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Matthew Christmas, 1986


Ancient and Modern History

Current job

Director of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, The Royal Hospital School


I was the first of my family to go to university and going to Oxford was everything I could have wished for.  I was extremely well taught for my degree, supported by hugely knowledgeable and yet approachable dons at both Queen’s and in other colleges.  I was pushed hard academically, but given so many opportunities: world-class libraries and museums, as well as generous book and travel grants, and the chance to work with other undergraduates as passionate about their subjects as I was (and still am!). I was also able to get involved in many extra-curricular societies and teams at both College and University levels.

College Experience

Queen’s was incredibly friendly in terms of all members and staff of the College. Nothing ever seemed to be too much trouble. The food, facilities and accommodation were great (everyone should get the chance to live in the Florey Building!) and I felt really at home whether in the library, in tutorials, in the beer cellar or on the river. Friends I made at Queen’s are still my friends and it is lovely to come back to College for gaudies and reunions.

Life after Queen's

I started as a management consultant, but decided this was not for me and I have been teaching in secondary schools ever since, enabling me to indulge my love for history and the classics.  I have taught in the UK and even been a Headteacher in Kenya, as well as being a Deputy Head, a Head of Sixth Form and a Head of Department.  I am happiest in the classroom where I get the chance to nurture and inspire pupils to love learning as much as I do. I would recommend teaching to anyone and schools do not have enough Oxford-educated staff.