Introducing Joe Patient, Head of School | Epsom College
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Introducing Joe Patient, Head of School

Joe Patient (Upper Sixth, Robinson) is the Head of School for this term. Here he talks about his time at the College so far, what he's looking forward to in the role and beyond Epsom as he nears the end of his time at the College.

Tell us about your time at the College so far…

I joined Epsom in Year 9 and over the time I have been here the House system has had a substantial impact on my experience. It has made my time at the College something I will always look back on with happy memories. Robinson has been a constant support to me throughout my time at the College and I wanted to help give the same positive experience to younger pupils joining the House. This is what prompted me to apply for the position of Head of House for Robinson this year, a role I was in last term.

Getting involved in sports and representing the school at any level has been a real goal of mine during my time at Epsom – I have tried lots of sports and have represented the school in Swimming as well as playing for the Rugby 1st team. Elsewhere I have tried to get involved in as many activities outside of sport as possible. I have taken part in the Darbyshire Debating Competition and an academic symposium on Economics. I have also really enjoyed being part of the Service Programme, visiting older people who are often vulnerable and who lack regular day-to-day contact with people. Being part of the programme has shown me the potential that Epsom has to positively impact the wider local community.

I currently study Mathematics, Physics and Economics at A-level. I chose these subjects to gain a greater understanding of how the world around us works. I have also expanded my learning beyond the classroom, through wider reading and by joining the College’s Economics Society. Through this I discovered an enjoyment for reading modern philosophy as it complements my subjects perfectly; most recently Karl Popper who wrote in the 1950s about the ambiguity of the laws of science and the laws of society: “The fact that all past futures have resembled past pasts it does not follow that all future futures will resemble future pasts.” The world is constantly changing with our outlook growing more progressive with each passing century.

I have also undertaken an EPQ, which felt like a similar challenge to a university dissertation. Being dyslexic, I wanted to develop my writing skills as this is something I know that I will always need to work on to improve. I learnt that the EPQ requires a lot of planning, organisation, self-discipline and self-motivation. It was a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone considering it.

Have you enjoyed being part of the College prefect team this year and what are you looking forward to in leading that group this term?

It is a daunting responsibility being Head of School, but a challenge I am excited to take on. There is so much talent within the group. The highlight of being part of the prefect team is getting to share and discuss problems together. Every one of the prefects has different and unique ways of thinking. It’s very interesting being exposed to a perspective you would never have thought existed, and it helps raise projects to a higher level than if you were working on it alone.

Having been a part of this team for a term in my role as Head of House, the job of a prefect is to act as a role model for younger pupils and to exemplify high standards of behaviour and good moral values. We should act as bridges between the year groups in our respective Houses, to boost cohesion and create a kind and ambitious ethos around the College.

Next term, I would like to make the prefect team more hands-on in leading student-based initiatives, with the aim of embracing Epsom’s social responsibility and branching out to help more in our local community.

What prompted you to apply for the position of Head of School?

Having been fortunate enough to be chosen as the Head of House, I really wanted to make a difference in Robinson, so I didn’t initially consider Head of School. However, during the Michaelmas Term I realised that the Head of School role would be a great opportunity to have a positive effect on all of the Epsom community, as well as the wider community around us. It would also give an opportunity to another student to take up the position of Robinson Head of House and I know Alex Povey will do a great job.

How did you feel when you found out you were the Head of School for Lent term?

When I first found I must admit I felt quite nervous. I have some big shoes to fill from Mojo who was in the role last term and all the others that have come before. I was also worried about how I was going to manage my additional responsibilities whilst undergoing my A-level mocks but I feel greatly honoured to represent the student body of an amazing school such as Epsom. I want to focus my time and energy on enjoying the experience and acting as a voice for the views of others.

What are you most looking forward to in this role?

I have a lot of ideas which are in the works and in discussion. It might be too early to speak about them right now but over the term I will be sharing with all pupils and rolling out some of the initiatives I have in mind and I am looking forward to seeing them come to fruition.

What are your plans for the future after your Upper Sixth year?

My plan for the rest of my Upper Sixth year is to enjoy the time that I have left with my friends and family. I am currently receiving offers from universities to study Economics. My plan is to go to university this year. Job-wise, I work on the weekends coaching Rugby to children aged 1-5. If possible, I would like to spend more time doing this over the summer and perhaps running some summer camps. It is very popular and fun and it’s great for children to get involved in sport.