Nicholas Wilks

Second Master

Winchester offers such a rich life that I am sometimes asked how I manage oversight of it all in my post as Second Master. The answer is a simple one: putting the pastoral welfare of pupils at the centre of everything I do. This is true whether I am talking through issues of concern with an individual boy or adult, teaching my Div set, or running Group, our programme introducing first year pupils to the development of  self-awareness, confidence and empathy.  

My experience in teaching English, in both the private and maintained sectors, is perhaps a more orthodox background to being Second Master than my conducting and my work in music education. But both have proved invaluable in encouraging our pupils to listen and to develop their own convictions, whether these are about the merits of a Mahler symphony, the assumption of adult responsibilities in Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part One, or an analysis of justice in an essay by Montaigne. I cannot imagine a more rewarding environment in which to foster the link between discovering the past, examining the present, and preparing for the future.