Chair of Governors Peter Sakal introduces Mr Guy Martyn, Principal of Gosfield School - Gosfield School
A co-educational independent through school

Chair of Governors Peter Sakal introduces Mr Guy Martyn, Principal of Gosfield School

Mr Guy Martyn, Principal

Mr Guy Martyn, Principal

This term, Gosfield School welcomes only its 8th Principal in its 88-year history. As I announced in the summer, I am delighted that we have appointed Mr Guy Martyn to the position. He has joined us this term, and his three sons Louis, Freddie and Henry have also joined in Years 7, 5 and 1.

Having been the outstanding candidate from a very large field of highly qualified educational leaders and pioneers in this country and from as far away as Kuala Lumpur, we have had to wait more than six months for Mr Martyn to join. We are delighted that he has now arrived and has been able to spend some time with us each week during the last half term before Christmas.

I have been talking to Mr Martyn over the New Year break and thought it would be useful to share some of our conversation with parents, pupils and all interested parties.

PS: Congratulations again on your appointment Mr Martyn. Before we begin to talk about your ideas for the future, could you first tell us what attracted you to apply for this role?
Gosfield has such a beautiful green estate and a personal, caring approach to learning. I want to be part of a School which encourages children to exceed expectations and reach for their bright future, and Gosfield provides this enriching experience on a very human scale.

PS: Did anything strike you as unusual on your tour or during your few days with us last term?
Well, yes. I noticed that in both the Prep and Senior schools, everyone seems to be dashing about in a great hurry to get to the next class or activity. The energy this produces is quite infectious!

PS: Anything else?
I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time meeting the pupils. They are unfailingly courteous, intelligent and generous in the opinions and aspirations they have shared with me.

I have also had the pleasure of meeting a good selection of parents – both at coffee mornings I have hosted and events such as the wonderfully atmospheric performance of Macbeth, the October Open Morning and during the friendly, mud-splattered rivalry of the Cut Hedge Cup. I also attended The Ball and was very impressed by the work our PTA had invested into that night. I was told that Gosfield School provides a unique experience for pupils and parents alike – and this is clearly true.

PS: So tell us a little about your own education?
I was lucky enough to be a bursary boy and was also in receipt of the old assisted place scheme at my own School, which was an Independent Day School in St Albans, Herts. I had a wonderful time there, gaining a clean sweep of A grade ‘A’ Levels and deep immersion in Literature and the Arts. It is a core belief that access to high quality Independent education is life changing; it certainly changed mine and I am committed to providing such opportunity for children from all social and economic backgrounds.

I then went on to take four degrees. My first in English and Drama and then separate Masters Degrees in Religious Experience and a Masters in Education. The latter was with the Open University, which is just a fantastic institution full of deeply impressive people of all ages who are absolutely committed to learning whilst also holding down full time jobs or roles as parents and carers. I also gained a BSc in Psychology which, as you can imagine, has ample applications in Education and leadership in general!

PS: And after that, what about your career to date?
I’ve taken on lots of the roles one would expect a School Principal to have: I’ve been a pastoral leader as Head of Year, academic leader as Head of Department and whole School leader as a Deputy Head at an Independent School in Bristol, and of course as Founding Principal of Chichester Free School. I’ve made things happen by introducing new developments at all the Schools I’ve worked in, whether that was students supporting other students through Peer Mentoring, new strategies to radically improve GCSE results, or in my most recent role building an entire School from scratch! I’ve worked in big Schools and small Schools, Independent and non-fee paying and have a good idea of what to do to make things better for pupils, staff and parents. Of course, we want our children to achieve the very best they can, but we also want them to enjoy their time at School, and that’s not possible unless we as staff and parents are enjoying it too.

PS: I noticed that one of your referees described you as an innovator. Can you imagine any innovations which are going to fit in at Gosfield?
Like all incoming heads of an organisation, I have done my homework and feel that I am beginning to have a good understanding of where the School’s strengths lie. Of course I will take the right amount of time to review carefully all aspects of educational and operational performance to date, but I already know that the core values which the School’s past and current families have valued so highly are, rightly, very important. It is vital that the School continues to run at a very human scale, where every teacher knows the name, nature and potential of every one of their pupils. The balance between aiming for the best possible grades and becoming the best person one can be is essential for any School worthy of the name. Gosfield has always aimed for this though its personalised educational pathways and this is something I am very keen to build upon.

One thing I can guarantee right now is a continuation of the School’s commitment to children learning whilst pursuing happiness. Everyone should be assured that in order to help our pupils to exceed their personal and academic expectations, we will continue with all the extra curricular experiences, the love for sport, the chance to gain confidence through performing arts and the nurturing, friendly spirit that underpins all the school does, these are all areas I wish to maintain and build upon. As the recent Open Morning campaign captured, it is clear that at Gosfield everyone can achieve more, and everyone cares.

PS: I am pleased that you got to see our production of Macbeth last term. As someone who has directed drama both inside and outside of schools, what can you tell us about this aspect of school life going forward?
Speaking with Miss Cross, it is clear that in the last couple of years the school has begun to invest time and energy in building the performing arts department. This has started with her leadership which I know has begun to make a real impact in the way that the pupils respond to music and drama – both in the classroom and through the wide range of peripatetic music lessons provided.

I must confess that one aspect that drew me to the school is the Governing Board’s plan to build a brand new, purpose built, state-of-the-art Performing Arts centre – or as it is also known, a theatre! As you know, subject to meeting planning requirements we have no reason not to expect that the foundations will go down later this year and the curtain will go up for our first production in 2018 or 2019. Of course, I’m thrilled by the prospect of working with the Governors and supporting Miss Cross who is very excited by the opportunities this great new facility will present.

PS: Any final thoughts on the school at this very early stage?
One thing that has struck me since my appointment is that Gosfield School must be the best kept secret in Essex. I wonder if the importance of being a small school by design may have somehow inhibited us from reaching out to many families in the surrounding communities who want the absolute best for their children’s education, but do not know that the School exists? Or perhaps they assume that it is like many other Independent schools, with a perception that it is too stuffy and academic for them – and of course, they could not be more wrong! I know that the Governors have begun to change mind-sets in this regard – and this is certainly evident in the way that the school prepared for its most recent Open Morning, with its focus on how a caring, aspirational approach to education and their children’s future is available to all. In addition, by offering several Bursaries each year, subject to means testing and other criteria, even lower income families have an opportunity to afford the fees, something which, as you now know, is very close to my heart.

PS: Before we finish, we have asked you about yourself and school matters, but what is your feeling about moving your family to this part of the Essex/Suffolk border?
It is not an area I know well, but my family and I have naturally made every effort to spend some time here, both before we made the decision, as a family, and since. My initial impression is that it must be one of the nearest areas to London that still retains a culture and community spirit linked to its agricultural past; there definitely seems to be a sense of that in the villages and towns that the school serves. I’m very keen to explore and discover more of what the area has to offer my family culturally and in active pursuits. I have every reason to believe that this is an exceptional location for my young family and I, where traditional values remain highly respected, and with all that central London has to offer less than 60 miles away.

On a related note, I recognise our responsibility as one of the oldest establishment and biggest employers in the local area. As we develop and grow, so too will jobs both in the school and among the local businesses with which we work, contributing employment and inwards expenditure to the local economy, livelihoods and lifestyles. I look forward to developing strong links with companies, organisations, sports and other clubs across the communities which we serve.

Gosfield School Open

Gosfield School will be OPEN as usual on Monday 5 March.  The snow has thawed quickly making all paths clear and School...

School Open Monday 5 March 2018

Gosfield School intends to OPEN as usual on Monday 5 March.  The snow is thawing fast and with rain...

School Closed Friday 2 March

Following the advice of the emergency services not to travel unless absolutely essential over the next 24 hours, and...

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.