RGS welcomes new Deputy Headmaster, Mr Weigall
Education needs to be “broad, flexible and agile”, a philosophy The Rockhampton Grammar School’s new Deputy Headmaster Mr Bill Weigall is looking to continue at the school.
Mr Weigall arrives at RGS from Radford College in Canberra, where he held the position of Assistant Principal: Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting.
Arriving in Central Queensland expands on Mr Weigall’s education journey which started as an English teacher at Toowoomba Grammar School before spending three years as a Boarding Housemaster at Strathallan School in Scotland and then heading to Canberra Girls Grammar School – during that time he was Head of Glebe House, Head of English, ESL and Media, Head of Student Engagement and coached an 3 time Australian Champion Dragon Boat Team.
Mr Weigall also has a passion for coaching cricket and rugby, and ran the navy section of a cadet corps, teaching scuba diving.
“I’ve enjoyed all my previous roles for different reasons and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with those parts of school life,’’ Mr Weigall said.
“At RGS I have the opportunity to pull the strings of my various school roles back together and further refine my skills, learning from expert practitioners at RGS.”
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to work at a school that extends from Kindy to Year 12, has a strong academic programme, strong co-curricular programme, strong boarding programme and a strong agriculture programme.”
Mr Weigall said schools must be responsive to the needs of people, and context is everything.
“Schools need to provide solid education foundations and adapt to challenges of the future,’’ Mr Weigall said.
“It’s about preparing people for life beyond school and schools need to identify what universities and employers are looking for now as well as what they will require in the future.
“Your role (in education) is similar to that of a parent: it’s to become redundant. You want your students to be able to thrive in a world beyond school when that time comes.
“RGS has students with a range of needs and goals in life which requires a broad, flexible and agile approach to education.”
The arrival at The Rockhampton Grammar School also provides a welcome return to boarding schools for Mr Weigall.
“The life of a boarding school is so rich and valuable to the development of young people, said Mr Weigall, who boarded in Year 11 and Year 12 at Toowoomba Grammar School.
“Working in boarding was like being a parent rather than just a teacher. Making a contribution to all facets of the lives of young people is really important work.”
Growing up on cattle properties at Charleville, Texas and then Proserpine, Mr Weigall still remembers starting his boarding experience.
“I was old enough to appreciate the difference being offered in education, but it was still a challenge establishing new friendships with so many already established from starting boarding at a younger age,’’ Mr Weigall said.
“However, I was fortunate to reconnect with many family connections from the Toowoomba region.
“It was at Toowoomba Grammar School that I developed an interest and enthusiasm for boarding and I’ve worked in boarding for a lot of my life.”
Mr Weigall also understands the importance of striking the right balance between boarding and day school communities.
Education has long struck a chord with Mr Weigall whose mum was an early childhood teacher and he remembers his English teacher at Toowoomba Grammar School as providing a great influence on his chosen career.
“He (English teacher) was a great classroom practitioner, head of a boarding house, coached a rugby team and led the Cadet Corps,’’ Mr Weigall said.
“Education allows you to have a wonderful variety of work tasks and to engage with people in a powerful way.”
Engagement with families has been further highlighted this year as schools adapt to a new world of education during COVID-19.
“It’s been demanding on teachers, no doubt, but it has also demonstrated teachers’ remarkable capacity to evolve and adapt to a different challenge,’’ Mr Weigall said.
“Both RGS and Radford College have demonstrated that ability and have demonstrated that their strategic intent is heading in the right direction during this unseen challenge. By that I mean that both had laid solid platforms for that evolution, which enabled them to evolve quickly and effectively.
“COVID has also helped us be more confident in our ability to provide a quality education. It will eventually be seen to have provided positive opportunities for school communities with foresight”
Mr Weigall said his initial days at Rockhampton Grammar School will involve familiarising himself with his new school and the community.
“I’m here to listen and learn.”