Introducing our new Senior Deputy Head

At the start of the summer term, we were delighted to welcome our new Senior Deputy Head, Mr Andrew Christie, to Old Palace.

Senior Deputy Head is a new and wide-ranging role within the School; as well as deputising for Mrs Burton when required, Mr Christie will be responsible for curriculum development, the implementation of the new IT infrastructure, assisting with the formation and implementation of school strategy and overseeing certain whole- school projects. He also has a great interest in co-curricular (he is a Sub-Lieutenant in the CCF (Royal Navy)) and hopes to be involved with our successful CCF.

Mr Christie grew up in Aberdeen (his father is from Scotland, his mother from Finland). He studied Classics at Oxford and did his teacher training at Cambridge. His first post was at Norwich School, followed by five years at Rugby, where he was a Deputy Housemaster. More recently he was Head of Classics and Assistant Head (Co-Curricular and Partnerships) at Streatham & Clapham High School (part of the GDST).

Mr Christie has enjoyed a distinguished teaching career. He has taught Classics at both primary and senior school level, and was awarded the Classical Association Teaching Award in 2021 for making classics more inclusive. He was also a finalist in the 2020 national i25 Awards which recognises the 25 leading influencers and innovators in the independent sector. (Mr Christie says that sadly these were all during the pandemic so instead of going to some swish awards ceremonies in London, he had to make do with a Zoom call in his kitchen!).

On a personal level, Mr Christie is married to an American who is a vicar in the Diocese of Southwark. They have a young son called Walker (on the day we interviewed Mr Christie, Walker had chosen to wake his Dad up at 4.30am – something many an Old Palace parent will sympathise with!).

Classics is dear to Mr Christie’s heart; he loves exploring archaeological sites in the holidays  including trips to Libya and Syria (now sadly out of bounds) and is delighted to see how Classics is flourishing at Old Palace (over 40 students went on the Classics trip to Italy at Easter). He feels the subject provides students with a valuable opportunity to contrast the ancient and modern world. and to talk about  issues ranging from slavery to colonialism , helping to develop a deeper understanding of these issues as well as critical thinking skills, which is what makes A Level Classical Civilisation such a valued subject by universities.

We wanted to ask Mr Christie two questions:

‘Why did you want to join Old Palace?I strongly believe in the importance of an all-girls education. Equality is important for everyone and I want to play a role in educating the change-makers of tomorrow. (Mr Christie points out that in his home life he technically fulfils the role of the Vicar’s wife – making tea and the odd floral arrangement).

‘What are your hobbies/interests?’ (here Mr Christie had to remember back to his pre-toddler life, as being Senior Deputy Head and a father of a toddler doesn’t allow for much free time at the moment!). I love travelling and have been lucky enough to visit many countries in my life – in fact my last school trip was to China. I’ve also been learning Finnish, as we will go to Finland every summer, Other than that, I like to read, go to the theatre and do the occasional Park Run.