Directors of Teaching & Learning

Paul SpiringRosemary Butcher

Paul Spiring

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Since childhood, I have been fascinated by the variety of organisms with which we share our world.  It was therefore of very little surprise to all that knew me when I elected to study Biology at university.   Upon completing my degree, I followed in the footsteps of many relatives by joining the police service in Bristol.  However, after several years of pounding the beat, I yearned for a more proactive involvement with young people and decided to retrain as a Science Teacher.

I began my teaching career in 1994 and since then I have held various positions of responsibility in both state and private schools.  In 2000, I left England and taught in The Netherlands for three years before being seconded by the Department for Education to the European School of Karlsruhe in Germany.  In 2012, I returned to England and joined the staff at the European School of Culham and latterly ESUK where I have taught Biology ever since.

As my students will attest, my hero is Sir David Attenborough because like him I understand that the key to success in life is diversity.  Perhaps it is for this reason, that I love the atmosphere and ethos of our school and why I resolve to continue teaching here until I retire.  In my spare time I write books on the local history of Devon where I live with my partner and two adult sons.  I am both a Chartered Biologist and Chartered Physicist and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

Rosemary Butcher, Director of Teaching and Learning

I was delighted to join the Europa School UK in September 2019; I have enjoyed a varied career in different fields of education and this is an exciting opportunity for me to use the breadth of experience I have gained in a new and stimulating environment. As well as teaching secondary English, my previous experience included working for Cambridge University, where I headed up their widening participation programme. In this role I started to develop an interest in more able learners – then coined the “gifted and talented” – which led me to London to work as a secondary consultant in the London borough of Lambeth specialising in the more able, gifted and talented under the Excellence in Cities programme. Family relocation took us to Brussels, London and Warwickshire, and I returned to the classroom and to teaching English; I particularly enjoyed my experience teaching in a bilingual French College in London. Moving to Warwickshire I found a new role in teacher training at the University of Warwick and briefly in South Africa. At the same time I developed my research interests in transition, social mobility, the more able and English. These are some of the issues fundamental to education and with reference not just to the UK but on a global level and to the future we are educating young people for. Throughout my career I have remained a passionate reader and it has been a pleasure to return to teaching literature at a higher level. It has also been exciting to apply theory to practice; teaching is a never-ending learning process and I continue to be amazed by the energy and creativity of the teachers I work with, and of course the students we teach.