Meet the new Interim Headteacher of Grange Park Prep School.

The Inspired Learning Group are pleased to welcome Darren May, who joins as the Interim Headteacher of Grange Park Prep School to cover Mrs. Rizzo during her maternity leave.

Darren has collected a wealth of experience over his teaching career, having taught in both state schools and the private sector across four key stages. In addition to being Deputy Head at Hendon Prep, and Head of Primary at an international school in China, Darren has also previously been the Headteacher of Buxlow Preparatory School, a member of the ILG family of schools.

We conducted an interview with Darren to discover more about his background and experience. Keep reading to find out more:


What is something that drew you to Grange Park Prep School?

As Headteacher of Buxlow, I worked very closely with Mrs. Rizzo and Grange Park with many opportunities to network via school fixtures, ILG competitions and visiting Grange Park myself on many occasions. I also attended previous Grange Park Spring and Summer concerts. What struck me most was the dedication of the staff at Grange Park to ensure that their pupils always had the best of experiences offered to them. It was this that drew me to Grange Park Prep.


How would your previous students describe you?

Previous students have described me as approachable, supportive, encouraging, and fair. I have always encouraged pupils to be the very best version of themselves and with that approach, pupils have been acutely aware of how important their pastoral care is to me as much as their academic attainment.


What have you been most proud of in your teaching career?

As a newly qualified teacher, in a full-time teaching role and during my NQT year, I also embarked on studying a master’s degree in education. Balancing expectations during this time was challenging and I am very proud of accomplishing the successful completion of both, alongside retaining my sense of humour, and managing my mental health. Of course, this was not a solo journey, and the support of family and friends was paramount.


What are the qualities of a successful leader?

I consider one of the main qualities of a leader is to have an ethical approach to managing people: to view leadership as a chance to serve others and to drive engagement; to measure success through growth and development and above all to listen and guide.


What is something that you’ve found to be unique to Grange Park Prep School?

As an ‘Enfieldian’, I am drawn to the fact that the history of Grange Park is linked to 1920’s Enfield, the time between the world wars that I find most interesting. The growth of Enfield is evident from the sheer volume of new homes around this time, and I like to think of the pupils that were part of this growth that also would have had the opportunity to be part of the initial growth of Grange Park.


How do you think a head can make a real difference to an individual pupil?

I have always been open and honest about my journey as a primary pupil and trust that this honesty will impact a quiet, shy child in a positive way. I understand the need to make the school a safe space in which pupils can express their emotions and for others to respect them and to also promote empathy and kindness. I have made it my mission to ensure that this becomes a non-negotiable part of school culture.


What do you think your biggest challenge will be in your new role?

To continue the culture and ethos of the school in the same manner as Mrs. Rizzo, while establishing my own expectations and personalising the period of my headship.  I have much to offer Grange Park and wish to make my own imprint by making differences and improvements for the school with the support of pupils, staff, and parents.


Who inspired you to teach?

Mr. Teague, my Year 2 teacher, whilst reading the class stories about the Tudors and transporting me back to another time and place. My imagination was sparked, and my lifelong love of history began here, culminating in my achieving an undergraduate degree in History. I want to impart that same lifetime impact on others.


What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to work for the Ministry of Defence, for no other reason than to travel into Central London by train: For context, I was 8 years old.


What is a unique skill you have?

 I can roller skate backwards, or rather I used to be able to!