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This is perhaps the most colourful school we know – everywhere are displays, pictures and models - all bursting with vitality, wit and fun. Many rooms, including the hall, are flexible, and divisible into two. All classrooms have smartboards and, oh joy! – all are air-conditioned. Bute House manages to combine solid substance with flair and panache. There is lots going on: the academics are excellent despite – or probably because of - its non-competitive ethos, but this is…

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Since 2012, Helen Lowe (50s), BA Oxford Brookes, LGSM Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Married to Phil, whom she met at drama school. They have two grown up children. Having ‘got acting out of my system’ she started her teaching career in big Essex comprehensives, where she taught drama. She is verging on the evangelical about the profoundly positive benefits a background in drama can have – ‘everyone should go to drama school because it’s all about people and understanding other people’s point of view’. She then went on to teach at primary schools in Richmond and became the literacy consultant for the whole of the borough. Her experience in the independent sector includes being a drama teacher at St Paul’s Girls’ in the 1990s, curriculum coordinator at Lady Eleanor Holles junior department...

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