Dean Chaudhry is the new Leader of Learning and Curriculum in Foundation Stage.
Foundation Stage Leader of Learning and Curriculum
Dean Chaudhry hails from the seaside town of Ramsgate in Kent. He attended Portsmouth University where he earned a BA (Hons) in Journalism and English Literature, his first passion. He attended King’s College London where he earned his Master’s in his next passion, International Education.
Developing a Passion for Education
“Prior to university I had a real passion for English literature but once I went to university, I developed a passion for journalism. In my second year in university I became a Student Ambassador for Higher Education and through that role I visited Primary and Secondary schools to do workshops. I wanted to show children what they can achieve in life and what they should be aspiring to. I went to one particular school and had a really good day at the workshop. The school asked me to come and spend the week and expand on higher education – about different careers and different professions. I got so much from that and the children did too, it made me realise that teaching was my calling. When thinking about the topics we covered, it made me wonder, ‘How can we approach these things in a creative way?’ ‘How can I make careers accessible for younger children?’ It really challenged me in a creative way. That’s when I started to think of it as something to consider. And from there it was onwards and upwards.”
The Journey to Bangkok Patana
“Although I was in an incredible school in the UK I wanted to get out and see what the world has to offer. I had never travelled internationally before. I happened to see an ad recruiting for an international school in Shanghai. I thought I’d apply and see what happens. Within a week I interviewed in London and then three days later I got the job. Not at any part was I nervous, it felt like the right time to explore another part of the world. I got on that plane six years ago and I’ve never looked back. I have always appreciated the opportunities that international teaching has afforded me.”
“Because I came from China, I had my interview here in December. I planned a dinosaur themed lesson for my interview, my suitcase was filled with dinosaur bones and eggs. When I walked into the campus for my interview, I thought it was just breath-taking – the Sala is one of the first things you see. Entering the the Early Years provision and seeing the turtle pond, the incredible outdoor provision, the learn to swim pool etc I was so impressed.”
“Coming into the school you are made aware that the teaching practices and pedagogy are key to the school. I’ve been welcomed and felt at home. It’s a magical place! You walk in every morning and you have an immediate smile on your face. The people are welcoming, the children are welcoming, It’s a community here. You can see how this community becomes your family over a period of time.”
Looking to the Future
“Professionally I am looking forward to my new role as Leader Learning and Curriculum in Foundation Stage. I feel that the size of the school gives me a lot to get stuck into; working with a new team of people sharing our expertise; the way the building is set up and the ethos of the school with its continuous collaborative work is really great.”
“I am also looking forward to exploring off the beaten track places in Thailand. I’ve been here before but want to go to unknown places, I want to see the wildlife here. I love music festivals and live music. I would really like to explore some of the live music scene in Thailand but really travel is my passion. When you move internationally you get to see all these incredible places you wouldn’t necessarily see. I like to keep up to date with current affairs, my passion for journalism shows in that. Whenever I can, I like to write and read.”
Conquering My Fears
“I did the highest bungee jump in the world for my 28th birthday in Macau. I wanted to do something exciting when I was in China. I do have a fear of heights, but I thought that was the best way to tackle it. Underneath the tower its huge. You have two options, a chair and the bottom drops and you fall down. Or you throw yourself off. I chose to throw myself off the ledge. It hasn’t conquered my fear of heights, but I am glad I did it.”