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 encourage 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.
I’m the Deputy Housemaster for Woodard. After playing professional cricket I have coached the sport throughout the South West, enabling many an aspiring youngster to achieve their dreams. I’ve been an integral part of the King’s community for the past ten years, helping a multitude of sports teams from basketball through to girls’ cricket. Whilst sports are my passion, I can often be found assisting pupils with their choices beyond King’s. During my spare time I have an amazing family who keep me entertained; life with two young sons is never dull!
Assistants and House Matron
Jason Grindle (DT) – Third Form
Rob Woodman (Head of Cricket) – Third Form
Joseph Basquill (Physics and chemistry) – Fourth Form
Matt Lang (Head of Physics) – Fourth Form
Andrew Edwards (Geography) – 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 in the Summer Term of the Third Form and have absolutely loved it! Talking through the welcoming atmosphere in the house with my younger brother (joining this year) has made me realise how much I have enjoyed my time with all the Woodard boys.
I am studying biology, economics and maths – my preferred subject being biology. I have loved studying economics as linking government policy and impact on businesses has made politics in general much more engaging. The support I have received from within the house has been phenomenal: as a keen cricketer, time management with content heavy subjects was always going to be a challenge, but Dr Snell especially has been incredibly understanding in helping me with this and more.
As House Captain I look forward to both further boosting the already strong sense of community within the house, and to being assistance to Dr Snell, Mrs Berry and Mr Woodman in managing the house.
Deputy House Captain
My four years in Woodard House have been very enjoyable and full of memories that will last a lifetime. There is always someone around to talk to, our matron Mrs B always being amazing and keeping us in order! With Mr Woodman joining us in September we cannot wait to get him involved in the Woodard spirit.
I study PE, business and geography, all being very interesting. My ambition is to become an Olympian. Dr Snell and everyone within the house have been so supportive.
All the opportunities I have been involved in outside of lessons is what makes school life special, from choir to CCF, with things such as the Pringle Trophy, and the many sporting opportunities.
The family feel of Woodard is special and something I think is really important to have as a house at King’s.