Meet our Senior School Team

Mrs Pippa Smithson
The Royal School Head

Mr Paul Norman, Deputy Head Academic

I joined The Royal School three years ago as Director of Sixth Form and started my new role as Deputy Head Academic this September.

One of the greatest privileges of working in Education is to witness the ‘light bulb, penny-drop, I can’t believe I just did that’ moments on a pupil’s face when they do something they weren’t sure was possible. Whether that is understanding a concept in electricity, performing on stage in a music or drama production, or coming off the playing field following a sports match. The glint in their eye and smile on their face is priceless.

These moments serve to remind us of the importance of setting meaningful and achievable challenges for all pupils. While confusion and frustration are often a part of learning, those breakthrough experiences of success reinforce and galvanise the concepts of confidence and perseverance. They lead not only to a pupil doing the best academically but also build habits that are of benefit in all areas of life.

‘Education doesn’t exist in a vacuum’ was a phrase used frequently by my first Headteacher, and she was right. Lessons learnt in school now about how we learn and what it takes to achieve a goal, go beyond objectives on a board in the classroom. They are just as important and complimentary in influencing a pupil’s ambitions and options when applying to university or jobs when they leave school.

Working with colleagues, pupils and parents to find the best possible methods of providing the highest quality curriculum delivery possible is busy, yet hugely rewarding. The Royal School community is wonderfully supportive, adaptable, and always finds ways to recognise and celebrate success. I look forward to seeing the evolution of online provision - we have just enjoyed our first virtual parents’ evening and have more planned.  These are an excellent opportunity for parents and teachers to discuss the progress being made by pupils, and how we can work towards those next all important lightbulb moments in their education.

Ms Hayley Robinson, Deputy Head Pastoral

I joined The Royal School in September 2020 and was previously Head of Personalised Learning and Academic Curriculum at Reigate Grammar School. 
It has been such a pleasure getting to know the pupils. With a focus on developing relationships between the pupils and their tutors, lots has been going on to ensure that they feel comfortable in our ‘new normal’.  Change is a big part of life which can be difficult; we take this very seriously, ensuring that our pupils are aware of who they can talk to if they need extra support. I am enjoying meeting with pupils across each year group and I am keen to hear their thoughts and ideas about how we can make our school even more a hub of creativity, confidence and energy whilst furthering the warmth we have. 

With a focus on our charity support, tutors are looking at ideas with their form groups to explore how we can further reach out to our community. Our pupils need to understand how inspirational their presence can be amongst one another and the community beyond school – it is important that we develop this understanding, especially as we are in the throes of coping with the uncertainty created by Covid-19.  Each morning we enjoy presentations and quizzes to ensure pupils receive a collaborative feel amongst their peers whilst also having the option each Tuesday to hunker down with a good book.

I am excited by the strength of character, ideas and general enthusiasm of our pupils and my intention is for everyone to be able to make the most of themselves by creating opportunities for them and furthering the ‘can do’ attitude that exists presently. I am looking forward to further enriching the pastoral and well-being experience of all pupils this year and beyond.

Mr Ed Taylor-Gooby, Head of Lower School & Transition

The Royal is a school that celebrates diversity. Diverse cultures and diverse learning styles are celebrated with a supportive and affirmative culture in which children are encouraged with positivity. A unique bond exists between teachers and pupils that fosters an atmosphere of mutual respect and care. The Royal is an emotionally safe and creative environment that gives all children the opportunity to progress and shine.

The Royal School's Transition Programme into Year 7

Our transition programme starts long before 1 September! We recognise that transition into a new school can present challenges, for this reason we run a series of online tutorials and welcome events throughout the year that are designed to make new pupils and their parents feel part of The Royal School family long before the new term starts. Some events are just for pupils, some are just for parents, offering insight into how best to support your child as they join a new school. As children join us in the Lower School we want them to feel happy, secure and for them to form great relationships with their teachers and tutors. Happy children make the best learners! 

Meet us Virtually

Book a call with our Head of Admissions by completing the booking form.



The school is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB. Tel: 01832 864 444

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