I like to think I can offer an independent perspective. I am not bound to promote any single organisation or conform to any single ‘message’ or range of products.
I have always been drawn to divergent and innovative approaches and people who think outside the box. People who are happy to challenge the status quo.
It means, I hope, that I am often able to have a different focus and perspective on things, while at the same time being aware of other perspectives and views.
I qualified as a school teacher and some time after gained my first Swimming Teaching Qualification. It was the early 1970s… and yes… I’m guessing you’re doing the sums!
I have ‘clocked’ a lot of mileage over some 50 years!! I have worked in a number of professional as well as voluntary roles.
The upside is that I have had time to consider and review opinions and judgements on a wide number of ideas, events and initiatives.
I enjoyed a 21 year career as a Secondary School teacher, uniquely teaching in both Humanities and Science Departments. I have taught in London and overseas.
Heading a small Science department in a Somerset school, for young people who found themselves outside our education system, probably produced my best and most enjoyable years….
This was followed by almost 20 years working in sport development; first at a Local Authority level and then as Regional officer for swimming’s National Governing Body and finally 12 years as a Senior Manager with a County Sports Partnership. I was also the Partnership Lead for Early Years. We developed a unique early years swimming programme called Sure Start in the Water.
I qualified as an ASA (Swim England) Tutor in 1994 and have delivered more courses with successful outcomes for enthusiastic and passionate learners, than I care to remember since then.
As well as being a licenced Swim England Educator for over 20 years I still lecture every year on the Exeter University Secondary PGCE Course.
I have presented at seminars and workshops at County, Regional and National Conferences and delivered CPD on almost every aspect of teaching swimming.
I am the author of a children’s book, ‘When I am near water’ now sadly, long out of print. I have been published in Disney Kids magazine.
In ‘another life’ and in another ‘time’, I was also a regular writer and reviewer for ZX Spectrum Magazine.
I have set up and developed several innovative and successful school swimming programmes, both primary and secondary, as well as a number of community swimming programmes and swim schools.
I organise and still look forward each week to teaching in a small swimschool with some 70 plus young beginners and improvers.
I have also coached and taught at Club level; I was Head Coach for a small rural swimming club for over 12 years.
I have had the privilege over the years of both managing, working with and learning from many gifted and talented swimming coaches at local, regional and national Level. I share any credit for coaching success with all of them.
I also have had the privilege to be Somerset County ASA President and still serve on the Management Committee as Development Officer.
The resources on this site are the result of all those years in the classroom, lecture room and on poolside, in development and management, all over the country; talking with colleagues, sharing ideas, researching and reading as much as I could.
The list of influences and people who have helped shape my thinking is a long one.
I have been fortunate to work with inspiring, imaginative, creative, effective and successful teachers, coaches and colleagues in education and sport development. They have taught me so much and I am indebted to them all.
The activities, practices and progressions featured in the Small Steps resource are ‘tried and tested’ and have been shared with colleagues for over 20 years.
They are not all new, though many are innovative. They have been used successfully in this format with hundreds if not thousands of children in that time. It is an approach which works.
I set up Going Horizontal as a platform to share many of my resources and ideas.
We all want to be as effective as possible.
To do that we all need, from time to time, to review, revisit and refresh our knowledge, understanding and teaching practices.
I sincerely hope the resources and shared thoughts you find here will do just that for you.
Let me know what you think….get in touch if I can help….
I have never stopped enjoying what I do – always reviewing and continually refreshing my ideas and practices. I have never stopped learning.
If that day ever comes it will be time to quietly exit stage left…