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David Harris

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  1. I worked with Richard from the very start of IST in August 1999 until July 2006 and I would like to add to the forum my impressions of him as a colleague over the years. His students have supplied superlatives galore so far and that is no surprise to me. Watching the way Richard was able to make his passion for History so infectious for his students was fascinating and inspiring. Every IST teacher will have overheard corridor conversations - sometimes heated! - between students about the opening of the Eastern front or the treaty of Versailles. Richard has a gift for getting his subject under the students' skin. Richard's contribution to the curriculum is not limited to History - he consistently pushes the envelope with technology and he is generous with his time not only with his students but with his colleagues. I have benefited from picking his brains on many occasions, be it on how to draw parallels between the way he teaches students to structure an essay and the needs of structure in Maths projects, or in how to edit digital videos. I recall in the first year of the school I asked Richard to help me with a cross-curricular project about population growth. The task was for his Geography class to predict the population of the world at a specific time. Richard was able to guide his class to do this using statistical software that I gave him at short notice and he typically achieved a result that added value to the mathematical objectives I had for the task. This was not the only time in the seven years I worked with Richard that he went out of his way to help so effectively. I have consistently been amazed at not only the quality of Richard's ideas over the years but the sheer volume of school trips he has conceived and executed, the Extended Essays he has supervised, contribution to TOK, the Professional development he has given through E-Help and so on. IST is still young and has evolved from a much smaller school than the one we know today. We opened in August 1999 with students in years 1 to 11 and only around 150 students - sorry I have forgotten the actual number! - this was before the IGCSE and IB classes were established. Richard was the first teacher to put a class through IGCSE - in 2000 - for his subject and get a great set of results. At the very start of the school's existence, I remember thinking that we were always talking to parents in the future tense about what the school could offer. Richard has been prolific in turning potential into reality; instrumental in fulfilling the potential of his fledgling department and taking full advantage of the exciting opportunities that IST gives to all its teachers. He has always applied energy, passion, commitment and courageous innovation. So, I 'd like to add to the comments of Hannah T and Grace B and their retrospectives of his contribution to IST and attest to the fact that his prolific work is recognised by his colleagues as well. David Harris Head of Maths IST 1999-2006
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