Home from Home
It is the intention of myself and house staff to make Woodard a friendly, happy and exciting house in which to live and learn. My aim as a Housemaster is to bring out the best in the boys, whatever their interests. The staff in Woodard aim to create an atmosphere which is open, tolerant and trusting. We encourage the boys to develop their extra-curricular interests and promote culture, sport and academic achievement. Above all Woodard should be a safe and happy home away from home, allowing the boys to meet their potential in work and play.
The Woodard team strive to make your child’s experience as good as it possibly can be. I am proud of how the tutor team gently push, cajoling the boys to go beyond their potential, whether that is academically, sporting or in a life skill. I work with both the tutors and the teachers in our community to ensure progression is measured and appropriate to the needs of your son.
The boys are very welcoming of others into their home. Whether you live nearby or further afield, your son will have the best possible experience growing up within Woodard. There are social areas for everyone to relax, enjoy each other’s company and to catch up on the latest entertainment – although, my collection of board games is not always as welcome as I imagine! There are two kitchens where the boys’ culinary skills are put to the test as they struggle to make ‘toast’, sometimes a Pot Noodle and occasionally even an edible meal.
Woodard house strives to make your son’s teenage years an unforgettable time.
Woodardians are a social bunch, and I take the boys out to smart(ish) restaurants in town a few times each term, well mostly the local curry house the ‘Rajpoot’, with which we have developed a special bond. We love the cinema, and go at least once a week, although my attempts to interest the house in stage plays or culture beyond the local multiplex have thus far fallen on deaf ears. Three or four times a term we will do a whole house Sunday trip, such as paintballing or Airhop, although often the boys would rather minimal movement on a Sunday. As if four 'all you can eat' buffets supplied daily by the school weren't enough, we have an U6th pizza evening every week, as well as a Saturday night cook-off, and barbecues every Sunday in the summer. House events have included an Hawaiian themed evening and a silent disco titled ‘Rave in the Cave’, competitive cooking against girls' houses and any other events I can think to bring a smile to the boys faces.
Dr David Snell
David Snell is the Housemaster of Woodard, starting out as the assistant in 2010, before becoming Housemaster in 2014.
I studied chemistry at Bath University, where I gained a PhD in polymer chemistry. Before teaching, I was a project manager for a pharmaceutical company, and also a member of the Royal Marine Reserves, serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan – though I quickly realised being shot at was not much fun.
Since joining King's, every day has been an absolute pleasure, and I consider it an honour and a privilege to play a part not only in the boys' formative years, but also to become involved with you as parents. I believe that the energy, courtesy, goodwill towards each other and boundless humour of the boys are what keep me young (I try and kid myself) and I am amazed at what a happy community they create for each other. My wife, Caro, is also a teacher, although I tell her that biology is similar to colouring in! Within the school also am involved with coaching rugby and teach chemistry.
Steve King is the Deputy Housemaster and brings a wealth of experience – 17 years in the Royal Marines, and five years in the commercial sector running a web development agency.
As well as my house responsibilities, I am also the CCF Contingent Commander, Head of RM Section and Head of Digital Marketing within the Admissions and Marketing Team.
A keen photographer and film maker, when I do find time to enjoy life away from school, I like to indulge this passion. I'm also partial to a spot of camping, reading and enjoying the outdoors.
Assistants and House Matron
Jason Grindle (DT) – Third Form
Steve King (CCF) – Third Form
Alastair Wood (Drama, English) – Fourth Form
Ivan Schmidt (French, Art) – Fourth Form
Daffyd Jones (Chemistry) – Fifth Form
Charlie Speyer (Physics) – Fifth Form
Jane Berry (Head of general happiness!)
Woodard's biggest asset is our matron, Jane Berry. She is the school’s top sportswoman and can outplay all of the boys at any of their games. She is the current holder of the Taunton Female Cricketer and Hockey Player of the Year trophies, and five times winner of the King's College Best Matron award (Woodard house category). Her detective skills would put CSI to shame. The boys have learnt not to try to keep secrets from her, and will run to her to own up to any accidental damage they may have caused in the hope of clemency. She also runs the school's most popular tuck shop (Woodard house category), and is everyone's favourite mummy (whole school category).
I joined Woodard House as a Third Former and have loved it! Boarding within a small community means I get to see an extended family every day, headed by the omnipresent Dr Snell.
I am studying business, economics and PE as these allow me to combine a passion for sports and the world of commerce. The advice I have received regarding my future has been insightful and has helped me broaden my horizons – I realise that studying at a university in America, Canada or even Australia is now a viable option.
As House Captain I aim to help everyone within Woodard, instill in them a sense of fun and try to encourage Dr Snell to mature, even in a small way.
Deputy House Captain
Joining Woodard in the Sixth Form from Zimbabwe might be considered to be quite daunting, however, everyone was so helpful and encouraging that I quickly settled into the life of the house.
The friends I have made I am sure will stay with me throughout my life, along with memories gathered along the way; BBQs in the house garden, house competitions, and trips to the Rajpoot!
I am studying maths, biology and chemistry with a view to reading sports science at the University of Exeter. The teachers at King's have helped me in every aspect of my studies, from the initial transition from GCSEs to assisting me with my university application.
My huge passion in life is football. Being a Manchester United supporter, I am ever hopeful for a return to the glory days!