DipTeach(ACU) GradDip TESOL(Deakin) MEd(Notre Dame)
Jerome’s 26 years of teaching spans Australia and the UK, including 11 years teaching English to Years 4 to 8 at the famous Cheam School in the UK. Prior to coming to Christ Church nearly two and a half years ago, Jerome taught at John XXIII College, where he was joint Deputy Headmaster, and Hale School.
Jerome recalled his time at Cheam School as a “real baptism of fire teaching English to the English” at what was then an all boys, all boarding school, famous for some of its past students, including Prince Charles and Prince Philip.
And now at Christ Church, Jerome was finding many similarities between the two schools. “I think Cheam and Christ Church both have a lovely community and family feel to them,” he said. “I think this is a really important aspect of Christ Church.”
Jerome said he was loving teaching the Year 4s at Christ Church. “I’m able to give them a good grounding in grammar, get their writing to a good level and teach concepts in maths, with lots of hands-on work,” Jerome said. “Most of all, I am teaching the boys to enjoy learning and to be thinkers.”
He believed much of it was about giving guidance. For example, for writing exercises, Jerome would give the ingredients for starting sentences but would encourage the boys to use their imagination and individuality to finish the stories off. “They need to have the mechanics or scaffolds to know what to write,” he said.
Jerome used teaching strategies he had developed over his many years as a teacher, but was also enjoying being part of, and implementing, new initiatives. “We’ve set up a garden,” he said. “I’ve never done that before but I’m right into all the sustainability issues and I think it’s important for the boys to learn about these things.” Jerome said.
“At the end of the day, I want the boys to come to school, have fun, learn and feel valued and welcomed,” Jerome said. “And at the end of each year I aim for each boy to have reached his potential and become well-rounded individuals – academically, physically, spiritually, socially and emotionally. I’m aware that some of the things they have been taught in Year 4 may not really register with them until later, perhaps Year 6 or 7, but everything is important building blocks for their whole education.
“Each year of school is important, but I think if a boy has a good relationship with his teacher, he will learn.”
Jerome is in charge of cricket and rugby in the Prep School and also runs social cricket outside of school – a small branch of the Free Foresters team he had in the UK. He said it was great to have numerous parents and staff involved in his social cricket team, which sometimes played at Christ Church.