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HEAD Space with Kensington Park School

Head Space: Paul Vanni, Head of Kensington Park School, tells us what makes him tick at school and beyond


Who or what inspired you to teach?

I loved my own schooldays. I had some fantastic teachers who inspired me and opened my mind to all manner of opportunities.

What sort of music do you listen to? Favourite piece or song?

I have eclectic tastes in music which range from opera (bel canto)through to contemporary folk sounds including Bear’s Den and Mumford and Sons. I’ve been fortunate enough to teach members of both bands!

Favourite play or musical?

I know this might not be terribly highbrow, but with my background in French and History I would have to say Les Miserables.

What’s your personal motto?

There are no such things as challenges, only opportunities.

If you could only bring three things to a desert island, what would they be?

My phone (but only for the music!), a pen and some paper – I’m counting these as one; a Swiss Army knife.

If you were invisible for a day, what would you do?

I would sneak into the Oval Office to see what’s actually going on in the White House.

Your top three phone Apps?

BBC, as I’m a news junkie, Wordbrain for a bit of mental gymnastics and Star Chart because my son got a new telescope for Christmas!

Favourite food?

Monkfish wrapped in pancetta, preferably served with a nice white Cotes du Rhone.

Your greatest movie of all time?

There are so many fantastic ones! Schindler’s List, Dances With Wolves, Interstellar, Forrest Gump… these would all be close to the top of my list.

Something you always have on your work desk?

A lovely photograph of my children.

Why, in your opinion, is your school the best?

Kensington Park School offers flexibility and a personalised approach to education through small classes, as well as an exciting and innovative co-curricular provision. Our domestic and international partnerships, our tech-rich approach to education and the proven track record of our teachers (many of whom have taught in leading independent schools) ensures our students are equipped to make the most of opportunities the future offers.

What three things do you need to be a successful headmaster?

1. A committed team of people around you whom you get on with and trust 2. Resilience 3. A good sense of humour.

Best advice you would give one of your new school joiners?

Embrace all the opportunities on offer and enjoy yourself. Work hard but remember that a good education is about so much more than just what goes on in the classroom. If you have any difficulties or concerns, make sure you tell your tutor.

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