Five Minutes of Fame with Jon Pavey

Jon Pavey is Head of Year 1 at Dulwich College (Singapore) and has worked at the College for the last four years. In this article he tells us about his secret singing talent, his favourite family walk (which has a surprising name!) and one of his memorable teacher moments.

Where else in the world have you lived?

I was born in Scotland, but moved to Germany quite quickly as my father was in the RAF. I then spent most of my childhood in Norfolk, England. I lived in South West London before moving to sunny Singapore.

Tell us about your family.

My parents have retired in Windermere and it is always lovely to spend time with them and enjoy the beautiful countryside at the same time. One of the things we often do is walk up Pavey Ark (and not only because of the name!) My two brothers are both older than me. One lives in Kuala Lumpur and the other lives in Necton which is the village where we grew up in Norfolk. My partner Ruby keeps my son Ethan (Year 3) and I in check here in Singapore.

What’s your favourite weekend activity in Singapore?

I would love to say relaxing, but that doesn’t often happen! I play football on Saturday afternoons, while the rest of my time is spent following and supporting Ethan during his activities. When he is not busy with events, I enjoy spending time with him at home or around and about the many things to do here in Singapore.

Did you always want to a teacher?

When I was young, of course I wanted to be a rock star or a footballer! Ever since High School (and one particular discussion with a great teacher that I had) I would say yes, I wanted to be a teacher, however I did almost join the Navy in my youth.

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

My favourite book is To Kill A Mockingbird. I don’t really have a favourite author as I tend to read anything that takes my fancy. I am currently working my way through G R R Martin’s A Song of Ice & Fire series (when I get a chance to sit down and read).

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

I believe I’m the best singer in the world, especially when I am around the house... I'm not! I was Oliver Twist in my school play and I actually sang at a best friend’s wedding once - both had mixed reviews!

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

My nan (she has a tale about absolutely everything and is a true fountain of knowledge), Alex Ferguson (I am not a United fan but I’d like to pick his brains about evolving with the times and keeping his players hungry), Stan Lee (so he can share his creative ideas), Peter Kay (for some light-hearted entertainment) and Jack Maxwell to provide the aperitifs... although I should have said Rob Soffe so he does not keep his mussel fritters to himself!

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

Kicking off with plenty of emails, the children make the morning routines so much more enjoyable. Teaching some noisy lessons, planning forward/marking books during a free period and hearing the childrens' ideas keeps me on my toes. I tend to wolf down my lunch so we are ready for more lessons in the afternoon. It truly feels like I am learning alongside the children sometimes, as working with this age-group brings up some fascinating insights and nuggets of knowledge. No two days are ever exactly the same so it is difficult to call them ‘typical’.

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

“If you don’t have anything nice or constructive to say, don’t say anything at all” - my mum!

Do you have a most memorable teacher moment?

There are so many, but one that I like to share with colleagues and current students comes to mind instantly. During my second year of teaching in Singapore, the whole week had break times rained off and the children were stuck in class. As you can imagine, they were quite energetic and restless. When I bemoaned the wet weather, one girl brightened the mood by saying, “…that’s why Singapore is so green and beautiful.” What a wonderful outlook on life!

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