpot's arrival. The RGS has every reason to be grateful for Judith's professional approach to everything she did at school, for her readiness to go way beyond the call of duty on behalf of boys and staff, and for her unfailing sense of humour in the face of a library full of Upper Sixth, whose idea of private study was to have a quiet chat 'round the corner' with their friends. We wish her well in her new post as Librarian at Piper's Corner School. At least the clientèle in the library will be better looking!

J.I.M.

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Mr John Ashworth

John Ashworth came to this school, after a degree and PGCE at Bristol, to teach Politics and also Economics in September 1993, leaving in July 1997. Not a Politics specialist, he worked at the subject with enthusiasm and commitment. Later at the school's behest he developed his skills to cover Business Studies as well, showing commendable flexibility. He particularly enjoyed his teacher-pupil relationships as these developed during his time here and gave up extra hours to run highly successful quiz teams. A notable member of the staff soccer team, apparently impervious to pain since he wore no shin guards as his opponents noticed, his absences were on occasion as noticeable as his presence. He hit a golf ball with power, direction and little preamble. Ever master of the devastating question to jaw drop his colleagues, he always would be relied on to identify the emperor's absence of attire if that was the case; and we remember him with affection as a concerned and caring personality aiding Christian Forum, and wish him well for the future.

T.J.N. C.

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Mrs Dee Batchelor

Dee joined us in 1992 as an Assistant Secretary and during that time took on a considerable variety of tasks efficiently and quickly, including word processing (for many staff and of course those UCAS forms!), running the Box-Office, ordering Stationery, School Photographs and answering the telephone etc. etc. We shall remember her in particular for the never-failing cheerfulness and friendliness, and her play in the Staff Golf Tournament - she proudly displayed her gold 'trophy' in the Resources Centre one year. Dee leaves us to become the Head's secretary at Godstowe School, and we wish her all the best there.

I.R.C.

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