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Five Minutes of Fame with Natasha Carley

Natasha Carley is Head of Junior School PE and has been at the College for 6 years. Here, she tells us more about exploring her musical talents, taking our students to the Dulwich Games and who’d the make the list for her dream celebrity dinner party!

Where else in the world have you lived?

I am originally from the UK, born in Beckenham and have lived in various places in the south of England including Salisbury, Southampton and Brighton (for university). I worked at Twyford School in Winchester for 10 years before coming overseas. Singapore is the only place we have lived outside of England and we are proud to be part of the original Dulwich College (Singapore) staff crew, so this is our 6th year in this beautiful country.

Tell us about your family.

My husband and I are looking forward to celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this summer. He is also a teacher at Dulwich and works in the Senior School Design & Technology department and our son is currently in Year 4. 

The rest of my family live in England, where my mum and dad are looking forward to starting their retirement next year. I have also one brother who works in advertising in London and who has 3 children. We can’t forget our cute cat Jasmine whom we adopted 2 years ago after she was found in the stables at the Singapore Turf Club. 

What’s your favourite weekend activity in Singapore?

There are so many things to do here, but I particularly like hiring bikes and riding along East Coast Park and along to Gardens by the Bay, enjoying a quick chicken rice from a hawker and cycling back again. 

I also enjoy going to the cinema, eating out, exploring the various walks that Singapore has to offer, or just chilling by the pool and having a barbeque with friends. We are so lucky to live in a country where we can be outside so much.

Did you always want to a teacher?

No, I used to want to be a marine biologist or a photographer. That being said, I do have memories of lining my teddies up and taking the register, so maybe I was always destined for teaching!

What is your favourite book and who is your favourite author?

I don’t have a favourite book and like a variety of genres, but crime, courtroom dramas and thrillers are probably my favourites. I particularly like the works of John Grisham, Lee Child and Lianne Moriarty. I’ve also recently read The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, which was excellent.

Tell us about a hidden talent or a top secret that no-one would know about you.

It’s not very top secret that I like the sound of my own voice and I sing all the time! The first time I ever sang in front of anyone was at Founders Day 2016 as part of the Non Blondes band with Miss Rodgers and Miss Paxton. It was one of the most terrifying things I have ever done, however, we now find ourselves back on the Rock Stage year after year, having the best time. I love singing but I do usually make up the words as I go along!

I also have a love of photography and took an A-level in it. We have a fair few of my pictures hung up around the walls of our home. 

The real top secret, I suppose, would be that I turn 40 later this year. Not a secret anymore, I'm afraid! 

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party, dead or alive?

I like a good giggle, so it would have to be people who could make me laugh and have lots of interesting stories to tell. I would invite Jennifer Lawrence, James Corden, Will Smith, Ellen DeGeneres and then have Jamie Oliver cook for us. 

What does a typical day at the College look like for you?

A typical day? There is simply no such thing when working with children! You never know what they are going to say or do.

A normal day sees me arriving at school by 7.00 am, ready to take a morning CCA practise before heading back to the office to check my inbox. Each day, I teach a variety of year groups but I’ll also squeeze in a few meetings here and there about upcoming events and so forth. After school, I often take another CCA class, followed by fixtures which could be at home or away. I get home about 6.30pm and either put my feet up or head out to yoga. The weeks are always jam packed and fly by and before I know it, it’s the weekend again.

Do you have a motto or saying that really resonates with you?

'If you don’t try, you’ll never know’ is a saying that really resonates with me. Deciding whether to take a risk and move my family to Asia for my first international job was a huge decision but ultimately, we would always be wondering, if we never took the chance. Take all the opportunities that come your way, you never know where they may lead. 

I also like the classic motto ‘It’s the taking part, not the winning’ This is our core philosophy within the Junior School sports programme. I love seeing students try something new and taking part in everything. It’s all about the process and winning is an added bonus!

Do you have a most memorable teacher moment?

I have taken many sports trips before, usually to somewhere along the M3 or M25, but the first time we went to Shanghai for the Dulwich Games was pretty special. All I remember was thinking was how incredible an opportunity it was, to have brought 100 students to China to compete in sporting fixtures at the Games.