Mr James Vickerman BSc (Hons) PGCE, Head of Chemistry/Housemaster, Kendon
Date you joined the School
What do you do at Bethany?
I am the Housemaster of Kendon House, the oldest boarding house at Bethany and also the original School House. I am responsible for the pastoral and academic welfare of up to 33 boarders plus another 30 to 40 day boys each year. I am also Head of Chemistry so have responsibility for all of the GCSE and A level Chemistry courses and, of course, the pupils studying them.
I am also Timetable Officer so I devise the teaching timetables each year and also write the timetables for all the internal and mock exams. In addition I have also coached both the 1st and 2nd XI football teams over the years.
What did you do before you came to Bethany?
I taught at Cokethorpe School in Oxfordshire for three years and at Salendine Nook High School in Huddersfield for two years before that. Prior to obtaining my teaching qualifications I worked in the chemicals industry, firstly for Yorkshire Chemicals and then for Pittards, both based in Leeds.
What is your favourite film and why?
My favourite set of movies is the (original and “proper”) ‘Star Wars’ trilogy. Quite simply, they are the most wonderful blend of storytelling, sci-fi, action and humour and, although most people beg to differ, I’m pretty sure that they’re actually documentaries!!!
Why do you like working at Bethany?
It is an extremely friendly school where everyone knows, and looks out for, everyone else. The pupils are friendly and polite and genuinely appreciate the work we do and the opportunities afforded them in general. We are also incredibly lucky to work in the beautiful landscape that surrounds us.
What interests do you have outside Bethany?
My family comes very much at the top of the list but after that I am passionate about football. I have played for many different teams over the years and, for my sins, support Leeds United. I am also a keen movie fan and enjoy reading and music. I would say that my musical taste is eclectic, my wife would say that it is mainly rubbish!!!
What is your favourite school memory?
Captaining my school football team for seven years, something of which I’m very proud.
What is your favourite colour and why?
Purple – it is a colour of prestige and I find it very pleasing on the eye, but I also find the history of its derivation and use, and of its development as a synthetic colorant by Sir William Perkin, very interesting; in fact, the colour mauve was actually invented by Perkin, whose son was later head of my old department, and Dean of Faculty, at Leeds University.