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Sports fan appointed as new headteacher for Edge Grove School
Students and staff from a Radlett school have welcomed a new headteacher.
Ben Evans has been appointed head of Edge Grove School in Aldenham Village.
Born and bred in Devon, Mr Evans graduated from Exeter University with a degree in history and archaeology, qualifying as a history teacher with games a year later.
While at university he was a member of the officer training corps for three years and played for Exmouth rugby football club.
His first appointment was at Bramdean School where he was a resident housemaster and head of history. Mr Evans also qualified as a Level 1 ECB coach, RFU referee and lifeguard, coaching all sports
Following this, he moved on to Brighton College as head of history, continuing to coach games and swimming, and accompanied the cricket team to South Africa on a three week tour.
Mr Evans then returned to Bramdean, but as deputy headmaster, before moving to Sri Lanka to be deputy head at the British School in Colombo.
After two years he took over as headteacher and by the time he moved back to the UK in July 2012, there were 760 pupils on the roll.
While in Sri Lanka, Mr Evans played for the Puffins RFC, enjoying matches against the Army, Navy and police teams.
It was also where he met his wife, Alexandra, and while in Sri Lanka the pair married in 2008. Their son, Edward, followed in 2011.
Mr Evans said the challenges he faces at Edge Grove are similar to the ones he experienced in Sri Lanka.
He said: "The most important lesson I have learned is that good and open communication with parents is the only way they will understand what you are trying to do in your school.
"No one can educate children in isolation – it takes close links and an open door policy with staff and parents to ensure what could start as a minor issue doesn’t become a huge problem.
"Simply put, a happy child makes good progress," he said.
In his new position, one of the first orders of business for Mr Evans is to launch an activities programme for all pupils in Years 3 to 8. These will include chamber choir, junior choir, multi sports, squash, girls’ hockey, art club, yoga, Perform ‘dance and drama’, speech and drama (LAMDA), wargaming, ICT Office application skills, gardening club, tennis, ICT 3D modelling, basketball, rugby skills and drills, Eco Warriors, golf and taekwondo.
In addition to ensuring teachers have sufficient professional development, Mr Evans also plans to develop opportunities for girls in sport at Edge Grove. This will encompass not only the traditional girls’ sports of netball and hockey, but will be expanded to include non-traditional sports such as football.
He said: "The London 2012 Olympics has inspired a whole new generation of sports people and we’ve found there’s such a demand for coaching outside of school. Surely we should provide as much of that as possible within the school day?
"Education in all its forms should be accessible, fast-paced, interactive and practical and I hope to be able to ensure that is what all children at Edge Grove receive."