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Simon Spencer graduated from the University of Bristol in 1982, with a degree in English, having been educated for 7 years before that at Christ College, Brecon. In 1985, Simon returned to his alma mater to teach and this was where he was appointed as a Housemaster at just 26 years of age. Together with his wife, Felicity Kilpatrick, who at that time was the Head of Learning Strategies at Christ College, they looked after two boarding houses at the school. After many industrious years, he became the Deputy Head in 2004. In December 2015, Simon accepted the position of Founding Head of King Henry VIII College in Malaysia.
Simon has taught English at all Secondary levels, and was an Examiner for the Oxford and Cambridge Examination Board, as well as the Welsh Joint Education Council. From 2005, he spearheaded Christ College’s international promotion and development activities requiring him to travel widely with regular visits to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Singapore, Spain, and other countries. He has also organised school trips, and initiated ongoing school cultural exchanges in China and Japan.
Simon has been actively and extensively involved in the development of all areas of school life. He has also coached school teams in cricket, golf, and rugby; directed school plays, and even sang in various choirs. Simon and Felicity have three sons, all of whom attended Christ College.
Deputy Head (Pastoral)
Steve Capon joins King Henry VIII College as the Deputy Head (Pastoral) from Epsom College in Malaysia where he was the Deputy Head (Pastoral and Co-Curricular). Steve and his family moved from the United Kingdom to Malaysia in 2014, after serving as the Director of Sports at Prior Park College in Bath for 11 years. As a resident there, he combined his academic responsibilities with senior pastoral roles within the school in both senior boarding and the school's junior house.
Steve holds a degree in Educational Studies, Physical Education and Mathematics from Exeter University (School of Education, St Luke's College), and he has vast teaching experience at various schools in Hertfordshire, Bristol and Bath.
Steve's particular interest is in pastoral care, to inspire pupils to strive for excellence, whilst nurturing their individual talents and maximising potential through collaborations. He enjoys sports, particularly rugby and cricket, and is also a keen Manchester United fan! In addition, Steve and his family enjoy travelling and a variety of outdoor sports, like skiing and scuba diving.
Deputy Head (Academic)
Phillip Matthews joins King Henry VIII College as the Deputy Head (Academic) from Berkhamsted School, Hertfordshire, England where he was Head of the Geography department for six years. Prior to this, he headed a department at the John Lyon School in London (a Harrow School foundation school) for 5 years. Further to that, Phillip has also working experiences in Japan and Hong Kong for 9 years, and is no stranger to the Asian region.
He holds a degree in Physical Geography from Leeds University, a Master of Arts in International Studies (Distinction) from Durham University, and a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) from the University of Cambridge. His academic aspirations are based on the tenets that every student can achieve more than they believe they can achieve; and “do what you can’t and excel in what you couldn’t”.
As a former pupil himself of our sister school, Christ College Brecon, Phillip is very well acquainted with the values and ethos that will be the foundation of life at King Henry VIII College. In his spare time, Phillip enjoys travelling and keeping relatively fit; he is also an avid armchair rugby fan and critic.
Head of Primary
Rosanna Kirkbride originates from Toronto, Canada and is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in English and Political Science. She then completed her teacher’s training at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.
Whilst in Australia, Rosanna developed a great passion for education and returned to her home country to teach at a native Canadian school in Northern Ontario. Shortly after, Rosanna moved to the United Kingdom where she taught at primary schools in East London and Essex. Most recently, Rosanna taught at Dulwich College Seoul where she held the posts of Head of Year, Literacy Coordinator, Lead Safeguarding Trainer and Extra-Curricular Activities Coordinator.
Her diverse interests in creative arts and sports have benefitted the school's wider community in her leadership in drama productions, coaching football, and even assisting in various sporting competitions. In her spare time, Rosanna enjoys cooking as well as underwater exploration and photography. Her personal educational philosophy is her belief in fostering independence in children and equipping them with skills to become life-long learners.
Teaching & Learning Adviser
Felicity Kilpatrick was born and educated in Swansea, South Wales. She read English at the University of York, and after working in the library of Bristol University, began teaching English at Christ College, Brecon in 1986. Always keen to understand the needs of those who learn differently, she qualified as a specialist teacher of students with specific learning difficulties in 1997, and later achieving her Master of Arts (Specific Learning Difficulties) in Special Educational Needs (SEN) from the University of Wales in 2001. Felicity has over 25 years of experience in Learning Support, and at Christ College she established and led a highly successful department.
At the time of leaving Christ College, Brecon for King Henry VIII College, Cyberjaya, Malaysia, Felicity was Head of the Learning Skills Faculty responsible for literacy development in the school as well as coordinating responses to the needs of a wide range of learners. She has a special interest in supporting teachers as they develop classroom strategies that can encourage, support and challenge all students. She was also the School Archivist at Christ College and has an unparalleled knowledge of the history of our sister school.