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Breaktime with Mr. Shopland

We caught up with Mr. Mark Shopland, our new Head of Junior School Sport, to get to know him better, find out how he keeps children engaged and what he is looking forward to at Redmaids' High.

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1. Tell us a bit about yourself... 

I’m entering my 11th year of teaching, 7 of those being spent in Cumbria, 3 in Gloucestershire before coming a little further south to Bristol. I’m married, and my wife is also a teacher, we have a 2-year-old who keeps us on our toes when she isn't climbing over our labrador Ernest. We enjoy travelling and having the same holidays certainly gives us a chance to explore the world. At the weekends I can be found on the side of a hockey pitch watching my wife or on the golf course. 

2. What made you want to become a sport and P.E. teacher? 

I was fortunate enough to have some fantastic teachers when I was younger, and I can genuinely say my Director of Sport when I was at school shaped my life for me. Passing on the enjoyment of sport he gave me when I was younger was my main driving factor to becoming a teacher. 

I am also from a family of teachers - my mum, auntie, uncle, grandfather and cousins are or have been teachers, from Headmasters all the way to Reception teachers, so you could say it runs in the blood.  

3. What are you most looking forward to at Redmaids' High Juniors? 

I have already heard so much about the residential to Skern Lodge, getting our sports trip back up and running and hearing from the Year 7s as they transition from Junior to Senior School. As Head of Sport, I’ll be able to get to know every girl in the school, whether it's on the hockey pitch, netball court, in the swimming pool or during gymnastics and dance, it gives me the chance to find out what each individual girl enjoys and how we can bring that in to every day life at Redmaids. 

4. Tell us why you think 7-year-olds should never be underestimated, and why it is a special age. 

A task can bever be too big, they will have a go at absolutely everything with sheer determination and enjoyment! The ability to just 'have a go' with no fear of failure is something all ages could learn from. 

5. Why is sport so important?

Aside from the mental and physical benefits, sport can open up plenty of opportunities. Friendship circles can widen, different countries can be explored and precious memories created with friends and family.

6. Can you share any of your own tips for keeping children active?

Keeping lessons fun will help everyone feel involved, ensuring that lessons remain engaging for the entirety will keep pupils intrigued and offering plenty of variety hopefully gives everyone the opportunity to find a sport that interests them. 

7. Tell us something fun about yourself that may surprise us... 

Despite being petrified of horses I once rode in to church on a donkey for the nativity. Let's hope Mrs. Brown doesn’t get any ideas.... 

8. Finally,  do you have a message for anyone new joining the Junior School?

Have a go at absolutely everything, you never know where a sport might lead to years down the line. 

To find out more about the Junior School, join us at our next visiting event this Spring Term. 

 

Date Posted: 29 February, 2024

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