Meet the Staff

Assistant Head (Teaching & Learning)

Mr D Watkins

As a geographer and expedition leader, I am fortunate to be able to inspire pupils about the world around them both inside and outside of the classroom. Having grown up in North London, I moved to the Southwest to complete a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography and a Master of Science Degree in Global Environmental Change before qualifying as a teacher through the University of Exeter. I started my teaching career in the state system in Plymouth in 2005, then moved to an independent boarding school for 8 years before joining St Joseph’s in 2016.

I am a UK Mountain leader and have led expeditions all over the world to countries such as Nepal, Zambia and Morocco. You see so much personal development when taking young people into challenging environments and outside of their comfort zones. Furthermore, it is here where geography becomes alive. Whether it is exploring the River Pang locally, navigating through the glaciated landscapes of the Lake District or taking in the awe and wonder of the land of fire and ice in Iceland, I am happiest out in the field. In 2014 I was awarded fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society in recognition of my contribution to the subject.

I am also passionate about education and have responsibility for Teaching and Learning at St Joseph’s. I hold a Master of Education Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Buckingham, regularly consult on educational texts, and was awarded a Founding Fellowship to the Chartered College of Teaching in 2018. I am a Governor at my local village primary school where I chair the Curriculum and Standards Committee.

I thrive off adventure. My personal exploits include reaching the summit of a 6189m Himalayan Peak, an unsupported winter summit of Mount Toubkal, Morocco, a 100km race in under 24 hours and completing a marathon on a rowing machine. In my spare time I enjoy strength training, going to concerts and exploring my local area. I enjoy some downtime too, especially when spent with my wife and our two daughters.

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